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Historical Observation and the Characteristics of the Records and Archives Management in Korea

  • The Korean Journal of Archival Studies
  • 2012, (34), pp.221-250
  • Publisher : Korean Society Of Archival Studies
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science

Young Hak LEE 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper introduces the characteristics of the records and archives management of Korea from Joseon dynasty to now. This paper also explains historical background of making the records and archives management in Joseon dynasty. This paper introduces the process of establishment of modern records management system by adopting records management system and public administration of USA after liberation in 1945. The Joseon bureaucrats established systematic methodologies for managing and arranging the records. Jeseon dynasty managed its records systematically since it was a bureaucratic regime. It is also noticeable that the famous Joseonwangjosilrok(Annals of Joseon dynasty) came out of the power struggles for the control of the national affairs between the king and the nobility during the time of establishment of the dynasty. Another noticeable feature of the records tradition in Joseon dynasty was that the nobility recorded their experience and allowed future generations use and refer their experiences and examples when they performed similar business. The records of Joseon period are the historical records which recorded contemporary incidents and the compilers expected the future historians evaluate the incidents they recorded. In 1894, the reformation policy of Gaboh governments changed society into modernity. The policy of Gaboh governments prescribed archive management process through ‘Regulation(命令頒布式)’. They revised the form of official documents entirely. They changed a name of an era from Chinese to unique style of Korean, and changed original Chinese into Korean or Korean-Chinese together. Also, instead of a blank sheet of paper they used printed paper to print the name of each office. Korea was liberated from Japanese Imperialism in 1945 and the government of Republic of Korea was established in 1948. In 1950s Republic of Korea used the records management system of the Government-General of Joseon without any alteration. In the late of 1950’s Republic of Korea constructed the new records management system by adopting records management system and public administration of USA. However, understanding of records management was scarce, so records and archives management was not accomplished. Consequently, many important records like presidential archives were deserted or destroyed. A period that made the biggest difference on National Records Management System was from 1999 when <The Law on Records Management in Public Institution> was enacted. Especially, it was the period of President Roh’s five-year tenure called Participation Government (2003-2008). The first distinctive characteristic of Participation Government’s records management is that it implemented governance actively. Another remarkable feature is a nomination of records management specialists at public institutions. The Participation Government also legislated <The Law on Public Records Management> (completely revised) <The Law on Presidential Records Management>. It led to a beginning of developing records management in Republic of Korea.

Citation status

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