It’s always exciting when something new and exciting is discovered getting dusty in a forgotten corner of a library somewhere. This time it’s an early nineteenth century version of Pak Chi-won’s (朴趾源) Yorha Ilgi (熱河日記), a travelogue of the writer’s journey to Beijing in 1780, when he accompanied his older brother on a diplomatic mission. What makes this different is that it’s written in vernacular Korean. In other words, it’s a very early translation of the original text written in literary Chinese. In fact it’s the only complete translation of the text found to date. According to the Korea Times it was discovered in the library of Tokyo University by a Seoul National University professor. We have a few of these han’gŭl manuscripts at SOAS, mostly very well-thumbed late nineteenth-century novels, but could there be a lost treasure among them?