Beyond the DMZ

North Korean Beach
Gilliland, Clay. “At the Majon Beach Guest House Near Hamhung DPRK.” 2014. Wikimedia Commons. [Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic]
Today at work, the stars aligned to bring me quite a few resources about North Korea.  I have a strong interest in East Asian book history.  (The Koreans were the first to develop metal movable type – so they’re already a step ahead of the game when it comes to coolness.)  I also find it interesting to learn about different places and cultures.  And North Korea is one of the hardest places for a US citizen (i.e. me) to visit; and it can be equally hard for a North Korean to come to the US.  So, when I had the opportunity to get a glimpse of beyond the DMZ today, I was thrilled.

And I figured I’d share some of what I found here.

  • Audrey Chun from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s library wrote a blog post “Yes, We’re From North Korea!” for the International Area Studies Library Glocal Notes that highlights the university’s North Korean collections (and gives some interesting statistics about the DPRK).
  • Also from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, there’s a LibGuide on the university’s North Korean Collections.  (Actually, there are several libguides, but I’ll only link one here.)
  • Then, I learned about the activist Lee Hyeonseo, who grew up in North Korea and defected and went back to rescue her family.  She gave a 2013 TED Talk and now has recently published a book The Girl with Seven Names which I promptly requested from the library.

P.S. If you’re also interested in East Asian book history (and literature by extension), you should check out my work-in-progress East Asian Book History LibGuide.


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