Seoul National University plans to create a digital database of 250,000 old documents dating back to the Joseon era (1392-1910).
The university’s Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies on Monday announced the launch of the “21st Century New Kyugjanggak Project” which will see to the restoration or repair of aged documents and historical materials stored in its archive, then translate them into modern Korean or foreign languages and digitize them.
“Currently, less than 10 percent of the historical documents in the library are digitized. It will take considerable time, but it is well worth the wait,” said Kim In-geol, director of the institute.
“Those 10 percent that have been digitized are the UNESCO inscribed documents. In the future, we will have access to old maps and rare materials,” he added. A total of 2.5 billion won has been allocated for the project, and Kim said he did not know how long it would take to complete.
The Kyujanggak Archive was originally founded in 1776 as the royal library and now contains more than 260,000 items such as the Annals of Joseon Kingdom and the Diary of the Office of Royal Secretaries, both listed in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The institute, now an affiliate of the nation’s top university, is in charge of the archive as well as research, publication and international, interdisciplinary coordination for Korean studies.
“The database will help scholars from Korea and around the world get easy access to Kyujanggak and its holdings, which will enhance the status of Korea in academia,” Kim said.
By Bae Ji-sook (email@example.com