The Korea Herald


Digital platform for Korean heritage launched

By Choi Si-young

Published : June 23, 2024 - 15:03

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“Korean Memory” website (National Library of Korea) “Korean Memory” website (National Library of Korea)

An online platform for access to digitized works of art at institutions including museums and libraries has been officially launched, the National Library of Korea said Friday.

The “Korean Memory” website, host to some 260,000 works -- from books to photographs to music clips -- from 122 institutions, marks the latest push by the government to make “nationally important” data available to the public.

“With the advent of artificial intelligence, we need more high-quality, reliable data that can be accessed by the public,” a Seoul official said, commenting on the site’s opening.

A library official added that the institution has to ensure things related to Korea in any significant way are tracked so that generations to come can build on the continuation of Korean heritage.

The National Library of Korea is the center of the national archive, housing some 14 million books, the official noted.

The library expects to come up with what it calls the Digital Collection, thematically arranged with a focus on “something of national significance.” The library also is planning to establish a policy on third-party use of works contained in Korean Memory, according to a library official, noting a national competition will open in October to gather public input.

The platform launch is the latest highlight of a bigger push by the library for digitization efforts. Since 2014, the library has been promoting Open Access Korea, another online platform connecting institutions like libraries and research centers as well as publishers, so the public can enjoy one-stop access their data.

As of April, 61 institutions -- research centers, think tanks and universities -- have joined Open Access Korea. There were over 120 million visits to the platform in a year, with more than 36 million downloads, according to library data.