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‘We welcome global visiting scholars of Korean studies’

National Library of Korea sets aside private research space for Korean studies scholars

Cubicles and private research stations have been set aside for visiting scholars of Korean studies at the National Library of Korea. (National Library of Korea)
Cubicles and private research stations have been set aside for visiting scholars of Korean studies at the National Library of Korea. (National Library of Korea)
Starting in July, the National Library of Korea will support scholars around the globe carrying out research in the field of Korean studies. As part of its visiting scholar program, private research space has been set aside in the library and Korean studies researchers from abroad will enjoy convenient access to its archives.

The program’s aim is to support Korean studies researchers not affiliated with any institution here, so that they can focus on their research activities with the national library as their base.

To be eligible the researchers must be affiliated with an overseas university or research institute, must have studied several years beyond the doctoral level, and must have plans to stay in Korea for at least six months for research purposes. Benefits include extensive access to the library’s collection, which includes periodicals, electronic resources and old, rare books. In addition, each researcher can use a private carrel and a locker for their personal belongings for up to one year. Relevant library specialists are on standby to help out when needed.

A special feature of the program is a Research Information Services at the National Library of Korea networking event, which allows scholars to present their research and communicate with fellow researchers.

Oh Young-kyun, an associate professor at Arizona State University, was chosen to take advantage of the program starting July 19.

“Overseas researchers typically have no research foundations in Korea, so they basically don’t have a home where they can work on their research freely,” said Oh.

Since his main area of study is the cultural history of books, Oh expressed how delighted he was to be working at the library with its vast ancient texts and archives by his side.

Apart from the visiting scholar program, the library also has an overseas researcher program, for which there are more vacancies, an official from the library told The Korea Herald on Wednesday. Three incoming scholars -- from the US, Australia and Singapore -- have been admitted to the overseas researcher program this year, according to the official.

“When we say scholar in Korean studies, people mistakenly think of it only as Korean history majors,” said the official. “However, we welcome international scholars from various fields related to Korea, such as politics, economy, culture and more.”

Applications need to be signed, and a research proposal is needed for the review process. 


By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)
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