Stamps provide rare picture of North Korea
February 5, 2020
Last year, Jee-Young Park, Korean Studies Librarian at the University of Chicago, acquired 2,000 North Korean postage stamps spanning 1962–2018. The stamps—many of which arrived in thematic stamp albums—depict a surprising variety of topics and images, including political propaganda and North Korean architecture as well as animals, art and culture, and more.
The VRC was happy to collaborate with Jee-Young Park to create a publicly accessible digital collection for the stamps. VRC student employees digitized the stamps, and staff offered collection management services. Park's team created robust cataloging metadata in Korean, Korean Romanization, and English translations for each of the stamps. You can explore the collection here: https://luna.lib.uchicago.edu/north-korean-stamp-collection
Korean Studies Librarian Jee-Young Park and Eilin Perez, a PhD student in the History Department, recently discussed the collection on the local PBS channel: https://news.wttw.com/2020/02/03/uchicago-stamp-collection-sheds-light-everyday-life-north-korea