Manuscript Atlas of Korea, China, and Japan

CC History Professor Bryant T. “Tip” Ragan donated this amazing book to Special Collections in December of 2017:


The title is something like Manuscript Atlas of Korea, China, and Japan or Tae Choson Chido (Great Korean Map). It has wood covers, thirteen hand-drawn, hand-colored maps each covering two pages, and twelve additional pages of manuscript text, all on thick rice paper. It was probably made ca. 1800.

Tip writes: When I was little, my family lived in Seoul.  My father purchased this atlas at that time, in about 1970. He was intrigued because of the myths incorporated into the manuscript, as well as the beauty of the book. I wanted to give the book to an institution in which it would be used, rather than have it sit at home and gather dust. At first, I thought that it would make most sense to give it to a major research library. But I realized that I wanted, instead, to give it to CC, the institution that is dearest to my heart. I knew that it would be cared for by our great team in Special Collections, and I also liked the idea that generations of our students, especially those in Korean history and history of the book courses, would be able to study it.

Similar atlases are at the Library of Congress (see lower left) and for sale at the Paulus Swaen Auction and Gallery and Arader Galleries.

We look forward to finding out more about this book in the weeks to come. Thank you, Tip, for the gift!!

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