Thursday, May 24, 2012

North Korean volumes in University of Pittsburgh library.

1972 film The Flower Girl.

The latest edition of Pitt magazine (not available online yet) has an interesting blurb about the growing collection of North Korean materials in the East Asian Library. It reads:
What do students in North Korea learn in school? How do books published in North Korea portray history, archaeology, literature, and other topics? Answers may be found in a special Pitt library collection that is among the largest repositories of primary source materials in the United States for scholars studying North Korea. Books, journals, and films from the insular country are hard to come by, but the head of Pitt's East Asian Library, Hong Xu, has cultivated agreements with libraries at Yanbian University near the Chinese-North Korean border and other institutions to obtain materials on behalf of Pitt. The collection contains more than 14,000 volumes and continues to expand.
A longer profile ran in the University Times last summer.
Given that many resources are available in digital form, the library aims to collect unique items, Xu said. “Students and faculty are more interested in getting hard-to-find materials and primary sources,” she said. Pitt’s collection has 82 different North Korean journal titles totaling more than 2,000 volumes, as well as some 400 North Korean books. The publications include pictorial journals that document current events and achievements, arts journals and publications by the nation’s medical science press.

Topics include history, archaeology, literature, economics and politics.

The collection also includes a dozen textbooks, including elementary school, high school and college-level texts. There is even a documentary on North Korean taekwondo.
You can find a list of Korean-language items on this EAL page, including a sizable list of movies.