Click here to skip to content

Collection of Manuscripts

Maps and atlases form the largest part of the manuscript collection. Finely drawn on silk or paper, these include a court-sponsored atlas of the provinces, various copies of Kim Chong-ho's Taedong Yojido (General Atlas of Korea), and a fine, possibly unique, scroll-format map dated ca. 1898, Taehan Chonjido.

The highlight of the collection is 'Kisa chin p'yori chinch'an Ć­igwe', a magnificent royal commemoration manuscript of 1809 which includes fine depictions of courtly ritual, regalia and palace architecture. A digital version of this manuscript is available.

The collection also includes:

  • Manuscript copies of historical novels in the Korean script Hangul, which complement a larger collection of 19th century printed novels.
  • A fine 18th-century album of poetry and landscape scenes, Okkyesa.
  • A set of folded acupuncture charts showing the energy paths believed in East Asian therapeutic traditions to allow cures to particular organs of the human body.
  • A set of 100 genre scenes by the late 19th-century artist Kisan, depicting occupations and street life of the time.
  • A small group of munjado, a uniquely Korean style of popular painting depicting the calligraphic signs for the virtues necessary for living well.
  • An early 19th century copy of the encyclopaedia 'Tongguk munhon pigo', a valuable historical and political record of Korea before the opening to the West.
  • A number of maps and genealogical and legal texts.

Contact

Asian and African Studies enquiries
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7873
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641

E-mail: Ask the Reference Team

Hamish Todd, Lead Curator, Japanese and Korean
Asian and African Studies
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7662
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641

E-mail: hamish.todd@bl.uk