Digital Resources for Korean Studies

7. Encyclopedias and Dictionaries


EncyKorea(Login required)
Online encyclopedia of Korean history, language, and culture. Revised and updated version of Han'guk minjok munhwa taebaekkwa sajon 한국민족문화대백과사전

Korean Database 디지탈 한국학
This encyclopedic online database was originally developed by the Academy of Korean Studies and holds much information about Korean art, culture, folklore, history, literature, philosophy, and religion. Search by keyword and browse by subject. More resources are found in the Academy of Korean Studies website.

CD-ROM Materials
The following materials may be used on CD-ROM on the Korean research workstation in the Harvard-Yenching Library reading room. Please request them at the circulation desk by call number.

Encyclopedia of Korean Culture 디지털 한국민족문화대백과사전
Harvard-Yenching CD-ROM (K)-0018
A comprehensive encyclopedia about Korea compiled by the Academy of Korean Studies. This electronic encyclopedia contains photographs, audiovisual materials, and maps on six CD-Roms. In-library use. An abridged version is available online.

Korea: a cultural bouquet 한국문화의 향기
Harvard-Yenching CD-ROM (K)-0012
An electronic resource that contains audiovisual resources about Korean culture including 380 objects, maps, a list of related websites, and the timeline from the Neolithic age to the Chosŏn dynasty. In-library use.

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Biographical Dictionaries

Tonga inmul chŏngbo 동아인물정보 (Login required)
A comprehensive biographical online database maintained by Tonga ilbo. Similar to who's who for contemporary people in Korea. Coverage of the lives of today's leaders and achievers in Korea from every significant field of endeavor. Provides photo images in addition to biographical data.

Historic Korean Figures 한국 역대인물 종합정보 시스템
A comprehensive database of more than 16,000 historic Korean figures from ancient to modern developed by the Academy of Korean Studies (한국학중앙연구원) and the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion (한국정보문화진흥원). It provides information the origins and history of Korean family names and the detailed lists of those who passed the official exams of the Chosŏn dynasty (국조문과방목. 무과방목, 사마방목, 잡과방목). This database is searchable by keyword, name, and family origin.

Dictionary of Famous Figures in Korean Art 한국문화예술인 인명사전
A searchable database of famous figures in Korean art and history from the Chosŏn dynasty to the present.

Dictionary of North Korea – North Korean Figures 북한대사전 – 북한인명사전
The Institute of North Korea Studies offers Pukhan Daesajŏn 북한대사전 and Pukhan Inmyŏng Sajŏn 북한인명사전. Search by keyword, title, and name and browsing by Korean alphabetical order.

Biographical Dictionary of Korean 한국인 인명사전
This dictionary offers information about both South and North Korean figures and links various biographical databases in different areas such as science and technology, film industry, and prominent figures of North Korea. Several biographical databases offered by Korean news media are also included.

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Other Dictionaries

CKM Internet Resources Subject Guide - Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Biographies
Maintained by the Committee on Korean Materials of the Council on East Asian Libraries. Provides links to a number of online dictionaries, as well as to other reference resources.

CJKV-English Dictionary: A Dictionary-Database of CJK Characters and Compounds Related to East Asian Cultural, Political, and Intellectual History (Harvard ID/PIN required)
Originally part of the Digital Dictionary of Buddhism, the CJKV-English Dictionary provides romanization and definitions in English for characters and compounds in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The focus is on Chinese terminology derived from Confucianism, Daoism, secular literature, poetry, and historical works. Page references are given to entries in classical dictionaries. Unicode-based.

Non-subscribers may access the dictionary at and conduct a limited number of searches by registering as a guest. Scholars of pre-modern East Asia may also obtain unlimited searching privileges by contributing to the dictionary. Information is available on the site.

Digital Dictionary of Buddhism 電子佛教辭典 (Login required)
Edited by Charles Muller at the Toyo Gakuen University 東洋学園大学, the dictionary provides English definitions for Buddhist terms in a range of languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Pali, Sanskrit, and Tibetan, as well as pronunciations. It includes A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms : with Sanskrit and English equivalents and a Sanskrit-Pali index, compiled by William Edward Soothill and Lewis Hodous. Harvard students, faculty, and staff may use the dictionary for unlimited searching via this URL.

Non-subscribers may access the dictionary at and do a limited number of searches by registering as a guest. Scholars of Buddhism may also obtain unlimited searching privileges by contributing to the dictionary. Information is available on the site.

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Page Last Reviewed: September 22, 2015