關北各邑誌 | 관북각읍지 | Kwanbuk Kakŭpchi
This manuscript documents historical and geographical features of prefectures and towns in Gwanbuk (Northern Hamgyeong Province, nowadays North Korea).
In Korea history, among chronicles of provinces or the entire country, the first to include both geographical records and maps was Maps and Historical Texts of Joseon (輿地圖書), a collection of town chronicles whose compilation first began in 1759 under the order of the central government and which was completed in 1765. It is also the first case in which the record of sub-districts of a province was contained in the beginning of the chronicle.
Gazetteer of Hamgyeong Province includes both geographical texts and maps with the records of sub-districts positioned at the beginning, implying that the publication of this chronicle was directly influenced by Maps and Historical Texts of Joseon. The colors and expressive techniques of the maps are identical to those used in maps made by painters of the central government, and the text demonstrates a high level of calligraphy and regular arrangement with a clear format of a border line frame and column lines.
This manuscript consists of four volumes bounded in stitch thread and uses the Chinese characters Won (元), Hyeong (亨), Yi (利) and Jeong (貞) to denote the volume sequence. Each volume is comprised of geographical records of multiple prefectures and towns, with a variety of information on the region’s history, geography, typography, administrative organization, military stations, local specialties, etc.
The first volume, Won (元), describes the provincial administration and the six towns of 安邊、德源、文川、高原、永興、定平 (안변，덕원，문천，고원，영흥，정평 Anbyeon, Deokwon, Muncheon, Gowon, Yeongheung and Jeongpyeong ).
Note, the name of a specific area is marked as Yiseong (利城) rather than Yiwon (利原), the latter day name of the area that was changed in 1800, indicating that this collection of chronicles was compiled before 1800.
The second volume, Hyeong (亨), describes the six towns of 咸興、甲山、三水 、洪原、北靑、利城（함흥,갑산,삼수,홍원,북청,이성 Hamheung, Gapsan, Samsu, Hongwon, Bukcheong and Iseong ）and the south barracks.
The third volume, Yi (利), describes the four towns of 端城、吉州、明川、鏡城 （단천, 길주, 명천, 경성 Dancheon, Gilju, Myeongcheon and Gyeongseong） and the north barracks.
The fourth volume, Jeong, describes the seven towns of 富寧、茂山、會寧、鍾城、穩城、慶源、慶興（부령，무산，회령，종성，온성，경원，경흥 Buryeong, Musan, Hoeryeong, Jongseong, Onseong, Gyeongwon and Gyeongheung.
Note, “the 40th year of reign title Qianlong (乾隆四十年, i.e. 1775),” is written on the very first page of the chronicle of Jongseong Prefecture (鍾城府 )in the fourth volume, another evidence suggesting that the compilation year of the document is 1775.
All things considered, Gazetteer of Hamgyeong Province has high value as a work of literature that reflects the vigorous compilations of chronicles of towns and the entire country from the late reign of King Yeongjo to the reign of King Jeongjo, along with the strong influence of Maps and Historical Texts of Joseon.
In addition, it has value as a material that illustrates the statistical changes in Hamgyeong Province during the decade after the publication of Maps and Historical Texts of Joseon. Furthermore, it also has value as a high-quality cultural asset featuring works by court painters.