Window on Korea

Various projects since 2008 have transformed the Korean collection in Oxford into one of the biggest Korean collections in the UK, putting Oxford at the forefront of research libraries on Korea in the west.

In 2008, the Bodleian Libraries received a generous donation and a project (2008–2009) was set up to develop the information resources for Korean Studies and to improve services to those interested in Korea. This led to a number of significant enhancements.

In order to keep up the momentum, another project (2010–2011) was set up and funded by the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea to promote Korean cultural objects possessed by the Bodleian Libraries and the museums of the University of Oxford. This resulted in the exhibition “Korean Treasures” held at the Bodleian Library (26 August – 26 September 2011), and Korean Treasures: Rare Books, Manuscripts and Artefacts in the Bodleian Libraries and Museums of Oxford University published in November 2011.

In March 2012, the Bodleian Libraries was offered the project ‘Window on Korea’, sponsored by the National Library of Korea. The project provides the Bodleian Library with up to 4,000 volumes in the first year (2012) and 200 volumes per year during the next five years (2013–2017). In addition, the National Library of Korea also provided funding to help create a Korean Studies Library with an audio/visual/seminar room at the Oriental Institute Library (OIL). It offers the opportunity to expand the collection as well as bringing all necessary Korean materials (reference, newspapers, teaching, audio visual and research materials) into one location at the Oriental Institute, where Korean courses are taught. The opening ceremony was held on 21st June 2013.

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