The Asia and Pacific Museum’s collection of manuscripts and printed books currently consists of 200 artefacts demonstrating the diversity of writing traditions of the Asian continent. They include the largest collection of Tibetan, Burmese and Indonesian books in Poland, as well as single manuscripts from other regions of Asia.
The vast majority of the manuscripts were written using black ink on paper or engraved on palm leaves. Some of the Tibetan buddhist texts were created using xylography or, less commonly, moveable type.
Depending on the manuscripts’ place of origin, materials used for their creation include handmade paper, palm leaves, bark, bamboo slats, parchment, and even gold-plated lacquered canvas or copper plates.
Some of the books are elaborately illustrated. This is predominantly true of Burmese parabaiks (concertina paper books), which mostly include miniatures displaying scenes from the life of Buddha. Other books occasionally contain manual drawings and diagrams or, in the case of xylographs, prints with the images of Buddha, gods or Buddhist stupas.