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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 Asian and African Studies 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