North Korea Collection

About the Collection

The North Korea collection

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) has over 3,000 items published in North Korea from the 1940s. North Korea collection consists of books and journals published in North Korea and covers a variety of subjects such as literature, politics, history, science, economics, art, etc. These items are considered essential materials to understand North Korea, a closed country from which only limited information is available. UH Manoa holds one of the largest collections of North Korean publications in North America.

We started the North Korean Special Collection Project in 2019 to increase awareness and to place selected materials in secure, accessible locations for research purposes. We gathered the North Korean books and placed them in the closed shelves of Hamilton Library. In order to build a digital collection, we scanned the title page and table of contents, and created metadata including the creator, date, publisher, subject, and annotation of each item. 

Brief information about North Korea collection

  • Collection size : about 3,000 titles
  • Collection subjects: Language, Literature, Politics and government, History, Economics, Arts, Music, Medicine, Law, Science/Technology, Agriculture, Education, Philosophy, General, Children’s literature, Kim Il-sŏng, Kim Chŏng-il, biography, Foreign relations, Kim Chŏng-suk, Archaeology, Geography, Korean War, 1950-1953, Korean reunification question (1945- ), Korean resistance movements, 1905-1945
  • Format: Book, Journal
  • Date: 1940s-
  • Type: pdf scan file of title and table of contents pages of each material
  • Metadata: Title, Creator, Publisher, Date, Format, Subject, Language, Description, Reference Number


North Korean collection is currently stored in the Closed Shelves at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Library. This collection consists of scanned pdf files of each book and journal and it only contains title page and table of contents pages. To fully access to materials, please make an appointment with Korean studies librarian. 

Digitization Procedures

Scanner hardware: EPSON DS-50000
Scanner software: EPSON Scan 2

Images were scanned at 300 dpi, PDF file. 

Project leader: Ellie Kim, Korean Studies Librarian

Project participants: Minyoung Chung, Hyun Ji, Taehee Cho, Brianna Nakano, Sojeong Ryoo, Kayla Lim-Tam