Report: “A Utah Expert Is Studying the World’s Oldest Movable-Type Book — and It’s Not the Gutenberg Bible”
Ask most people what the oldest book made with movable metal type is, and they likely will say the Gutenberg Bible, printed around 1455 in Mainz, Germany.
That isn’t the case, and a University of Utah librarian is part of a research project to give proper due to what scholars say is the first such book, known as Jikji.
“People should learn the bigger picture,” said Randy Silverman, who’s head of preservation at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library, and one of two principal investigators on the collaborative project “From Jikji to Gutenberg.”
Jikji is a Korean Buddhist book — the title translates to “pointing at it directly” — that was printed in 1377. It tells “a compression of the history of the Buddhists,” Silverman said. “It tells how the Buddhists attained enlightenment.”
The project — which involves 40 scholars, working in 14 different time zones worldwide — aims to bring Jikji’s existence to the forefront of printing history around the globe.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.