The Gutenberg Bible
may have heralded in the age of the printed book, but nearly six centuries before this revolution, the Chinese produced printed books, albeit on lengthy scrolls. The oldest surviving such manuscript is the Diamond Sūtra
, a copy of which is held by the British Library.
In December 2010, the BBC spoke to
Frances Wood, Curator of Chinese Collections, about the restoration work that had been done on the book over a seven year period.
This long restoration project - which actually dates to 1987 - has now been completed. Earlier this year, a 16 minute video telling the story of the Diamond Sūtra
was uploaded to YouTube. This video includes not only its history but the story of its restoration and the many problems faced by the Library's dedicated team of scholars and technicians. Now, the completed project is available not only to view on-line but to buy from the British Library