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The Diamond Sutra

By Vic Swift 26 January 2010

The Diamond Sutra (Or.8210/P.2) at the British Library is the world’s earliest dated printed book, and was made in AD 868. It was discovered by accident in the early twentieth century along with tens of thousands of other scrolls in a hidden cave at the Buddhist Mogao cave site in Dunhuang, northwest China.

The newly-conserved Diamond Sutra is now online via the IDP Database. A web resource about the manuscript is currently being developed and will include information and images about its conservation.

The Diamond Sutra can also be seen on the British Library’s Turning the Pages.

The image below shows a detail from the frontispiece of the Diamond Sutra.
The video is of Mark Barnard, Manager of the Conservation Section at the British Library working on the manuscript.
© British Library Board

Diamond Sutra frontispiece showing the Buddha preaching, black ink print on paper.


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