London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Free books on the internet

Public domain books

I recently joined the Korea Studies mailing list at Amid the emails on upcoming academic conferences and professorial vacancies there’s frequently an interesting nugget or two for an amateur like me. Recently there have been some communications about classic out-of-copyright books being available for free over the internet. In fact one academic, Thomas Duvernay, has a team of students copy-typing texts (though someone recently pointed out that scanners and OCR programmes might achieve a quicker result, if the books are up to being scanned). I’ll add to this post as I find out more, but at the moment here are the free books that I’m aware of:

Corea or Cho-sen, The Land of the Morning Calm, by A (Arnold) Henry Savage-Landor (1895)

Our Little Korean Cousin, by H. Lee M. Pike (1905)

Isabella Bird wrote a classic book, Korea and her neighbours (1905). A version of volume 2 is available here, and the students will shortly be copy-typing volume one. Images will be scanned and added later. Her book Unbeaten Tracks in Japan may also be of interest.

Finally, American Cruiser in the East, by John D Ford of the US Navy (published 1905) is available here:

The sites where these books are posted are worth a browse:

The Gutenberg Project (18,000 free out-of-copyright books)
Korean Archery (guess what that’s about)
Shinmiyango (devoted to the 1871 US-Korea conflict)

Thanks to Thomas Duvernay and Brother Anthony for this information.

And don’t forget, from the more recent past, Andrew Holloway’s entertaining Year in Pyongyang, available at Aidan Foster-Carter’s website, which I comment on here.


Konrad Mitchell Lawson at the Froginawell Korean History project has spotted another book at the Gutenberg project:

Korea’s Fight for Freedom by FA McKenzie (1920)

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