The Korea Text Initiative is a project of the Cambridge Institute for the Study of Korea, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Our mission is to promote and enable the creation, collection, dissemination, and preservation of texts from and about Korea. We are a network of professionals who engage with texts that have a relationship to ever evolving (and often contested) concepts of “Korea.”  Our team includes writers, artists, translators, librarians, curators, book collectors, technologists, business people, and academics.

Korea Text initiative

Korea Text Initiative Established  2014

Mark Byington, Edward Baker, and Wayne de Fremery found the Cambridge Institute for the Study of Korea (CISK), a non-profit research organization located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Wayne begins work as Director of the Korea Text Initiative at CISK.

Korea Text Initiative Receives  $100,000 Grant to Create a Journal and  Website Devoted to Sijo  June 2016

Sijo is a traditional Korean verse form that has roots stretching back to the fourteenth century. The grant will help create a venue where poets working in English can learn about and experiment with the centuries-old form.

Korea Text Initiative Partners with Intact Digital  to Ensure  Korea's Digital Heritage   June 2016


INTACT Digital ensures reliable access to digital content by combining virtualization of computing systems and transformation of data and document formats. Intact Digital and the Korea Text Initiative have collaborated to create a digital continuity plan that will ensure  software and data services developed by the Korea Text Initiative are "future proofed."

Korea Text Initiative Wins $65,000 Grant from Microsoft  September 2016

The Korea Text Initiative is a awarded one of nine highly-competitive grants offered by Microsoft as part of its Cloud for Global Good program. The grant will enable the KTI to share its innovative approaches to engaging  Korean texts by offering the power of cloud computing and new, cutting-edge text mining and text modeling services  to  humanities researchers, artists, and readers around the world.

KTI Partners with the Sunyoung Oh of City University of Hong Kong to Investigating Extinct Korean Graphemes   January  2017

This project utilizes MooN_Cut&Search image-pattern matching techniques and the power of cloud computing to investigate the historical use of Hunmin Chŏngŭm, the alphabetic writing system developed in the fifteenth-century Korea. The aim is to gain insights into the Korean language and an understanding of the sounds associated with the panch’iŭm (ㅿ) and the double hieŭt (ㆅ) , as well as change  in the sounds used in present-day Korean.

KTI Begins Collaboration on Machine Learning Project that Teaches Computers to Read the Tripitaka Koreana  January  2017

MooN_Cut&Search image-pattern matching software, cloud enabled machine learning techniques, and data from the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative at UC Berkeley will be used to train computers to read images of more than 10 million characters on 180,000  woodblock pages of the Tripitaka Koreana, a thirteenth century collection of Buddhist texts.

Korea Text Initiative Partners with the National Assembly Library of Korea  January  2017

The KTI begins a collaboration with the National Assembly Library of Korea that aims to make MooN_Cut&Search and the power of cloud computing available to library patrons  so that the library's unique collection and Korea's rich textual tradition can be mined, mapped, and explored in ways never before been possible.

KTI Sponsors "Texts as Data—Data as Texts" Workshop with the UIC History Research Institute at Yonsei University   January  2017

This informal workshop sponsored by the KTI and the UIC History Research Institute at Yonsei University was an opportunity for participants to consider how texts might be read as data and, conversely, how data might be read as texts. Presenters Wayne de Fremery,  Chad Denton, Hyunju Bae, and Cindy A. Nguyen offered ideas about the relationship between texts and data in the morning session and presented new tools for de/constructing data and con/texts in the afternoon.

KTI  Publishes First Issue of Sijo an international journal of poetry and song   January  2018

Sijo an international journal of poetry and song is devoted to publishing germinative poetry, art, and song that claims to participate in the sijo tradition, which has roots in Korean antiquity. The first issue of the journal was released in a limited edition of 300 copies to coincide with sijo writing workshops and performances at St. Mary's College of California on January 25. For more information about the journal and its wider release in April, visit sijopoet.org.

Institutional Partners

Microsoft Korea

Seoul, South Korea |

Intact Digital

Cambridge, UK

UIC History Research Institute

Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea

Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative

UC Berkley, USA

National Assembly Library of Korea

Seoul, South Korea

Software Previews—Coming Soon!


MooN_Cut&Search is patented technology that enables textual images to be searched, indexed, and mined without the need for OCR (optical character recognition). Thanks to a generous grant from Microsoft, the Korea Text Initiative will soon be able to let researchers preview this new method for investigating texts.

진달내 나보기가 역겨워 가실에는 말업시 고히 보내드리우리다 寧邊에藥山 진달내 아름다 가실길에 리우리다 가시는거름거름 노힌그츨 삽분히즈려밟고 가시옵소서 나보기가 역겨워 가실에는 죽어도아니 눈물흘니우리다

MooN__3D Modeling

Thanks to a generous grant from Microsoft, the Korea Text Initiative will soon be able to let  artist, content creators, and  researchers create meaningful 3D objects from Korean texts (texts in any language actually!) using MooN_3D Modeling. Write a poem, model it in 3D, and print it in silver or gold as pendant for a loved one. Model passages from your favorite novel and transform them into the  landscape for the adventure game you are designing. Make your favorite aphorisms into assets for the augmented or virtual reality environment you are building.

Get Involved!

Wish to support the kind of high-return research undertaken by the Korea Text Initiative? Drop us a line. Contribute by sharing your latest poems and stories, your great textual data, or your inspired code. Request a trial of innovative text mining and 3D modeling software. Propose a collaborative project. Invest in the Korea Text Initiative, its individual projects, or individual scholars. Or just send good wishes. We'd love to hear from you.

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St. Mary's College of California

Moraga, USA

12 Hayward Ave., Lexington, Massachusetts, 02421, email: pwdef@ciskorea.org

Korea Text Initiative

Cambridge Institute for the Study of Korea