In 2009 a symposium was held at the AGS Library with experts from Korea and the United States discussing ... Korean maps of the 19th Century: the Korean National Treasure Daedong yeojido (“Territorial Map of the Great East”), at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Legend to the Daedong Yeojido

Korea Day Conference
Friday, November 20, 2009

American Geographical Society Library
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
2311 East Hartford Avenue, Milwaukee

Morning Session: 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (AGS Library)

Opening and Welcoming Remarks

Introduction of the AGS Library and the Daedong yeojido at UWM
Christopher Baruth (Curator, AGS Library, UWM)
Angie Cope (Senior Academic Librarian, AGS Library, UWM)


Kihuk Kim (Pusan National University). “Cartography of the Daedong yeojido and its Origins”

Kibong Lee (National Library of Korea). “Characteristics of Korean Old Maps: An interpretation of mountains and mountain ranges from a perspective of the history of civilization”

Suk-Soo Kim and Halla Kim (University of Nebraska at Omaha). “On the Philosophical Significance of Kim Jeongho’s Daedong yeojido”

Discussant: Woonsup Choi (Geography, UWM)

Lunch: 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (Greene Hall)

Complimentary lunch featuring Korean cuisine and traditional cultural activities

Afternoon Session: 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM (AGS Library)

Special Lecture by Gari Ledyard (King Sejong Professor Emeritus of Korean Studies, Columbia University)

“The Life and Work of Kim Jeongho before the Daedong yeojido of 1861”

Reception following the lecture.


This conference is sponsored by the UWM School of Information Studies (SOIS), UWM Libraries, American Geographical Society Library, Korean American University Professors Association (KAUPA), Map Society of Wisconsin, UWM Center for International Education (CIE) and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago.


The Daedong yeojido held at the AGS Library


The Daedong yeojido was produced by the great Korean geographer Kim Jeong-ho.  The map is at a scale of about 1:162,000 and is a wood block print that includes two inset maps of Seoul, texts and diagrams. The map is on twenty-two folded sheets and when displayed open, measures nearly thirteen feet wide and twenty feet in length. The long sheets were designed to be folded accordion style making this large and otherwise unwieldy map easier to use. The AGSL Daedong yeojido was once owned by George C. Foulk, who served as the U.S. Naval attache to Korea between 1884 and 1887. Other maps and 43 photographs from George C. Foulk are also held at the AGS Library. Read more

From Fall 2009 UWM Libraries newsletter ...

Korean National Treasure Identified in AGS Library

In 1895 the American Geographical Society (AGS) of New York purchased several maps, an atlas, and forty-three photographs of Korea from the father of American diplomat George C. Foulk. For more than one hundred years, the significance of these materials went largely unrecognized.

Detail of Daedong yeojido In December 2008, researchers from the Korean Consulate in Chicago visited the UWM Libraries' AGS Library, accompanied by UWM School of Information Studies faculty member Wooseob Jeong. The researchers quickly recognized that one of the maps from Foulk's collection was the Daedong yeojido, or Territorial map of the Great East-a map designated a National Treasure in Korea.

Inspired by the researchers' enthusiasm over this map, AGS Library staff set out to learn more about the significance of the Foulk materials.

The Daedong yeojido was produced in 1861 by the great Korean geographer Kim Jeong-ho. The map, at a scale of about 1:162,000, is a wood block print that includes two inset maps of Seoul, texts and diagrams. It is a single map on twenty-two folded sheets and when displayed open, measures nearly thirteen feet wide and twenty feet in length.

It is believed Kim walked the length and breadth of Korea several times gathering data for the Daedong yeojido. In the 1860s, Korea was in a state of alarm over a potential Western invasion, and the high level of detail and the extensive publication costs of Kim's map suggest it was made in preparation for war.

Kim was jailed in 1864, some scholars speculate, because a new government thought he had compromised national security through the release of this detailed and accurate map.

Very few complete copies of the Daedong yeojido survive. In the United States, only the AGS Library and the University of California-Berkeley own the 1861 version. The AGS Library map includes a hand drawn index sheet.

George C. Foulk was born in 1856 and graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis in 1876. George C. FoulkHis early career took him on travels to Asia and Siberia, and in 1883 he was appointed to a position as a librarian in Washington, D.C., where he pursued Japanese and Chinese studies.

That same year a Korean mission traveled to the United States. This was the first recorded Korean diplomatic visit to the West and Foulk was the only person in government service qualified to serve as an interpreter. Though Foulk wasn't fluent in Korean, he communicated in Japanese and quickly picked up the Korean language.

Foulk accompanied the mission back to Korea as a U.S. Naval attache and undertook a 900 mile journey of the country by sedan chair in September and October 1884, during which time he kept a detailed journal, took photographs, and may have used the Daedong yeojido.

Photographs from the Foulk collection include images of Korean officials, the residence of the U.S. Legation, scenes from Korean daily life, Puk-Han Mountain Fortress and its Pleasure Palace, Buddhist rock carvings, Korean drum dancers, views of Seoul and King Kojong's palace and grounds.

Foulk left Korea in 1887 and spent his last days in Japan as a professor of mathematics at the missionary-run Doshisha College, now Doshisha University. He died in 1893, at the age of 37, while hiking with his Japanese wife and friends.

In addition to the Foulk materials, the AGS Library holds other materials that offer researchers a rich understanding of 19th century Korea, including Life in Corea (1888) by William Carles, the British Vice Consul in Shanghai; E. Oppert's A Forbidden Land: Voyages to the Corea (1880); and Percival Lowell's Chosen, the Land of the Morning Calm: A Sketch of Korea (1886).

All 43 photographs and two of Foulk's maps (though not the Daedong yeojido) are available for viewing at the UWM Libraries Digital Collections:

Angie Cope

Pleasure Pavilion in the Puk-Han Mountain Fortress
1884. Photo by George Foulk Pleasure Pavilion in the Puk-Han Mountain Fortress.
All images collection of American Geographical Society Library.