Molly Des Jardin, Japanese/Korean Studies Librarian
I. PROGRAM INFORMATION
Since the establishment of Korean Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000, both the Korean Studies Division within the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department and the Korean Collection in the VanPelt Library have grown steadily. Today the Korean Studies Division at EALC offers a focused range of academic and research programs on the graduate and post-graduate levels, providing academicians and researchers with a multitude of options from which to choose their specializations. The Center for East Asian Studies, an interdisciplinary unit composed of faculty members whose teaching and research focus is on East Asia, initiates, organizes, and coordinates Korean Studies course offerings and supports the expansion and enrichment of Korean Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The Choson dynastic history of pre- and early modern Korea from 1300 to 1910 has always been the basic framework of the Korean Studies curriculum and research projects. Four major academic subject areas evolve through this basic curricular/research framework: Archaeological and architectural investigations centered on the Koguryo Kingdom, particularly the Koguryo tomb and monastery; Pre-modern, modern, and contemporary Korean history; History of art focused on Korean ceramics and Korean gardens, studied comparatively with those in China and Japan; and Pre-modern, modern, and contemporary Korean literature. The curricular content of Korean Studies is interdisciplinary and simultaneously comparative, though the range of comparison is limited geographically to Asia: that is, the majority of Korean Studies courses are taught in comparison with both Japan and Chinese elements. The current Korean Collection reflects the interdisciplinary and comparative nature of the academic and research direction that is prevalent today.
Korean Studies permeates other academic programs offered by such departments as History, Economics, History of Art, History and Sociology of Science, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology. Researchers associated with the University Museum focus on Korean archaeology and early civilization; scholars at the Wharton School concentrate on Korean economics, finance, and commerce; and students at the Lauder Institute endeavor to earn a joint MBA/MA degree in Management and International Studies with a concentration on Korea.
II. COLLECTION DESCRIPTION
The first priority of the Korean Collections is to acquire the current core materials of the highest academic quality in support of Penn's academic programs with special emphasis on reference works including bibliographies and indexes as well as essential academic journals. The Korean collection focuses on the following subject areas: anthropology, archaeology, art and architecture, history of art, Korean history and civilization and Korean literature encompassing all ages. For certain subject areas, a concurrent acquisition of fullfledged criticism of specific works and corresponding introductory materials applies.Recommendations and requests from faculty members and students are given serious consideration. Materials bearing direct relevance to the academic programs and research receive the highest priority in purchasing. Each title must meet the following selection criteria: 1) the title is essential to the curricular mission and needs of the Korean Studies faculty; and 2) the title contributes to current collection balance in a subject area. At present the Korean Collection holds more than 7000 volumes of monographs and subscribes to 18 journals. In addition to the Korean Collection at the VanPelt Library, a number of branch libraries within the University Library system maintain materials on Korea in European and Asian languages--most notable of which are the University Museum Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library.
B. Responsibility for Collection Development
The University's Korean Studies Studies faculty set the direction of the Korean Collections. Working on the advice of faculty members, the Korean Studies Librarian takes charge of both the Korean Studies collection development. Faculty and student recommendations and requests are a necessary part of the selection process. The Korean Studies Librarian balances and coordinates the collections as a whole. The decision to acquire or not to acquire materials rests solely with the Library.
The Korean Collection on the 5th floor of the VanPelt-Dietrich Library Center house monographs and bound journals in Korean. The Derk Bodde East Asian Seminar Room collects core reference works and a small number of unbound core academic journals. The Current Periodicals Section on the first floor of VanPelt maintains unbound Korean periodicals of a general nature as well as periodicals on Korean Studies in European languages. The University Museum Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library hold a number of Korean monographs in anthropology, archaeology, and art/architecture.
III. GUIDELINES FOR COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT
The Korean Collection selects most materials from publishers catalogs, most representative of which are: Punmun Academic Services and Kyobo Book Center. In addition, titles are selected from bibliographies and journal articles; and they are ordered from the vendors listed above.
V. SUBJECTS COLLECTED
- Korean history
- 20th century
- Korean literature
- 20th century
VI. SUBJECTS EXCLUDED
The following categories of materials are excluded from the Korean Collection: ephemeral works, gray literature, textbooks except for some language readers, translations of Western literature into Korean, and works on science in general.
VII. COOPERATIVE ARRANGEMENTS
In order to supplement the holdings at Penn, faculty and students are encouraged to utilize a number of Korean Studies resources located in the middle Atlantic regions. Columbia University in New York, for example, offers extensive pre-modern history collections. Princeton University holds a large number of East Asian academic journals that are commercially unavailable both in the Humanities and in the Social Sciences. The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., accessible within a day's commuting distance, offers the largest collection on East Asian Studies.