National Gugak Center

Collections and projects

Gugak Museum

National Gugak Center is the headquarters of traditional Korean performing arts. Music is an essential part of Korean history, which stretches back over five millennia. The spirit of Korean music, the artistic expression of pleasure and excitement, is very much alive in the numerous performances given at National Gugak Center.

Gugak Museum

Established in 1995, Gugak Museum has over 6,000 antiquities related to the Korean traditional music. The museum has a permanent exhibition room, Library, Archive and North Korean Music Center. Gugak Museum aims for a place where the audience may listen to and experience Korean Traditional Music Through various special exhibitions and experience items.

Gonggan E-um
The Past, Present, and New Future of Korean Traditional Music

Gonggan E-um is the National Gugak Center’s integrated resource center where visitors can access various types of data from the Gugak Museum, the Gugak Archives, the Gugak Library, and the North Korean Music Center.

The name E-um (connection) reflects the intention to be a means for remembering the past and creating the future by “connection” tradition and modernity, Korean music and people, South and North Korea, as well as Korea and the globe.

Gonggan E-um manages approximately 5 hundred thousand item held by the Gugak Museum, the Gugak Archives, the Gugak Library, and the North Korean Music Center, and provides public access to them.

1. Integrated Search Area

Materials from the National Gugak Center may be comprehensively searched and studied via the tabletop PCs in Gonggan E-um. Audio and video materials may also be used here. If applications procedures are required, copies of those materials may be used according to browsing procedures.

2. Digital E-um: Exhibit Area for Selected Materials

Around 15 thousand pieces of content selected and secured by the Center may be enjoyed through the “Digital E-um” system. A great number of materials, previously not available externally because of copyright issues, are now accessible, classified by type, period, and theme. Also, archive collections studied and analyzed by experts are organized and displayed in the "Collection" menu.

3. The North Korean Music Center

The North Korean Music Center provides about 5,000 pieces of book and non-book material about North Korean music. Special materials are available with additional application requirements.

4. Exhibition Area

Every year, the National Gugak Center has acquired an average of about 77 thousand item. More and more valuable materials related to Korean traditional music have been donated to the Center. Those meaningful relics of Korean traditional music will be regularly exhibited to the public. Please enjoy the stories related to the donations displayed here in Gonggan E-um.

5. Database Search Area

Materials from the institutions associated with the Center are available for browsing here. Search for information from associated domestic and international institutions, including the National Assembly Library, the National Library of Korea, and K-PAAN (Performing Art Archives Network), SIBMAS (International Association of Libraries, Museums, Archives, Documentation Centres of the Performing Arts), and MIMO (Musical Instrument Museums Online).

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  • Dance


  • Archives
  • Audiovisual media
  • Costumes
  • Exhibitions
  • Research