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Korean Studies

Gateway to Korean Studies Resources

About the Photo Postcard Image Collection of Colonial Korea

Currently available in the LUNA program of the Visual Resources Center.

The Photo Postcard Image Collection of Colonial Korea includes over 7000 postcard images of Korea and was created during the first half of the 20th century. Postcards were very popular among Korean people from 1900-1950, a time when Korea had just begun to accept modern technology. The Collection is valuable for its visual images of the cultural, industrial and technological side of Korea during the first half of the twentieth century. The postcards were also used as a political tool during Japan’s rule over Korea at that time.


Minsokwon, the Korean publisher for the postcards, concentrated solely on publishing works related to Korean folk culture, and they set to work locating these postcards in Korea and Japan in order to publish an 8 volume monograph set called사진 엽서 로 보는 근대 풍경 (Sajin yŏpsŏ ro ponŭn kŭndae p'unggyŏng / The appearance of modern Korea from postcards,  UChicago call number DS902.4.S365 2009). While publishing this work, Minsokwon collected a great number of digitized postcard photographs after visiting many areas, including the Pusan Museum in Korea and the Saga Museum in Japan.