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Seoul National University was established in August 1946, consisting of a graduate school and nine colleges. The era of Gwanak Campus laterbegan in 1975. Currently, Seoul National University has become a world-class comprehensive research university and it is fostering human resources who will lead the international community in the core areas of academia, technology and culture and it is exhibiting world-class education and research.
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Kyujanggak, which was also called Naegak, was established within the royal palace in 1776 when King Jeongjo was enthroned during the Joseon Dynasty. It used to store poems written by previous Kings of Joseon,paintings and calligraphic work, mottos, Confucian teachings, retainers’ reports to Kings, and precious books. The reasons why King Jeongjo built Kyujanggak were not simply to store previous Kings’ records and writings, but also to suppress conspiracy and tyranny by traitors and eunuchs which threatened the royal authority at that time and to collect, preserve and publish books on a national level based on the king’s conviction that various problems related to politics, economy and society could be resolved through studies. A comprehensive organization of books in Kyujanggak began during the 1960s, and a building dedicated to Kyujanggak was built in June 1990 which became independent of the National Library of Korea. In 2006, the Seoul National University Kyujanggak and the Korea Culture Research Institute were integrated into a research center called the “Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies” to effectively operate research, publication and educational projects more comprehensively, as well as to preserve and manage the existing Kyujanggak materials.
The Seoul National University Museum began in 1941 with artifacts and folk materials donated by Park Yeong-cheol who was an avid collector from Jinju, and it now has four exhibition halls and an auditorium equipped with 200 seats. It has grown into Korea’s best museum that has a collection of some 7,200 artifacts, including modern photos and Buddhist artworks. It is one of the best university museums in Korea in terms of the quality and amount of its collection, and it also features excellent artifacts which are not available even in the national museum, such as Balhae relics, paintings and calligraphic work, and folk artifacts. It is regularly holds various special exhibitions and seminars for the general public, therebyproviding a great social contribution to the local community.
The Museum of Art Seoul National University was designed by world-renowned architectRem Koolhaas, and it is situated right next to the main gate of the university. Since its construction in 2005, it has been promoting communication between the university and the local community. The interior has a total floor area of 4,486㎡. As it does not have doors between spaces, the exhibition space, educational space, material rooms and rest areas are all organically interconnected so it possesses the characteristics of an open cultural space which is quite rare in Korea. The museum has a collection of 250 artworks and it regularly holds various exhibitions.