The 13th volume of the historical verbal accounts of Seoul – the “Reconstruction, Government of Seoul, and the People on the Ground” - has been published, depicting the activities of the public servants on the heels of the launch of the Seoul Metropolitan Government during the colonial rule under Japan, there is a popular consensus among historians that it is after the liberation of Korea in 1945 when the Seoul government was launched. In 1946, the name of “Gyeongseong” was changed into “Seoul City.”
The publication shares the verbal accounts of the public servants of Seoul, who underwent the turbulence of the Liberation on August 15 and the aftermath of the Korean War. Since 2009, the Seoul Historiography Institute has been running a project to record historical oral statements in a bid to tell a story on Seoul’s history to its citizens.
The book contains a vivid description of the early years of Seoul City that the eight storytellers experienced first-hand. They were working-level functionaries far from high-ranking officials or politicians, with seven of them now deceased. The publication offers a glimpse into the background of the elections in the 50s and 60s as well as the restoration project of Sungnyemun Gate, which had been destroyed during the war.
The publication is available at major public libraries in Seoul and can be purchased at Seoul Bookstore in B1 at Seoul City Hall. The book will also become available for a view on the website of Seoul Historiography Institute (https://history.seoul.go.kr) in the form of e-books. “This will serve as an opportunity for us to understand how the sacrifice and the devotion of those public workers paved the way for Seoul to take its first step during its infancy,” said Lee Sang-bae, the president of Seoul Historiography Institute.