26 January 2010

Article: traditional Korean books and bookbinding (2009)

Title: The history and characteristics of traditional Korean books and bookbinding
Minah Song
Journal: Journal of the Institute of Conservation
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2009
Volume: 32
Issue: 1
Pages: 53-78
DOI: 10.1080/19455220802630743
Download: http://www.informaworld.com/... (pdf, 1 Mb)

This research project presents the history and characteristics of traditional Korean books and bookbinding. The article also discusses some aspects of Chinese books and bookbinding that bear a particularly important relation to Korean books and form the origins and development of bookbinding in East Asia. The style of Korean bookbinding had developed under the influence of China, but its uniqueness can be recognised in paper, printing techniques, bookbinding materials and decoration. The Korean scroll constituted the majority of book formats until the twelfth century. Concertina binding had been used extensively for Buddhist texts since the middle of the Goryeo period. Side-stitched binding became the predominant binding style in Korea from the thirteenth century, long before it became popular in China. Paper mulberry was the dominant material for book paper. From the fourteenth century, the most distinctive feature of Korean publishing was the use of movable metal type, coexisting with the earlier woodblock printing. Yellow dyed, embossed, decorative covers and red thread add to the visual characteristics of Korean books.

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