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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

A North Korean Archive in “American Imperialist” Hands: The History, Significance, and Opportunity of Record Group 242

This paper discusses the unique phenomenon and significance of captured North Korean documents, known as Record Group 242. These North Korean archival documents, housed in the National Archives in Washington D.C., were retrieved by American forces during the time period of 1946-50 when a significant portion of the Korean peninsula was controlled by U.S./South Korean forces and North Korean forces were retreating. There are over 1.6 million pages of material within this archive and North Korean-focused scholars have only just begun to unearth and analyze these documents. In addition to archival material concerning political matters, the archive also contains information concerning an often neglected topic of North Korea, its’ cultural history and the daily life of the people. In addition to analyzing and exploring these details of the archive, this paper will discuss the shortcomings and possibilities of the material. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of this paper is to understand the importance of an archive as more than just a historical material-containing specimen. An archive has a history, much like any other item. In analyzing and understanding an archive’s unique history, the historian can use that information as a further aid in his/her research within that archive

Presenter: Benjamin Young (SUNY Brockport) --
Topic: History - Panel
Location: 217 Hartwell
Time: 9:40 am (Session I)