> Joseon Geography Books Collection > Introduction

Because of the lyric in the song [Dokdo Island is our land] from the ‘third line on page 50 of the Geographic Atlas in the Sejong Chronicle’, a majority of Koreans recall only the [Geographic Atlas in the Sejong Chronicle] when the term ‘geographic atlas’ is mentioned. However, Joseon. The number of geographical atlases published during the Joseon Dynasty is extensive including [Sinjeungdonggukyeojiseungram] (25 volumes), which is evaluated as one of the most outstanding geographic atlases in the world, as well as the [Geographic Atlas in the Sejong Chronicle] that people of Korea are most familiar with.

The central government ceaselessly published and stored the national geographic atlas while the provincial government published a provincial geographic atlas, and the municipal governments published a municipal geographic atlas to use it in governance. The geographical atlas published with government authority playing the leading role is referred to as a government compiled geographic atlas. Since the latter part of the 1500’s, publication of geographic atlas books on the municipalities with the corresponding local government offices and aristocratic leaders of the municipality became a general trend. In the 1800’s, Kim, Jeong Ho (estimated to have lived from 1804 to 1866) published four types of extremely extensive national geographic atlases. Such geographic atlases published by private individuals rather than the government office are referred to as privately compiled geographic atlases.

This exhibition aims to highlight new aspects of Joseon, which was one of the countries in the world with a highly advanced geographic atlas in the traditional era, in order to enhance the understanding of the diverse range of geographic atlases published in Korea.


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