Printed Books

CASE 1:  Women and Arts in the 13th Century

Printing was invented in China during the Tang Dynasty (618–906 AD) and later spread to Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere. The earliest books were printed from carved, wooden blocks. Movable type was invented later during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 AD). By the eleventh century, printing had become very popular. People could buy collections of poetry, essays, stories, and classical works. Students could even purchase examination crib sheets on the streets of Kaifeng.

printed book image 1 This is the outer case of a facsimile of a Song Dynasty edition of Du Fu’s poetry in the collection of the Asia Library, University of Michigan.
printed book image 2 When you open the case protecting traditional Chinese books, you find the “paperback” volumes inside, such as these included here.
printed book image 3 When you open a traditional Chinese book, the printed characters look like this.


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