Search/Browse Help - Searching in Korean
About Searching in Korean
Records in the LC Catalog use the Unicode standard for MARC 21 for search and display. This ISO standard is based on Unicode opens in a new window (UTF-8 encoding). Korean records in the LC Catalog may contain a mix of CJK (Chinese-Japanese-Korean) characters and transliterated data or transliterated data only. Library of Congress transliteration follows the ALA-LC Romanization Tables.
There are two ways to search for records in Korean:
- Using romanized terms (which may be faster and more efficient)
- Using Korean characters. You may want to search first with Korean characters if you are unsure of the proper romanization of a name or title.
Search results displayed in Titles Lists contain only Latin characters in the brief entries for each item. Titles Lists are ordered by relevancy or sorted by transliterated author/creator and title metadata. If records contain both transliterated data and Korean characters, both will be displayed in the full record.
Tips for Searching in Korean
- Korean characters can be searched in names, titles, series, notes, and many subjects. All topical subject headings, however, use English-language terms.
- Wildcards may be especially helpful if you are unsure of the correct MARC 21 Unicode values. Use a percent sign (%) as a single character wildcard and a question mark (?) for truncation or to substitute for multiple characters.
- Most marks of punctuation in your search query are converted to spaces. Some punctuation and diacritic marks are removed: apostrophes, alifs, ayns, middle dots, primes and double primes. A few special characters, however, are retained in searches: ampersands (&), plus signs (+), at signs (@), number signs (#), and musical flat (♭) and natural (♮) signs (musical sharps are converted to spaces). Special characters are generally converted to their nearest alphabetic equivalent (for example: an æ diagraph to ae or a þ thorn to th).
- Korean characters in LC Catalog records must use the ideographs found in the Unicode standard for MARC 21. If your search returns fewer results than you expect, please consult the CJK Compatibility Database to help you identify the appropriate MARC 21 Unicode equivalents for non-MARC 21 CJK Unicode characters. If no MARC 21 equivalent exists for the character you need, use a single or multiple-character wildcard or the "missing character" symbol (〓) in your query.
- In Headings Browse Lists, non-Latin headings with Korean characters are arranged in South Korean dictionary order.
Searching Korean in Transliteration
The Library of Congress follows the McCune-Reischauer system to romanize Korean. Pay special attention to rules for word division and spacing. For more details about Korean romanization, see the Korean ALA Romanization Tables at: https://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/romanization/korean.pdf.
Searching Korean Characters
- To enter Korean characters, set your input method editor (IME) to Korean (Hangul).
- When you are unsure of exact names or titles, search unique words in Korean characters.
- When multiple characters are searched, spacing will affect your results. Detailed information is available in the Korean ALA Romanization Tables. For example:
- 한국 기업 (with a space between the second and third characters) retrieves records for both books and periodicals
- 한국기업 (without a space) retrieves no records
CJK Compatibility Database
When searching for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ideographs, you must use characters found in the MARC 21 Unicode standard. Searching non-MARC 21 Unicode characters in the LC Catalog will not return results.
To help you quickly determine MARC 21 equivalents for non-MARC CJK characters, the Library maintains a CJK Compatibility Database of more than 450 non-MARC 21 CJK characters matched with their MARC 21 equivalents. You can search this database by character or browse all entries.