[KS] The Frederick Starr Collection photos

Brother Anthony ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr
Mon Dec 27 21:22:02 EST 2010

I was (naturally) struck by a phrase in the Introduction to Frederick Starr's "Korean Buddhism" (1918) where he says: "The author has hundreds of negatives illustrating Korean Buddhism." He goes on to say of the 37 illustrations included in his book, "many pictures have been rejected, which are more beautiful or interesting than some of those that have been included." This (equally naturally) leads to the very large collection of photos (and other materials) held in the University of Chicago Library's Frederick Starr papers, where there are clearly a considerable number of photos of Korea, Buddhist and otherwise (Boxes 37a / 38a etc) . I would be grateful if someone could tell me whether any collections of these photos have been published? They clearly offer a very precious glimpse of the state of Korean temples in the early decades of the 20th century. The complete summary list of the collection is at http://ead.lib.uchicago.edu/learn_on3.php?eadid=ICU.SPCL.STARR&format=raw-xml&collection=project/SCRC     

A good PDF file of "Korean Buddhism" can be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/download/koreanbuddhismhi00star/koreanbuddhismhi00star.pdf  but although I have an original, even there the quality of the photos is not always as good as one would wish.

Is it true that Starr's 1922-3 course on "Korean ethnography" at Chicago can be considered the first Korean Studies course to be taught in the western world?

Brother Anthony
Sogang University / Dankook University

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