Accepted Paper:

Ichpedia in the Republic of Korea: intangible cultural heritage inventorying made "wiki"  


Jessica Rossi (Independent researcher)

Paper short abstract:

ICHpedia is an online based encyclopedia, which relies on users' interaction and a bottom-up approach for the inventorying of Korean intangible cultural heritage, thus fostering active participation in the creation of an open-access online archive and enlarging the community of practice.

Paper long abstract:

The inventorying of traditional cultural expressions should be carried out hand-in-hand with local communities, which are the original repositories of traditional knowledge, as clearly stated in Article 11 of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Republic of Korea has, since its ratification, fostered the preservation and awareness raising on the importance of traditional culture. In order to accomplish this task, it has developed not only a 'bricks and mortar' organisational system, but it has also digitised its national ICH archives. Since 2010, an online-based project named ICHpedia has collected more than 60,000 miscellaneous documents on Korean ICH from web-users. Thanks to this wiki project and to ICTs, information regarding traditional culture can be easily spread through the network allowing everybody to check all the collected materials by using a simple search bar. Users can also contribute to the enrichment of the encyclopedia entries by adding new contents and transforming their experience from an inactive to a participative one.

The project has demonstrated to be a successful way of collecting precious folk materials through a bottom-up approach, moreover, it has stimulated the emergence of a collective intelligence in the cyberspace through the collaboration of local-based communities of practice and individuals around the world. On the other hand, it has also risen some doubts on the issues related with IPRs and the need of a new definition for communities of practice, which should take account of the possibilities unfastened by new technologies.

Panel Arch01
Participatory archives in a transforming world [SIEF Working Group on Archives] [P+R]