Comma

An archival interpretation of the Veritable Records

Comma (2008), 2008, (2), 183–189.

Abstract

The Veritable Records (VR) 1392 to 1910 are one of the most heavily used sources for the study of Korean history. They were a series of documents compiled from 14 other records series including, for example, movements of the king, the results of officer exams, appointments of officers, criminal cases, diplomatic documents and documents on disasters. Long considered to represent a tradition of good archival management in Korea they have not, however, been studied from the specific perspective of archival science. An examination of the way the records were created, managed and preserved, often in ceremonial fashion, demonstrates the importance accorded to them. In addition they were regarded by contemporary administrators as having characteristics of authentic and reliability, although their ‘reliability’ is sometimes disputed by historians on the grounds that they were a compilation of records and are not, therefore, a 'primary source'. However this demarcation is not a critical once in this instance.

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Author details

Hang-Nyeong, Oh