This article reviews the modern history of presidential records management in the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Each of the different phases of archival development in presidential records management was triggered by democratic developments in the country's political system, which illustrates the close relationship between political structure and public archives in modern Korea. To examine this relationship, this study investigates the history of presidential records in Korea during three eras: the era of the absence of public records under authoritarian regimes (1948-1993), the era of the establishment of the basic principle for managing presidential records under two civilian administrations (1993-2003), and the era of new prospects for public archives under a new government (2003-present). This historical approach emphasizes that democratic entities are necessary to set up and manage an archival system for presidential records and to ensure public access to these records.

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