Pictori's objective

Korea-related media are often hidden in libraries and private collection all over the world. Students and academics, as well as the general public often have to browse the web endlessly to find a portrait photo of an important figure, or even an image of a known building. Not only is it sometimes hard to find a particular image, but its use in an academic publication is not always authorised or unnecessarily costly. The Pictori Korean media library intends to add many new resources from collections around the world. Pictori is an initiative of the Australian National University's Korea Institute, but photographs hosted on Pictori remain the property of the users themselves. If you are the owner of images you would be happy to see included, please contact the site's administrator, Roald Maliangkay. Photographs, digital scans of both transparent slides and flat items such as posters, postcards and maps are all very welcome. Although Pictori is unable to guarantee the full protection of Copyright, it will do what it can to fully protect all images marked for full protection, and it will monitor the quality and appropriateness of the images and comments shared. If you believe an image on Pictori uploaded belongs to you, or if you are unhappy about a particular comment, please contact us immediately so we can remove it. We sincerely welcome any feedback you may have.

What kind of images?

Old and recent images are welcome, including rare maps, especially those you believe are important or useful, historically or culturally. A photograph of a book, a tourist site or an empty beach is, of course, only interesting if that book or beach represents something special, so please provide as many details about such pictures as possible. A picture of a book shop in the 1930s, on the other hand, will always be interesting, even if no more information about the picture can be given. When using images from Pictori in publications, please abide by the restrictions specified by the owner. We hope you will upload only images that you hold Copyright over, or have tried — albeit unsuccessfully — to obtain permission to upload for from the Copyright holder. If you notice a picture that you hold Copyright over is not credited as such, you should inform the uploader immediately. Even if you hold Copyright, we ask you not to upload images of people who can be recognized and are shown in a particular setting or pose they may find embarrassing. All uploads will be pending approval by the administrator of the site. Click here for information on the official Australian position on Copyright. NB: in the unlikely event that two very similar photographs of the same item are uploaded, the administrator reserves the right to delete the lesser of them. 

Copyright and using images in publications

Copyright is a grey area, despite its wide international acknowledgement. If you wish to use an image uploaded on Pictori in a publication, please first contact the administrator. There may be a small charge in exchange for a large, clean (without watermark) scan of the image shown on this site: the administrator will contact the owner of the image on your behalf. If the creator is known, please cite his/her name, and if so required, the name of the person to whose collection the image belongs. Pictori cannot be held responsible for legal issues arising over Copyright issues, but it urges users to be meticulous in accrediting the creator or owner of an image in publications. When using images of which the creator is unknown, you may benefit from the expiry of Copyright, depending on where you intend to publish. Copyright is said to have expired in the following cases:

  1. (for publication in Korea) — if the image is published no less than 50 years since the death of the creator (Copyright Act of Korea 저작권법 2006).
  2. (for publication in the US, Canada, Australia, and most European countries) — if the image is published no less than 70 years since the death of the creator. See here for a list of countries' Copyright length. 
  3. (for publication in Australia) — if the photograph was taken before 1 January 1955 (Australian Copyright Act). Click here for information on the official Australian position on Copyright.



In the top right corner of this page (and on the home page), various categories are listed. Images are assigned to several categories. If, however, an image does not fit into any category, it will be assigned to the "Miscellaneous" category since it will allow more people to see it (by clicking on that category). And of course images are also tagged. 


Image protection


Please note that despite Pictori's best efforts, 100% security can never be guaranteed, but images are placed on a secure server (and watermarked). When a Copyright claim is made regarding an image on Pictori, we will remove the image as fast as possible, and we may pursue further action if it is within our power. Pictori is non-profit, and it is run with the best intentions: fostering the study of Korean culture and history. We sincerely hope that the original photographers of some of the old photographs shown here will come forward. Their stories are the inspiration behind Pictori.        


Pictori was designed and developed by Katie Hayne. Taihao Zhang provided crucial support with programming. The Korea Institute is extremely grateful to both of them. The site is administered by Roald Maliangkay, the primary coordinator of the project. It is funded by a generous grant from the Academy of Korean Studies, under the supervision of Prof. Hyaeweol Choi, Director of the Australian National University's Korea Institute