Almost identical in appearance to Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace and Hyangwonjeong Pavilion, the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is a little piece of Korea in the Pacific.
The center has a great volume of Korean studies documents of historic and academic significance, and my work deals primarily with the George M. McCune collection. McCune created the McCune-Reischauer Korean language romanization system with Edwin O. Reischauer. The McCune collection includes classified documents he obtained while working for the OSS, the predecessor of the CIA, and the US Department of State in the 1940s; letters written by Korean independence fighters who were active in the United States and China as well as their interview articles; and many other records. I am tasked with archiving of these materials, and I arrange and confirm McCune’s own printed papers and unpublished materials, including his academic papers and written contributions.
I also assist with the cataloging work at Hamilton Library, which boasts a massive Asian collection. The library receives books and research materials from a range of Korean institutions such as the KF, the National Assembly Library, and the Northeast Asian History Foundation. I examine these materials and register and classify them according to the library’s system.
In addition, I enjoy a busy, rewarding life outside of my work duties, taking part in the various cultural events and educational activities at the Center for Korean Studies, while deepening my understanding of library work and archiving by participating in conferences, seminars, and workshops throughout the period of my internship.