Online Resources for Koreanists 3.0


Online Resources for Koreanists 3.0
Compiled by Amy Levine (Pusan National University) and Grace Jung (Pusan National University)

South Korea has the highest percentage in the world of its population regularly using a high-speed internet connection.  Living, working, and researching in and/or about Korea means being online and being fast.  One does not have to spend long talking about or being in the country before hearing or saying, “빨리 빨리 (p’alli p’alli, quickly quickly).” Although a cliché, quick and online are notable features — for better and worse — of the research context in Korea.

There has been a rapid proliferation of online resources such as archives and databases for Koreanists.  Many of these resources serve as starting points for research, general inquiries or quick references.  Most online resources supplement rather than replace existing modes of offline research. Harvard University, for example, has been maintaining an excellent list of Korea-specific online resourcesPusan National University and Seoul National University have exemplary library portals.

There are a number of university, government, quasi-government, and private business sites that are rapidly expanding their online content.  As I learned during my dissertation fieldwork in Seoul, expanding access to information is a byproduct of the competition among private, public, and those in-between to increase their online profiles. However, some of these resources require a paid and/or institutional subscription.  I include some of those resources in my list below to reflect what has accrued funding and/or searchable data, but mostly try to include non-subscription and at least partially open access academic and media sources.  These resources exist in Korean and/or English and sometimes in other languages; all languages are underlined.  They are also multidisciplinary — including film, folklore, history, humanities, K-Pop, law, literature, religion, social sciences, and women’s history.

The academic resource list appears alphabetically with a short introduction, and is divided according to language — Korean resources appearing first, followed by English ones. It is meant to supplement the numerous university library sites and particular journals that researchers may already be familiar with such as the Korea Journal and Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.  Both of these journals provide public access to full-length articles in their archives.  For those less familiar with academic journals in Korea, note that Korea Citation Index (KCI) journals are mostly in Korean, but articles sometimes do appear in other languages.

The media resource list is subdivided into portals, major dailies, television/video, religious news, and critical social/political categories though these are becoming less and less mutually exclusive with languages specified and URLs provided. These lists are in no way exhaustive; they are merely a reflection of what I, and others whom I have known, have found useful.  Taken another way, the media resource list is a snapshot of what is funded and regularly updated in and/or about Korea.

There are also fairly specific and regularly updated dictionary sites such as the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism and a North Korean Online Dictionary.

Special thanks to Martin Bale, Javier Cha, Chad Futrell, Ju Hui Judy Han, Samuel Henderson, Roger L. Janelli, Roberta Jenkins, Youngnan Nan Kim, Blaz Kriznik, Candice Lee, Kyounghee Moon, William Pore, Bradley Tatar, Matty Wegehaupt, and Dafna Zur for their kind suggestions, and I assume responsibility for any omissions or mistakes. An earlier version of this list appeared in the Korea Foundation Newsletter and I wish to acknowledge the foundation for its considerable support.  I also wish to thank the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Otago in New Zealand for hosting me as a visiting scholar while I worked on this piece.  I welcome feedback in the form of critiques, additions, or subtractions at [Ed. note: Please feel free also to direct queries at]


Academic Resources

AKS (Academy of Korean Studies) – One of the most respected and publicly run databases of Korean Studies’ resources; Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Russian.

Committee on Korean Materials, CEAL (Council on East Asian Libraries) – The Korean committee of the CEAL, which is an Association for Asian Studies (AAS) sub council, is run as a non-profit organization and AAS dues allow access to CEAL resources; English. 

DATA – This site offers public information from the South Korean government. It is run by the Ministry of Security and Public Administration. All the information and documents from the Korea Knowledge Portal have moved to this site; Korean, English

DBPia — Private portal of academic resources, particularly databases and online videos; Korean/English.

EarticleDatabase of academic resources run by Hakseul education institute; Korean.

Early Koreanists — a Google Group (similar to a listserv) for those who study and teach about Early Korea (pre-10th century AD). One can see the archived content of all the discussion.

Google Scholar — Private database run by Google not confined to Korea; Korean/English.

Harvard University Early Korea Project (EKP) — contains information and data on Early Korea, the mission statement and work of the project, the publications of the project, a detailed archive of all EKP events, journal indexes, historiography, images, and studies. Upcoming events are also found on the site, as are links, news stories on Early Korea, and more. One can also link to our Facebook page and Twitter feed from the website.

KCI (Korea Citation Index) – The South Korean government’s official academic citation index.  The site shows citation data and works as a Korean academic database portal; Korean, English

KERIS (Korea Education and Research Information Service) – This is a public site of education information. This institute cooperates with the South Korean Ministry of Education and runs several other sites about Korean education; Korean, English, Spanish

KoreaA2Z — Private portal of academic, multimedia, and dictionary resources; Korean.

Korea Knowledge Portal — The official gateway to South Korean government documents operated by the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion; Korean.

Korea Legislation Research Institute (KLRI) — Funded by the South Korean government as a research institute and includes a comprehensive searchable database of Korean statutes; Korean/English.

K-Pop Reader for Academics — Emerging blog based at UCI on Korean popular culture, particularly film; English.

