Remixing Our Collections: Korea

Indiana University Libraries Korean Collections

According to Rachel Beckham, Collections Assistant, the Korean Collection contains books of all types: from graphic novels to poetry, novels and non-fiction. As of June 30, 2021, the Korean collection at IU Libraries contains around 26,619 volumes of books. Held mostly on the 8th floor of the Herman B Wells Library, the literature may be found in call number range PL 490s to PL 3311. In addition, Liu pointed out, "Our Korean collection focuses on language and literature, history (with focus on Chosŏn dynasty, 1392-1910), modern social movements, cultural studies, film studies, and political evolution resources related to issues of reunification with North Korea."

Like all of the books in the Korean Collection, some of the most intriguing are written in English and some in Korean. For example, The Future of Silence: Fiction by Korean Women is edited and translated into English by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton. The nine short stories feature women overcoming hardships from the 1960s to the 2000s. 허 영만 꼴 by Heo Hyeong-man is a graphic novel written in Korean, and inspired by the phrase "I read my mind through the face of a person." It is the first in Hyong-man's series Appearance. Another example is one of Korea's most beloved poets, Baek Seok. His Poems, or  백 석 시선 in Korean can be found in English translated by Peter N. Liptak. Lastly, multi-talented hip-hop artist Tablo's  당신의 조각들 : 소설집 is in Korean and on our shelves. Comprised of short stories, the volume describes the difficulties of growing up in a large city. It was written during Tablo's college years at Stanford University.

Tawianese woman in yellow shirt and plaid jacket behind collection of East Asain books.
  East Asian Librarian Wen-Ling Liu shows off some of the Korean books from the Indiana University East Asian Collection. Courtesy of Noel Photos.