The documentary record of the Korean experience in America remains dispersed and difficult to access. The Korean American Digital Archive brings more than 13,000 pages of documents, over 1,900 photographs, and about 180 sound files together in one searchable collection that documents the Korean American community during the period of resistance to Japanese rule in Korea and reveal the organizational and private experience of Koreans in America between 1903 and 1965. The components of the Korean American Digital Archive include:
Documents of the KNA Building
The Korean National Association building dedicated in Los Angeles in 1938, served as the headquarters for several Korean organizations. Among these were the Korean National Association (Kungminhoe) itself, the United Korean Committee in America, the Korean Chamber of Commerce in America, the Korea Relief Society, and the newspaper Sinhan Minbo (New Korea). The documents in this collection are the records that have remained in the KNA building to the present day and document many of the major events of the first 60 years of Koreans in America. See https://archives.usc.edu/repositories/6/resources/1528 for a brief listing of the contents of this collection.
Korean American Archive Photograph Set
This is the primary repository in the KADA database of the visual record of the Korean community. See https://archives.usc.edu/repositories/6/resources/1531 for a brief listing of the contents of this collection.
Korean American Museum Oral History Series
The Korean American Museum, in Los Angeles, conducted a series of oral history interviews with long-time members of the Korean community. The actual sound recordings of these interviews are included in this section of the database and can be downloaded as mp3 files for listening. See https://archives.usc.edu/repositories/6/resources/1532 for a brief listing of the contents of this collection.
Korean American Private Records
Many historically important records remain in private hands. This section of the database contains a variety of small but significant sets of documents. See https://archives.usc.edu/repositories/6/resources/1530 for a brief listing of the contents of this collection.
Korean Heritage Library Subject Files
The Korean Heritage Library has actively sought out documents on a selected number of specific Korean American issues. Some of these are made available in this section of the database. See https://archives.usc.edu/repositories/6/resources/1533 for a brief listing of the contents of this collection.
The Reverend Soon Hyun Collected Works
Soon Hyun was a Methodist minister who served in both Hawaii and in Seoul Korea. He was a key participant in the March First Movement in 1919 and later served as Minister Plenipotentiary from the Korean Provisional Government in Shanghai to the United States of America. The papers in this collection document Reverend Hyun's life and career up until his death in Los Angeles in 1968. See https://archives.usc.edu/repositories/6/resources/1529 for a brief listing of the contents of this collection.
Nak Chung Thun Archive
The digital archive of Nak Chung Thun’s manuscripts consists of four full-length novels, four short stories, and six essays. Some of the essays are present in the archive in multiple versions. While the documents are undated, their time of production likely lies between 1917 and 1937: the document that seems to have been written first, The Tale of Hong Kyŏngnae, mentions Ch’oe Namsŏn’s Hong Kyŏngnae silgi [The True Record of Hong Kyŏngnae; 1917], and throughout, despite some references to a possible future war involving Japan, the author appears to be unaware of the second Sino-Japanese War (1937-45).
Processing of some materials were funded by a grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), California State Library. Project dates: October 1, 1999 - September 30, 2000