East Asian Library Exhibit: Jikji, the World’s Oldest Existing Book Printed with Movable Metal Types

Stop by near the entrance of the East Asian Library from today (Monday, September 11) through Sunday, September 17 for a special exhibit on Jikji (白雲和尚抄録佛祖直指心體要節/백운화상초록불조직지심체요절), a Korean Buddhist tome printed in 1377. The original book is known to be the oldest existing book in the world printed using movable metal types. (Gutenberg Bible, the first of such books in Europe,  rolled out in 1454/1455).

The exhibit is brought to you by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago, in conjunction with their Korea Week in St. Louis 2017, also taking place this week. While only one copy of volume 2 is known to survive today, and it is held by the National Library of France, we do have a high quality reprinted copy (provided by the Consulate General in Chicago) among the display.

The East Asian Library is on the second floor of January Hall, on Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Our hours are 8:30 am – 7:00 pm weekdays (members of WUSTL with ID card can swipe in until 10 pm as usual), and Noon to 7:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday (extended hours for the exhibit).

If you are coming from off-campus locations to the exhibit, please consult the University’s visitor parking page, as we currently have several major construction projects around campus. Also, please note that while the library is accessible to those with mobility needs, the main stairs of January Hall is not. Call 314-935-5525 for directions to the accessible entrance.

Other Korea Week in St. Louis events include the Korean Performing Arts Festival (7:00 pm, Saturday, September 16 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center at UMSL), Chuseok Festival Day (Noon – 4:00 pm, Saturday, September 16 at McGrath Elementary School, 2350 St. Clair, Brentwood), and Family Sunday: Passport to Korea (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Sunday, September 17 at the St. Louis Art Museum). Our campus is right next to the Forest Park where the Art Museum is located, and is within driving distances both from UMSL and Brentwood.

If you have any questions about the exhibit, or planning a class visit, etc., please contact Ryuta Komaki, Japanese and Korean Studies Librarian, at rkomaki@wustl.edu.

About the author