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Trotsevich A., Guryeva A. Description of Manuscripts and Block-prints of Korean Traditional Culture. Issue I: Korean Manuscripts and Block-prints Included in the Collection of Chinese Block-prints in Keeping of the Library of the Faculty for Oriental Studies, St. Petersburg National University [Описание письменных памятников корейской традиционной культуры. Выпуск I: Корейские письменные памятники в фонде китайских ксилографов восточного отдела Научной библиотеки Санкт-Петербургского государственного университета]. St. Petersburg National University Press 2008. 299 p., 110 illustr.

1. Abstract

The issue is a publication of the first part of the project under the title “Description of Korean Manuscripts and Block-prints in St. Petersburg [Russia]”. In the process of describing old Korean books in the library of the Faculty for Oriental Studies a large collection of Korean books of 18th-19th centuries previously unknown was discovered. It numbers books of 84 titles all in all in 855 volumes.

The books of the collection described in the issue are classified according to their contents as 12 groups (see Table of Contents). Every book is described in detail: information is given concerning its form (it is pointed out whether it is a manuscript sabon, a block-print mokpanbon, or an old-printed book hwaljabon), the number of its volumes, its colophon, the peculiarities of its paper and cover, its size and the number of its leaves, columns per pages, and syllables (or characters) per column.

Furthermore the description informs of the contents of books and adduce dates and names of the authors that appear in the texts of prefaces and postfaces.

The issue is provided with an Introduction “The History of Collection”(8-36 pp.), a list of reference books and four indexes arranged both according to Korean and Russian alphabetical order.

The description is illustrated by photocopies of 49 books, presenting the cover and the first leave, etc., of each of them.

The Introduction contains the history of the collection. The main part of the books was collected by Russian diplomats working in Korea at the end of the 19th century. The books deal mostly with the official sphere of life in Korea, i.e. administration, justice, state rituals, principles of relations with other countries, etc. A sufficient number of writings deals with history and geography. As a rule there are no works of fiction in the collection.

2. Table of Contents

Introduction. By A. F. Trotsevich — I

Description of Books. By A. F. Trotsevich, A.A. Guryeva — 37

I. Works of History — 39 II. System of Administration (Civil and Military) — 71

III. Legislation — 80

IV. Rituals — 93

V. Collections of Documents — 98

VI. Confucian,Taoist and Christian Teachings in Popular Expositions — 106

VII. Geography. Maps — 115

VIII. Medical Works — 122

IX. Literature (Belles-lettres, Fiction) — 126

X. Encyclopaedias — 139

XI. Manuals — 152

XII. Miscellanea — 166

List of Reference Books. By A. F. Trotsevich — 170-171

Supplement. Illustrations — 173

Indexes. By A. A. Guryeva — 284

General Index of Names — 284

General Index of Titles — 288

Index of Names of the Authors — 295

Index of Titles of the Books — 296

3. Statement of significance and impact of the publication

The description deals with an unknown collection of Korean manuscripts and block-prints in keeping of the Library of the St. Prtersburg National University. This collection had been buried among Chinese block-prints, and had been unknown until recently. Collection contains 84 titles, 855 volumes of the 18th-19th centuries. The books of this collection may serve the source for studying of the peoples of the Far East culture (their cultural relations, similarities and specific features). The description is definitely a remarkable event not only in the field of Korean studies, but in the Oriental studies in general.



Korean block-prints
Korean manuscripts
St Petersburg University

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