May 26, 2022

The University of Chicago Library’s New North Korea Stamp Collection of 2,000-Plus Items Spans Culture, Politics and Art

From the U. of Chicago Library:

A group of masked dancers, frozen in dramatic poses. A plane descending at an airport, with another trailing in the distance. And a pair of … carnivorous dinosaurs?

These disparate images all can be found within the University of Chicago Library’s new collection of North Korean stamps, assembled in a public online database to provide a unique glimpse of the insular country. The stamps, which span from 1962 to 2018, capture a variety of scenes, settings and characters—ranging from explicit propaganda to traditional Korean garb to simple depictions of wildlife.

“I was very surprised,” said Jee-Young Park, the Korean Studies librarian at UChicago who built the collection. “It’s not only political matters. It’s a variety of subjects, like nature, culture, history, art and music.”

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Access the U. of Chicago Library North Korea Stamp Collection 

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.