Last weekend I had a chance to visit Chuncheon’s Museum of Books and Printing, located on the west side of the city, not too far from the Gimyujeong station. This futuristic building is located near the famous Kim Yujeong village, which I have introduced to you back in October. Even though the museum and the village are not directly related, you could still witness some of the most iconic works of this author in the museum as well.
Museum of Books and Printing is a four-story building, which includes a big museum space, cultural experience hall, a small cafe and a souvenir shop on the first floor. On the first floor, there is an exhibition hall, where you can see a detailed display of the typecasting equipment, traditional book presses as well as other book printing equipment used throughout the years. The museum owner was kind enough to demonstrate how the traditional book pages preparation looks like and explained about the importance of the pressure needed while putting a book together.
As we went up to the second floor, we traveled in time and could learn more about the evolution of book printing & making techniques as well as the changing trends and styles of the books throughout different historical eras in Korea. There are quite a few typewriters, starting up from the old traditional styles, ending with the personal computers. There are even one of the first Apple desktop computers displayed in the exhibition, to show how far book printing has come.
In addition to that, this museum indirectly touches upon Korean history as well, since it shows how the reform of the Korean script has influenced bookmaking and the spread of literacy in the country as well. There is also a symbolical corner dedicated to a Korean traditional classroom, showing how school supplies, uniforms, and even school lunches looked back in a day and it definitely makes you appreciate your current situation more.
There is also an experience place, where we could print out a personalized Korean poem with our own names on it. We had to find single character prints and add them to the metal printing board in order to make a single page printed out. This old way of printing reminds of stamping and takes quite a lot of time, but at the same time, it is also more personal than the modern ways. It makes it feel more special and appreciated. I was happy to learn this process myself and totally loved the experience.
There is also a cafe & a museum shop on the first floor, where you can buy various souvenirs related to book-making and printing, but I was very fascinated by my vintage notebooks, that looked like something you would nowadays see in movies, so I grabbed a few and headed home.
I would totally recommend this museum to those who like books, reading and/or history and this place, despite it being comparatively small in size, can teach you quite a lot. And it is never too late to learn something new.
Place: Museum of Books and printing (책과인쇄박물관)
Adress: 강원 춘천시 신동면 풍류1길 156
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday 9:30 – 17:00 (Closed on Mondays)
Admission fee: 6,000 Korean Won