Window on Korea at the Nizami Ganjavi Library

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

To keep up this momentum, the Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea set up and funded another project (2010 – 2011) to promote Korean cultural objects held by the Bodleian Libraries and the museums of the University of Oxford. The Bodleian Library held the Korean Treasures exhibition from August to September 2011, and published Korean Treasures: Rare Books, Manuscripts and Artefacts in the Bodleian Libraries and Museums of Oxford University in November 2011.

In March 2012, the Bodleian Libraries was offered the project ‘Window on Korea’, sponsored by the National Library of Korea. This provided the Libraries with 3,000 volumes in the first year and 200 volumes per year over the next five years (2013 – 2017). The National Library of Korea also provided funding to help create a Korean Studies Library with an audio-visual seminar room in the basement of the Oriental Institute Library. It offered the opportunity to expand the collection and bring 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.

On 1st March 2018, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Director General Kim of the National Library of Korea and Bodley’s Librarian Richard Ovenden to extend the Window on Korea project for another five years (2018 – 2022).