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Korean studies collection

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The Korean studies collection at the Penn Libraries is focused on supporting researchers and scholars in Korean studies, as well as Korean language learners. Research and teaching at Penn have recently focused on contemporary media and literature, pop culture and Hallyu (Korean Wave), gender studies, historical genealogy, sociology, education practices, Chosǒn history, colonial Korea, Koreans in the Japanese colonies, and North Korea. The bibliographer aims to collect comprehensively on such specialized topics as these, while also creating a strong foundation for research and study of a broad range of topics in Korean studies, including history, literature, and the arts in premodern and modern periods.

Collection description

Current strengths of the collection include:

  • Genealogy primary sources throughout Korean history
  • History and culture in the colonial period
  • Chosǒn history and culture
  • Korean art (especially primary sources such as catalogs and art books)
  • Rare North Korean periodicals
  • Contemporary Korean fiction and other literature
  • Primary sources on the Dokdo/Takeshima controversy
Links to special collections will go here if they exist.
Links to policies will go here if they exist.

Related collections

Doing research

The East Asia stacks on the fifth floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center house monographs and bound journals in Korean, while reference works are located in the East Asia Seminar Room in 526 Van Pelt. Current periodicals (unbound journals) can be found on the fourth floor of Van Pelt library (no Korean-language journals are in the seminar room). Other than Van Pelt, the University Museum Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library hold some Korean monographs on anthropology, archaeology, art and design, and architecture.


Chosun Ilbo Digital Archive (PennKey required)  |  DBpia electronic journal service (PennKey required)  |  Koreanstudies Information Service System (PennKey required)  |  Bibliography of Asian Studies (PennKey required)  |  E-Korean Studies (PennKey required)  |  NK Pro (PennKey required)

Major journals

Book databases & eBook platforms

Research guides


The Korean studies liaison provides in-class and in-library workshops and instruction sessions, as well as individual reference consultations in person and virtually.

To obtain materials not in Penn's collection, patrons can use BorrowDirect+, E-ZBorrow, and Inter-Library Loan. Generally, BorrowDirect+ has many works in Korean. Through these three services, patrons can get many non-rare books in Korean sent to the Penn Libraries for their use.

New books in Korean