[KS] Library of Congress Korean Controversy

Hana Kim hn.kim at utoronto.ca
Thu Jul 17 13:13:54 EDT 2008

Dear Koreanists:
As you may have heard, the Tok Island issue has recently spread its 
controversy all the way to the United States Library of Congress and all 
of our North American university libraries.
As the Chair of the Committee on Korean Materials under the auspices of 
the Council on East Asian Libraries of the Association for Asian 
Studies, I head an organization of Korean Studies librarians in North 
Recently, we were shocked to learn that the U.S. Library of Congress had 
arbitrarily planned to officially change the existing subject heading of 
“Tok Island (Korea)” to the new heading of “Liancourt Rocks.”  
Furthermore, within this new subject heading the existing broader 
explanation of “Islands Korea (South)” would be changed to “Islands of 
the Sea of Japan.”  A closed Library of Congress meeting to ratify this 
decision was planned for July 16. 
Since this plan was not widely known, our organization took it upon 
ourselves to voice a strong protest to this sudden change, and also made 
the relevant South Korean governmental bodies aware of this situation.  
Thanks to the efforts of many parties, I am pleased to report that the 
Library of Congress has now officially postponed any decision on this 
matter until there is further international resolution of this issue.
As Koreanists, I felt that you should be made aware of this matter, and 
I hope that you will actively make your own views on this matter known 
to the relevant parties.  In addition, I feel that this matter also 
requires the further study and deliberation of experts such as 
yourselves.  I hope that we may see much scholarly activity to elucidate 
this delicate issue.
Should you require any more detailed information, I would be happy to 
share it with you.
Hana Kim
Chair, Committee on Korean Materials

     Hana Kim, Korea Studies Librarian
     Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library
     University of Toronto Libraries
     130 St. George Street, 8th Floor, Room 8049
     Toronto, Ontario
     Canada M5S 1A5
     Tel.  (416)  978 1570 (7th Fl.) / 978  3805 (8th Fl.)
     Fax.  (416)  978  0863
     Email: hn.kim at utoronto.ca
     Web: http://www.library.utoronto.ca/east/

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