26 June 2013
The Bodleian Libraries have marked a new collaboration between the University of Oxford and the National Library of Korea (NLK) by launching the 'Window on Korea' project.
Part of the NLK's strategy to raise global awareness of Korea by helping to create Korean studies libraries worldwide, the partnership includes the creation of a seminar room and a new Korean Studies Library located in the basement of the University's Oriental Institute Library. In addition, the NLK has given the newly-established library a gift of 3,000 books, complementing the existing collection at the Bodleian which includes the 33,000 Korean-language volumes, the 12,000 non-Korean-language titles, and the 700 Japanese-language titles already available. This new generous book donation will make the Korean holdings at the Bodleian the largest collection in the UK. Over the next five years, another 200 more volumes will be donated every year.
The launch of the 'Window on Korea' project was celebrated at a special ceremony attended by guests including Kim Nam Sook, Deputy Director of the National Library of Korea (NLK) and Kim Kab Soo of the Korean Embassy in London. Guests were welcomed on behalf of the University by Prof. Ian Walmsley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Richard Ovenden, Deputy to Bodley's Librarian, Dr. James Lewis, University Lecturer in Korean History, other members of the Oriental Faculty, librarians as well as members of staff from other departments of the University. The current project is a continuation of an already-established programme of reciprocal visits between Oxford and Seoul.
Dr James Lewis, Lecturer in Korean History, said: 'The Window on Korea project brings together books on Korea from disparate parts of the library system and augments these with substantial numbers of recent publications given by the National Library of Korea. This new gift boosts Oxford's Korean holdings into primary position in the United Kingdom and also puts it in the forefront of European collections.'