world's oldest extant book printed with movable metal type

Jikji is the oldest extant movable metal type book in the world.[1][2]


Jikji is the short title of a Korean book whose full title can be translated as Anthology of the Great Priests' Zen Teachings. It is a Buddhist document, and was printed during Korea's Goryeo era in 1377.

Jikji is a book about Zen Buddhism published in Heungdeok temple. It was written by the Buddhist monk Baegun who died three years before this edition was printed. Baegun was the chief priest of the Anguk and Shingwang temples in Haeju.

Jikji was published 78 years before Johannes Gutenberg's "42-Line Bible". Jikji consists of two volumes. Only the second volume is extant. This volume is held in the National Library of France. UNESCO confirmed Jikji as the world's oldest metalloid type book in September 2001, and includes it in the Memory of the World program.


  1. Memory of the World. UNESCO, 2012, unpaged.
  2. The Korea Times: "Jikji: An Invaluable Text of Buddhism"