Results for - The History of News and Communication ** Part Five ** More than 600 years before Gutenberg's press, Chinese monks were printing ink on paper using block printing. It was a very simple process and used carved wooden blocks to press ink on sheets of paper.

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Forgotten for centuries an example text from the time, The Diamond Sutra (that was created in around 868 AD), was discovered inside a cave near Dunhuang, China in 1907 by explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein. Its discovery, in a single step, completely rewrote what we thought we knew about the development of the printing press.

1. This text is now housed at the British Library in London and is described as "the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book". The same process appears to have been prevalent in Japan and Korea at the same time too. These early printed books were made using either wooden or metal blocks and were primarily focused on Buddhist and Taoist treaties. Did the Chinese invent the printing process?

Yes
23%
497 votes
No
11%
242 votes
Undecided
49%
1,086 votes
Not Applicable
17%
375 votes

2. The process was heavily improved in the 11th Century when a Chinese peasant, Bi (Pi) Sheng, developed a form of early movable type. The type of ink used: pine resin, wax and paper ash. It was a fairly efficient, and quick, method of copying documents. Despite this advancement, it would take a few centuries for it to be widely adopted across China. Other forms were developed in the 14th Century by Wang Zhen (A Chinese government official) during the Yuan Dynasty. Zhen's system greatly improved on Sheng's system using rotary tables to help typesetters sort and process carved wooden blocks for printing very efficiently. Can you imagine using these methods to make a copy of a document?

Yes
15%
338 votes
No
51%
1,130 votes
Undecided
17%
370 votes
Not Applicable
16%
362 votes

3. Despite the progress of printing press development in China, it didn't catch on as quickly as it did in Europe. China also made type blocks out of clay and porcelain. This is thought to be a consequence of the complexities of Asian writing systems when compared to the more concise, alphabetical script used in Western languages. It should be noted that relatively primitive forms of the printing press did exist in Europe in the late 14th and early 15th Century. These were ostensibly the same as Chinese woodblock printing, known as xylography. The art of making woodcuts or wood engravings, especially by a relatively primitive technique. Were you aware of Xylography, before this survey?

Yes
17%
365 votes
No
55%
1,200 votes
Undecided
13%
295 votes
Not Applicable
15%
340 votes

4. The Romans had commercial scriptoriums where a reader dictated a book while several scribes made simultaneous copies of it. The dissolution of the western Roman Empire during the 5th century, and the consequent dominance of marauding barbarians, threatened the existence of books. Books found refuge in monasteries. The 6th-century Rule of St. Benedict placed upon monasteries the responsibility for making books and creating libraries. The scribe sat at a desk copying in silence a text that was spread before him. They wrote with goose or swan quills cut at an angle to form a nib, which had to be re-cut at regular intervals while they were writing. Brown ink was mostly made from sloes by boiling them until they had reduced to a paste which was then dried and dissolved in wine as needed. Other colors available to the medieval scribe were red, green, black, blue, white, gold and silver, which were all made by different methods. After the scribe's work was finished it was proofread and titles and notes were inserted. The book might then be given to an illuminator, who supplied any needed illustrations or decorative devices. Finally, the book was bound. Only Royalty and the wealthy could afford to buy and own books. Did you know it could take two years to create a single book?

Yes
22%
484 votes
No
50%
1,089 votes
Undecided
13%
282 votes
Not Applicable
16%
345 votes

5. The medieval book was a codex written on vellum or parchment, although by the 15th century paper manuscripts were normal. Many medieval manuscripts attained a high perfection of color and form and are renowned for their beauty. Such examples as the Book of Kells from Ireland, the Lindisfarne Gospels from England, and the many brilliant "books of hours" made in France are world-renowned as examples of art. From 1200 onwards the monasteries lost their leading role in book production to professional manuscript workshop which were run by laymen and mass-produced books of hours as well as individual luxury volumes for wealthy patrons. Have you ever seen a handmade illuminated book?

Yes
12%
259 votes
No
61%
1,335 votes
Undecided
12%
266 votes
Not Applicable
15%
340 votes

6. The creation of moveable metal type and the printing press will change the world in many dramatic ways! Stay tuned for Part Six... Have you heard of Gutenberg?

Yes
46%
1,011 votes
No
26%
562 votes
Undecided
13%
277 votes
Not Applicable
16%
350 votes
05/02/2022 Education 2221 32 By: fsr1kitty
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By: fsr1kitty
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