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Antique books on old Korea by Western writers on display at Nat'l Library of Korea Updated: 2016-05-09 22:45:13 KST


"From the spirit shrine on the summit, a lovely panorama unfolds itself,backed by a jagged mountain wall, attaining an altitude of over 6,000 feet in the loftiest pinnacle of the Keum-Kang San. A fair land of promise, truly "
This is an excerpt from the book "Korea and Her Neighbours," describing the beautiful scenery of Mount Kumgang, written by British geographer Isabella Bird Bishop in 1897.
It's one of the many books on Korea written by Westerners that are currently on display as part of a special exhibition at the National Library of Korea.
Most of the books were written by women who visited the country from 1883 to the mid-1900s for missionary work, travel and other reasons.

The books were donated by Professor Song Young-dahl, who for the past 30 years has been collecting books and other documents on Korea by foreign authors.
His collection includes photos, poems, novels and records that show Westerners' perceptions of a country in transition at the end of the Joseon Dynasty.

The library held an opening on Monday to launch the exhibit and honor Professor Song and the writers.
Professor Song himself could not attend, as he is in the states, but his family and a grandson of Lillias Horton Underwood were there.
Lillias Underwood was a royal adviser, teacher and an author, who's books about her life in Korea are included in the collection.


"I think it's natural when you live your whole adult life, you learn to love the country and the people. It's all you know. But what is impressive is that there is a recognition now in Korea about the contribution of Western women. I am very pleased to see that. "

(Stand up)
"Just a fraction of Professor Song's books will be on display at the National Library of Korea's exhibition hall from Tuesday until June 5th. The rest of the collection is housed in a separate room, where visitors can sign up to read them.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News."
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