S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.61/64(2013)
朝鮮總督府의 "도서정리사업"의 식민지적 성격
The Colonial Character of Bibliographic Classification Conducted by the Japanese Government-General in Korea
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.61, pp. 361-391
- 역사기록; 기록의 원질서; 四部分類; 조선시대 기록관리 체계; 도서정리; historical records; original cataloguing order; four division cataloguing system; Chosŏn cataloguing system; bibliographic classification
- After the dissolution of the Chosŏn royal court in 1910, the Japanese colonial government of Korea began to consolidate and catalog Korean archival collections. The restructuring process started with the idea of consolidating all historical records at the Kyujanggak archive, while relocating some of the originally Kyujanggak held documents to the Changsŏgak archive, and later continued with the classification of the historical records thus amassed at the Kyujanggak archive.
The concentration of materials at Kyujanggak and their classification can be regarded as an attempt by the Japanese colonial government to consolidate and arrange the historical sources for the Chosŏn dynasty. However, the cataloguing policy of the Japanese Government General implemented in Korea differed significantly from the treatment of the historical records of the Edo period under the Meiji government.
By 1910, a consistent methodology of collecting and classifying Edo era documents had not yet been developed, so the Japanese Government General needed to create its own approach. Records regarding individual monarchs, archives of various government ministries and materials from provincial history archives were removed from their original locations and, regardless of their original classifications, were clustered together in what came to be the Library of Chosŏn Government General. In Japan, on the contrary, the collection of Edo historical records was classified according to the lineage [in which the documents were kept], and the materials were not removed from their original locations.
Administrative record files of the Chosŏn government and financial registers of the Chosŏn imperial family were always handled according to special rules, but in the new classification scheme they were instead simply treated as old documents – new titles were assigned at will and the original ordering was destroyed.
The four division system(i.e., Classics, Histories, Philosophy and Belles letters) was applied to the materials pertaining to individual monarchs, administrative and financial records usually preserved in separate repositories, and old document – all of which used to be exempt from the four division cataloguing system. As a result, the historical records accounted for seventy percent of the collection, while the rest of the catalogue became so complicated that it drastically reduced the usefulness of the four division classification.
This new cataloguing scheme distorted the original structure of the Chosŏn era collections(e.g., Kyujanggak, regional repositories, records of various ministries). Old books, administrative records, records of individual monarchs, financial records of the imperial family and individual old documents were mixed together without a system that would reflect the specificity of each group of materials. The restructuring of the Korean archives and the survey of the written records conducted by the Japanese government in Korea thus had a clear purpose : to emphasize the collapse of the Chosŏn dynasty and to reorganize the archival holdings according to the colonizing logic of the empire.