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Tibetan Printing: Comparison, Continuities, and Change

Hildegard Diemberger,
Karl Ehrhard, and Peter F. Kornicki

978 90 04 31606 5
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Publication date:
9 June 2016

Short description: 

Tibetan Printing: Comparisons, Continuities and Change is the first publication that brings together leading experts from different disciplines to discuss the introduction of printing in Tibetan societies in the context of Asian book culture.

Full description: 

In Tibetan Printing: Comparisons, Continuities and Change the editors publish the results of the workshop Printing as an Agent of Change in Tibet and beyond held at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in November 2013. This is the first study of the social and cultural history of Tibetan book technology that takes materials, living traditions and cross-cultural comparisons into consideration. Bringing together leading experts from different disciplines, it discusses the introduction of printing in Tibetan societies in the context of Asian book cultures with an eye to the questions raised by the study of the European history of printing. This title is available online in its entirety in Open Access.

Contributors are: Tim Barrett, Alessandro Boesi, Peter Burke, Michela Clemente, Hildegard Diemberger, Dorje Gyeltsen, Franz-Karl Ehrhard, Helmut Eimer, Johan Elverskog, Camillo Formigatti, Imre Galambos, Agnieszka Helman-Wazny, Tomasz Wazny, Sherab Sangpo Kawa, Peter Kornicki, Leonard van der Kuijp, Stefan Larsson, Ben Nourse, Anuradha Pallipurath, Porong Dawa, Paola Ricciardi, Tsering Dawa Sharshon, Sam van Schaik, Cristina Scherrer-Schaub, Marta Sernesi, Pasang Wangdu.

Table of contents: 

Acknowledgements ix List of Illustrations, Tables and Maps x Introduction 1 PART ONE: The Introduction of Printing in the Asian Context: Wider Perspectives on Print and Manuscript Cultures 1 Three Print Revolutions 13 - Peter Burke 2 The Gutenberg Fallacy and the History of Printing among the Mongols 21 - Johan Elverskog 3 Mongolian Female Rulers as Patrons of Tibetan Printing at the Yuan Court: Some Preliminary Observations on Recently Discovered Materials 38 - Kawa Sherab Sangpo 4 Empress Shotoku as a Sponsor of Printing 45 - Peter Kornicki 5 From Chongzhen lishu to Tengri-yin udq-a and Rgya rtsis chen mo 51 - Leonard W. J. van der Kuijp 6 A Forgotten Chapter in South Asian Book History? A Bird's Eye View of Sanskrit Print Culture 72 - Camillo A. Formigatti 7 Manuscript and Print in the Tangut State: The Case of the Sunzi 135 - Imre Galambos 8 Printing versus Manuscript: History or Rhetoric? A Short Note Inspired by Pelliot DIC 153 - Cristina Scherrer-Schaub 9 The Uses of Early Tibetan Printing: Evidence from the Turfan Oasis 171 - Sam van Schaik PART 2: The Introduction of Printing Into Tibet: Drivers, Impact and New Discoveries 10 New Discoveries in Early Tibetan Printing History 195 - Porong Dawa 11 Collected Writings as Xylographs: Two Sets from the Bo dong pa School 212 - Franz-Karl Ehrhard 12 Continuity and New Developments in 15th Century Tibetan Book Production: Bo dong Phyogs las rnam rgyal (1376-1451) and His Disciples as Producers of Manuscript and Print Editions 237 - Tsering Dawa Sharshon 13 Tibetan Women as Patrons of Printing and Innovation 267 - Hildegard Diemberger 14 Prints about the Printer: Four Early Prints in Honor of the Mad Yogin of gTsang 309 - Stefan Larsson 15 Works and Networks of mkhas pa Dri med. On the Illustrations of 16th Century Tibetan Printed Books 332 - Marta Sernesi 16 Early Book Production and Printing in Bhutan 369 - Dorji Gyaltsen 17 An Unacknowledged Revolution? A Reading of Tibetan Printing History on the Basis of Gung thang Colophons Studied in Two Dedicated Projects 394 - Michela Clemente 18 Revolutions of the Dharma Wheel: Uses of Tibetan Printing in the Eighteenth Century 424 - Benjamin J. Nourse 19 Observations Made in the Study of Tibetan Xylographs 451- Helmut Eimer PART 3: Exploring the Materiality of Prints and Manuscripts 20 Wooden Book-covers, Printing Blocks, their Identification and Dating - How to Read the Wood 471 - Tomasz Wazny 21 The Five Colours of Art: Non-invasive Analysis of Pigments in Tibetan Prints and Manuscripts 485 -Paola Ricciardi and Anuradha Pallipurath 22 Paper Plants in the Tibetan World: A Preliminary Study 501 - Alessandro Boesi 23 The Choice of Materials in Early Tibetan Printed Books 532 - Agnieszka Helman-Wazny 24 Paper, Patronage and Production of Books: Remarks on an 11th Century Manuscript from Central Tibet 555 - Pasang Wangdu 25 Pattern Reproduction Possibilities and the Alpha and Omega of Tibetan Printing 560 - T. H. Barrett Index 575


Hildegard Diemberger, D.Phil. (1992) University of Vienna, is Research Director at the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge, and Director of Studies in Human, Social and Political Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge. She has published monographs, translations and articles on the anthropology and history of Tibet and the Himalaya, including When a Woman becomes a Religious Dynasty : the Samding Dorje Phagmo of Tibet (Columbia University Press 2007).

Franz-Karl Ehrhard, D.Phil. (1987) Hamburg University, is Professor of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Munich, Germany. His research work centres on religious and literary traditions in Tibet and the Himalayas. He has published extensively on the history of printing including the book Early Buddhist Block Prints from Mang-yul Gung-thang (Lumbini International Research Institute, 2000).

Peter Kornicki, D.Phil. (1979), University of Oxford, is Emeritus Professor of Japanese studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has published numerous catalogues, monographs and articles.




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