Exploring the richness of East Asian, Islamic and Western manuscript and printing traditions.
The Cream of Histories (Zubdat al-tawarikh) by Sayyid Luqman-i 'Ashuri
CBL T 414
Woman's apricot silk dragon robe
CBL C 1055
Arts of the Book display
A fascinating insight into the rituals and rites of passage of the major world religions.
Thebaid of Statius
CBL W 076
Composite demon and bull
CBL In 69.11
Arts of the Book, a permanent exhibition of almost 600 objects from the museum’s collections displays books from the ancient world, including the world famous Chester Beatty Love Poems (c.1160 BC), Egyptian Books of the Dead and beautifully illuminated European manuscripts. One of the highlights is the display of Western book-bindings (5th-20th century) and Old Master prints. The exhibition also explores the richness of the Islamic manuscript tradition including illustrations and illuminations, calligraphy, and exquisite bindings from across the Middle East and India. Highlights from East Asia include one of the finest collections of Chinese jade books in the world, Japanese picture-scrolls depicting fables and legends, and deluxe woodblock prints. Audio-visual programmes complement the exhibition, helping the visitor to learn more about the arts of the book throughout the world