Korean costume has been studied as an independent discipline since the 1960s. The costume and fabrics departments, fashion design departments, costume departments, costume and living departments, and home economics department of universities all across South Korea have been producing numerous doctors, masters, and bachelors while accumulating countless academic achievements. All departments related with costume offer courses on the history of Korean costume and the composition of Korean traditional costume (Hanbok, 한복), not to mention numerous related public classes.
The Korean Costume Dictionary (한국복식사전, KRF-2005-031-G00004), published as a result of the dictionary publishing project in 2005, is a collection of some 1,500 terms selected from 20 areas: headwear, hairstyle, dyeing, men’s uniform, women’s ceremonial costume, men’s outer wear, military uniform, casual wear, children’s wear, funeral costume, formal ritual wear, inner wear, shoes, fabrics, patterns, sewing, embroidery, knots, and colors. The meaning of the selected words were defined in reference to the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, a collection of literature works and vocabulary books, and each content was reorganized by specifying their definition, types and forms, history, and related terms in detail, as well as various theories that are recently proposed. This distinguished the Korean Costume Dictionary from any other costume dictionary that preceded it. The dictionary made reference to diagrams or artifacts recorded in the relevant literature and added photographs of costume artifacts, illustrated diagrams thereof, and other illustrations, such as paintings and sculptures from known sources.
It also provided romanization of each term (Korean pronunciations and meanings) as well as simple definitions thereof in English to help foreigners understand the costume terminology in Korea. The romanization of each term was based on the rules announced by the National Institute of the Korean Language for standardization.
Each term was diachronically analyzed in terms of the flow of time, classified into each area, and organized in the Korean alphabetical order. In addition, the Index section was included to help the general public, who are not familiar with costume terminologies, search for specific terms, which contained indexes in each specific area: headwear, hairstyle, dyeing, men’s uniform, women’s ceremonial costume, men’s outer wear, military uniform, casual wear, children’s wear, funeral costume, formal ritual wear, shoes, fabrics, patterns, dyeing, color, ornament, sewing, and women’s craft.
With funding provided by the National Research Foundation of Korea (formerly Academic Promotion Foundation), we collected and organized a total of 10,197 materials, including books, documents, photographs/films, video/audios, specimen and paintings/drawings.
To ensure efficient archiving, maintenance, and utilization of the outcome of the previous research, the researchers constructed a database and a search system for construction of the Korea Costume Dictionary database for six months from December 2011 to June 2012 with sponsorship from the National Research Foundation of Korea. The database and the search system employed intuitive navigation and Web search engine to provide information on numerous terms as fast as possible.
Project Title: Dictionary Publication
Research Title : Korean Costume Dictionary [KRM Task Information]
Chief of Research : Kang, Sun-Je
Research Institution : Korean Society of Costume
Research Period : 2 years (September 1, 2005 – August 31, 2007)
Project Title : Tracking and DB Construction for Foundational Researches [Link to the Search Site for Researchers ]
Research Title : A Study on the Construction of Korean Clothing Dictionary Database [KRM Task Information]
Chief of Research : Cho, Wu-Hyeon
Research Institution : Sungkyunkwan University
Research Period : 6 months (December 30 2011 – June 29, 2012)