I just heard from one of our fellow contributors here at Frog in a Well that the National Library of Korea now offers limited support for a variety of browsers! Up until now anyone trying to use any browser except Internet Explorer in the Windows operating system would not get far beyond the search component of the national library – a source of endless frustration for many of us who do not use Windows.
However, one can now view at least some (I have not confirmed this for all digital resources) of the scanned texts at the library using the “new viewer” (신규뷰어).
Visit, for example, the fantastic collection of rare pre- and postwar (despite what the header says) newspapers found here. I am able to view these without problem on both Firefox and Safari browsers.
Using the old search interface from the home page, default links to the original images or 원문 of old books that have been scanned by the library will also open in these browsers with the multi-browser new viewer if there is an brown icon of a book with no “won” image in it.
Many resources, including many pre-1945 Japanese language materials, however, seem to be blocked outside of the National library and certain partner libraries (( I get the message blaming copyright restrictions: 접속하신 PC(IP:140. … )에서는 본 자료를 이용하실 수 없습니다. 본 자료는 저작권 관계로 국립중앙도서관 및 협약을 체결한 도서관 내의 지정된 PC에서만 이용하실 수 있습니다. Anyone else get access outside of Korea or in Korea but not at the National Library? I don’t know what libraries are included among the 협약을 체결한 도서관 outside of Korea, but here is a list of libraries within Korea where one can apparently get access. )) depending on the way one searches for that information.
I am very pleased to see this support and only hope they will also include support for printing (still IE only) and make sure that all their online resources will function. I also hope they will expand access to may items which clearly cannot be said to be protected by copyright from the colonial period, especially from the 1920s and earlier.