San Diego’s Wangenheim Room and the history of printing.

San Diego’s downtown Central Library contains a wonderful collection that traces the history of book making. Visitors can venture up to the third floor and enjoy the beautiful and historic Wangenheim Room, which is open to everyone.

Displays include rare books, manuscripts and artifacts illustrating the development of books through the ages. Paper making, book binding, book illustration, and the history of printing are represented. The collection spans more than 4,000 years, ranging from Babylonian clay tablets to a rare and exquisitely illustrated 20th century manuscript of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Visitors can also view Egyptian papyrus, vellum manuscripts, lacquered palm leaf books from India, a bark codex, Chinese silk scrolls, and early handmade papers from Japan.

UPDATE! San Diego’s new downtown Central Library has opened! Click to see photos of the amazing library’s grand opening.

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