Korean Archaeological Society — contains PDFs of all Hanguk Kogo Hakbo articles going back to the 1970s as well as all kinds of information on the very large, burgeoning, and lively field of Korean archaeology in Korea. There are actually many learned societies such as this and all of them have good websites full of useful information and data.

Korean Film Archive (KOFA) — The only nationwide film archive in South Korea.  They are a non-profit organization that is a full member of the International Federation of Film Archives. They have offline libraries and museums in Bucheon, Busan, Seongnam, and Seoul and a growing online database and online film streaming service; Korean/English.

Korean History: A Bibliography Compiled by Kenneth R. Robinson — for example, “Archaeology,” “Ko-Chŏson,” “Three Kingdoms,” “Ancient Korea-Japanese Relations,” and “Parhae.”

Korean History Online — Independent consortium of government and research institute databases with an especially rich website directory on history-related topics; Korean/English.

Korean Studies Information Service System (KISS) — Private web of database services operated by the Korea Studies Information Company, Ltd.; Korean.

KRPia — Private portal for academic, multimedia and dictionary resources about Korea; Korean.

Kyujanggak Institute of Korean Studies (KIKS) — Part of Seoul National University and run through the Kyujanggak Archives and the Institute of Korean Studies.  Many of their materials are from the end of the Joseon dynasty to early modern times, but they are expanding; Korean/English.

Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTIK)Growing archive of Korean literature along with academic and literary translation resources; Korean/English.

Nate Korean Studies Database — Private database of Korean Studies resources initially developed by the Academy of Korean Studies and the Korea Foundation which is now operated by Nate; Korean.

National Assembly LibraryThe official gateway to South Korean legislative documents; Korean.

National Digital Library DatabaseLinks more than 70 databases from eight Korean universities and the largest online source of pre-1950 Korea materials, particularly rich in the Japanese Occupation period; Korean.

National Digital Science Library (NDSL) — Consortium of Korean universities and institutes with access to thousands of science journals and databases; Korean.

NIA (National Information Society Agency) – This is a public organization that works on IT-based government business. It offers various IT information, and it runs several public sites such as DATA; Korean, English

National Library of KoreaThe largest single housing of volumes and historical documents in Korea with growing electronic capacites; Korean/English.

National Institute of Korean History (NIKH)The official independent government agency that collects and publishes historical documents; Korean/English.

Seoul Museum of History — The public Seoul City museum, which focuses primarily on historical and cultural artifacts.  They have a growing number of exhibitions and collections such as one devoted to Chunggyecheon with an online searchable catalog; Korean/English/Chinese/Japanese.

Women’s History Knowledge SystemPortal site for women-related research in Korea operated by the Korea Women’s Development Institute; Korean.

Council on East Asia Libraries (CEAL) — The Committee on Korean Materials hosted at the Wason library of Cornell University a Korean Studies bibliography organized by subject; English.

Brother Anthony’s List of Korean Literature in TranslationRegularly updated list of Korean literature in translation; English.

Frank Hoffman’s Korean Studies — Portal that includes lists of internet resources on a variety of Korea-related topics as well as a long-standing Korean Studies discussion board and review; English.

Portal to Asian Internet Resources (PAIR) — Searchable by atlas (East to Central Asia) and by keyword (from agriculture to human rights) and cooperatively operated by Ohio State University libraries, University of Minnesota libraries, and University of Wisconsin at Madison libraries; English.

RISS (Research Information Sharing Service) – It is one of the biggest academic database portals offered by KERIS (Korea Education and Research Information Service). All four-year Korean universities participate to share research data; Korean


Media Resources — Portals

Daum — Portal site and search engine; Korean.

Empas — Portal site and search engine; Korean.

Korean Integrated News Database System (KINDS) — Comprehensive database of Korean news articles from 2001, operated by the Korea Press Foundation; Korean.

Naver — Portal site and search engine; Korean.

OhMyNews — News site that includes netizen reporting and interactive features; Korean/English.

Pressian — Portal site; Korean.


Media Resources — Major Dailies

Chosun — Korea’s oldest and largest-circulating newspaper with Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese editions in addition to weekly and monthly magazines.

DongaOne of Korea’s largest circulating newspapers with Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese editions in addition to a monthly magazine.

Hankook — Daily Korean and English editions in addition to a weekly magazine.

HankyorehKorean and English editions in addition to a monthly magazine.

Joongang — One of Korea’s largest circulating newspapers with a Korean and English edition in addition to a monthly magazine.

Korea HeraldKorean and English editions

Korea TimesKorean and English editions.

Kyunghyang ShinmunKorean and English editions.

Newspaper Store — Clearinghouse of Korean newspapers organized by topic.

Yonhap — Wire news service; Korean/English/Arabic/Spanish/French/Chinese/Japanese.


Media Resources — Television/Video


Christian Broadcasting ServicesKorean.

Korean Broadcasting System (KBS)Korean.

Munhwa Broadcasting Company (MBC)Korean.

Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS)Korean.



Media Resources —Religious News

Bulgyo NewsKorean.

Christian TodayKorean.


Media Resources — Critical Social/Political

News N JoyKorean.



Image: Internet terminals inside Busan Station (2007). Photograph by Steve46814, Wikimedia Commons.


The views, perspectives, and opinions expressed here and by those providing comments are those of the author(s) and commentator(s) alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Dissertation Reviews, its members, editors, or advisory board members.

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