The Korea Herald


Seoul Library's Global Collections bridge cultures through books

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Feb. 29, 2024 - 15:44

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The Global Collections at the Seoul Metropolitan Library (Seoul Metropolitan Library) The Global Collections at the Seoul Metropolitan Library (Seoul Metropolitan Library)

The Global Collections located on the 4th floor of the Seoul Metropolitan Library in Jung-gu introduces the history and culture of various countries through books.

This collection is curated through books donated by embassies and cultural centers spanning over 60 countries.

Last week, the library said it received a donation of 20 books from the Peruvian Embassy on the history and culture of Peru. The donated books will soon be made available on the shelves.

The Global Collections, established in 2012, houses a collection of over 50,000 books.

Last year, the library received book donations from the embassies of France, Lithuania, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates, totaling 140 books.

From August 2023 to January, the library held a citywide traveling exhibition at 12 public libraries showcasing some 50 books related to Ukrainian history, figures and traditional culture.

This initiative was to show solidarity with Ukraine, offering solace for the pains of the Ukraine war, according to the library.

In addition to the donated books, the library holds over 50,000 books such as original editions in target languages, works on Seoul and Korea, and Korean literature translated into multiple languages.

The library also has a selection of 10 newspapers and 50 magazines by foreign publishers.

The curation corner adds another layer to the library, featuring monthly selections on different themes. Currently, the section highlights works by renowned artists, philosophers and writers such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Leonardo da Vinci, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway.

Anyone with a Seoul Library membership can borrow books, but the donated books and magazines are only available for reading within the library. Foreign residents in Seoul can obtain library membership by presenting proof of residence, such as a foreigner registration card.

The Seoul Library is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Global Collections room operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.