This volume completes the two-volume Sourcebook of Korean Civilization, the first volume of which appeared in 1993. The books complement the Sources series on Japanese, Chinese, and Indian traditions from the same publisher. The latter books have been in wide use by scholars and students for four decades; it is remarkable that it has taken so long for a similar work on Korea to be published. Its appearance, however, is an indication of the steady growth of interest in Korea that is reflected in the larger number of course offerings at an ever-growing number of colleges and universities in the English-speaking world. Another impetus for the production of the Korean sourcebook was the appearance in the 1980s in Korea of a five-volume collection of Korean historical documents (in Korean, which in many cases meant in translation from classical Chinese). The Columbia volumes on Korea are not simply a duplication or condensation of the Korean series, but as the editor points out in the first volume, they do owe a debt to that earlier compilation of source readings.
Sourcebook of Korean Civilization, Volume 2: From the Seventeenth Century to the Modern Period