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Edited by Hildegard Diemberger, Karl Ehrhard and Peter F. Kornicki

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.

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Agnieszka Helman-Ważny

In Archaeology of Tibetan Books, Agnieszka Helman-Ważny explores the varieties of artistic expression, materials, and tools that have shaped Tibetan books over the millennia. Digging into the history of the bookmaking craft, the author approaches these ancient texts primarily through the lens of their artistry, while simultaneously showing them as physical objects embedded in pragmatic, economic, and social frameworks. She provides analyses of several significant Tibetan books—which usually carry Buddhist teachings—including a selection of manuscripts from Dunhuang from the 1st millennium C.E., examples of illuminated manuscripts from Western and Central Tibet dating from the 15th century, and fragments of printed Tibetan Kanjurs from as early as 1410. This detailed study of bookmaking sheds new light on the books' philosophical meanings.