Writer : Kwang Seop Shin
Year : 2009

The study of intangible heritage brings people together and forms the basis for communication, understanding, successful cultural exchange, the development of amicable relationships, the exchange of information and cooperation and collaboration among heterogeneous professional, academic and community groups. The recognition of the value of intangible heritage also contributes to an understanding of the importance of national cultures as a whole. As the subject becomes more widely recognised, we find that museums have a new understanding of the importance of intangible heritage and of investigating data related to the field. In addition, many museum curators are now actively seeking to create exhibitions and educational programmes that deal with aspects of intangible heritage. This clearly shows that conferences, research and the collection and preservation of data about intangible heritage are important tools in the study of ethnography, national culture and morality.

As the result of efforts made by many international museums and experts, the International Journal of Intangible Heritage, which is the first journal ever to be entirely devoted to intangible heritage, was published in 2006. Volumes 2 and 3 were published in 2007 and 2008 respectively, and volume 4 is published this year. There is also an official website and the Journal is available on-line, so that it is readily accessible and free to everyone. The goal of this project, undertaken by the National Folk Museum of Korea, is to encourage active discussion about, and research into, the area of intangible heritage, and to make our Journal an important resource for the many scholars in this field. Furthermore, we very much hope that the International Journal of Intangible Heritage will, in future, cover an even wider range of topics related to the study of intangible heritage. Today, the study of intangible heritage is a major area of development within the museum field. In addition, because most nations are now concerned with the investigation, research, preservation, transmission, performance, marketing, information and exchange of information about their own intangible heritage, the subject has become an important topic of discussion world-wide. I consider that the International Journal of Intangible Heritage, published by ICOM and the National Folk Museum of Korea, is currently at the heart of this debate.

Finally, I wish to express our most grateful thanks to our dear friend, Professor Patrick Boylan, who was the previous Editor-in-Chief, and to our present Editor-in-Chief, Professor Amareswar Galla, who has shown great passion for this subject through his brilliant academic achievements. I congratulate the staff on the publication Volume 4 of the International Journal of Intangible Heritage, and would like to express my appreciation of all those who have participated in this project, including the members of the Editorial Advisory Committee, the members of the Editorial Board and the members of the Journal Secretariat.