Primary Source Documents for Korean Studies

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Introduction

This page lists various Korean Studies primary source documents in translation, with a focus on historical documents from the Joseon Dynasty. The documents are categorized into four sections: Royal Documents, Literati Writings, Social Life and Economic Strategies, and Community-Building in Local Society. Clicking on the individual texts will lead to a page which includes the the primary source document in both its translation and original form, discussion questions, further readings, and images of the original documents. By clicking on a key concept, you will be taken to a page which lists all the currently available primary source documents related to that key concept.

Document List

This list is sortable by title, genre, year, document type, and translator. We suggest sorting by genre for the purpose of lesson plans.

Genre Title Key Concepts Period/Year Document Type Translator
Royal Documents Decree Appointing Yi Sunsin to Concurrently Hold the Position of Naval Commander of the Three Provinces of Ch'ungch'ŏng, Chŏlla, and Kyŏngsang

(敎 兼忠淸全羅慶尙等三道水軍統制使 李舜臣書)

Joseon / 1597 Decree Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Royal Documents Instructions for the Secret Tally

(密符諭書)

Joseon / ? Instruction Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Royal Documents Letter of Instruction Appointing Yi Tammyŏng as Provincial Governor of Kyŏngsang Province, Concurrently Army and Navy Commander, Border Inspector and Magistrate of T’aegu

(敎慶尙道觀察使 兼兵馬水軍節度使 巡察使 大丘府使 李聃命 書)

Joseon / 1690 Decree Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Literati Writings Resignation of Cho Sik in the Eulmyo Year

(丹城縣監辭職疏)

Joseon / 1555 Resignation Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Literati Writings On Physiognomy

(相論)

Joseon / ? Essay Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Literati Writings An Essay on Bold People

(豪民論)

Joseon / ? Essay Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program
Social Life and Economic Strategies Record of the Property Distribution among Brothers from March 11th, 1601

(萬曆二十九年二月初七日同生和會文記)

Joseon / 1601 Record Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Social Life and Economic Strategies Record of the Property Distribution among Brothers from 1621

(天啓元年四月十九日, 同生和會文記)

Joseon / 1621 Record Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Social Life and Economic Strategies Property Distribution Record from the Meeting of the Hach'an-siblings

(河鑽娚妹和會文記)

Joseon / 1757 Record Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Social Life and Economic Strategies Certificate of Manumission for the House Slave

(約家奴善一契券, 約家奴仁發文)

Joseon / ? Record Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Social Life and Economic Strategies Document for My Daughters, et al

(嘉靖拾玖年庚子正月二十二日女子兄弟等亦中明文)

  • Nobi (Slave)
  • Inheritance
Joseon / 1540 Record Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program
Community-Building in Local Society Declaration of Prohibitions from Yangjwa Village

(良佐洞 洞案)

Joseon / 1609 Declaration Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Community-Building in Local Society Village Compact from Tunya, 3rd Village

(里中契立議 辛卯)

Joseon / 1700s(?) Compact Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program {Advanced Translation Group}
Community-Building in Local Society Worried about a Disaster, Old Woman Offers (Her Granddaughter) as Concubine

(老媼慮患納小室)

Joseon / ? Story Participants of 2016 Jangseogak Hanmun Workshop Program

References