UNESCO has included a series of Joseon Dynasty books on traditional Korean medicine on its world heritage list.
The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization decided to include the “Donguibogam” on its Memory of the World Register during the ninth meeting of the agency’s International Advisory Committee in Barbados early on Friday, Korean time.
UNESCO noted that the medical book had greatly contributed to the development of oriental medicine and significantly enhanced national health and welfare.
The Donguibogam was compiled by Heo Jun, a Joseon Dynasty royal doctor, in 1613. The encyclopedia documents the evolution of medicine in East Asia and elsewhere. The Korean government designated the 25-volume collection as a national treasure in 1991.
UNESCO's Memory of the World Register is a list of library and archive collections of global significance. It was established in 1992 to preserve valuable archive holdings that are of universal value.
With the recent registration, South Korea will have a total of seven items on the UNESCO list, including the "Hunminjeongeum," a manuscript promulgating the Korean writing system. The registration also comes shortly after a group of royal tombs of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List last month.