‘Maeul’ is a concept connoting a community. As a place where ordinary people’s lives are planned and realized, Maeul is the foundation of their daily lives as well as a place where they work, rest and enjoy pastime activities. In Korea, however, most Maeul communities are dismantled while going though the modern period representing colonization and developmental dictatorship. Growth-oriented industrialization and urbanization turned into such adverse effects as individualization, a sense of loss and a sense of alienation.
Recently, through innovations from below, Maeuls are restored, and through Maeul communities restored this way, every Maeul and many researchers carry out activities to build a healthy civil society. This study was conducted on such a background. For a healthy restoration of Maeul communities and a sustainable operation of those communities, it is necessary to establish archives where record the trace of Maeul members’ daily lives and relations between those members. The archive of Maeul communities is a place that contains each Maeul’s local characteristics as well as human relations as well. It is because this place can be space where Maeul members can record their history, communicate with each other and make a better future.
The archive of Maeul communities can be made into various different models, which can be operated by reflecting the identity of a community such as main agents and characteristics, objectives and orientation of objects recorded. Rather than when Maeul communities exist as individuals, they can display more important functions and better effect when they form a network.
Therefore, it is needed to provide various and creative methodologies different from the existing government-led record management. Not only on the form of archives, but also all over their functions, such as collection, arrangement, classification, evaluation, management and utilization, Maeul and Maeul residents’ norms, orientation and realistic conditions should be thoroughly reflected.
Starting from a chance to look back at individuals’ lives, the archive of Maeul communities will be a new chapter to restore and build a healthy community in our society and overcome social contradictions from below. Moreover, the archive of Maeul communities has a great significance that it will broaden its prospect creatively with a new paradigm, not only mechanically turning the existing public sector-centered record management into a non-governmental sector.