In premodern Korea, archives were gathered and housed not only in official or state storerooms but also in unofficial sites such as the libraries of lineage associations and local academies. Contributors to this special issue reveal how these archives cast light on what and who were left out of the conventional historiography of premodern Korea, taking the archive beyond its usual definition as a collection of historical documents of the past. Topics addressed include how premodern Korean record-keeping was used to shape contemporary historiographical knowledge of Choson Buddhism, the role of the Catholic Archives in documenting life in Choson Korea, and whether the term “archive,” as used in European traditions is relevant to premodern Korean traditions. By addressing topics such as the formation and use of archives and the role of archives in the circulation of knowledge, contributors invite a vital conversation about how histories of the archive might reshape stories about premodern Korea.
Jungwon Kim is King Sejong Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the Humanities in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.
Contributors: Ksenia Chizhova, Jungwon Kim, Sung-Eun Thomas Kim, Franklin Rausch, Graeme Reynolds, Sem Vermeersch, Sixiang Wang, Yuan Ye