Did you know the Diamond Sutra, the world's earliest dated printed book, is in the British Library? Discover this and other landmarks of printing in the Library's collections.
In 1900, at the ‘Cave of the Thousand Buddhas’ in Dunhuang, China, the world’s oldest surviving, dated, printed document was discovered: The Diamond Sutra, a scroll, block-printed on 11 May 868 (by the Western calendar). The invention of printing, which only reached the West several hundred years later, changed the way we engage with text, language and knowledge forever. The printed collections at the British Library include some of these early, transformative texts including some of our most well-known collection items: the Gutenberg Bible, Tyndale’s New Testament and Shakespeare’s First Folio.
The Diamond SutraView images from this item (1)
Spring and Autumn AnnalsView images from this item (1)
Gutenberg BibleView images from this item (1)
William Caxton and Canterbury TalesView images from this item (1)
William Tyndale's New TestamentView images from this item (1)
Hortus EystettensisView images from this item (1)
Vesalius's AnatomyView images from this item (1)
Shakespeare's First FolioView images from this item (1)
A Curious Herbal - dandelionView images from this item (1)
The Kelmscott ChaucerView images from this item (1)
The Birds of AmericaView images from this item (3)
The text in this article is available under the Creative Commons License.