Quiz about Treasures of the British Library
Quiz about Treasures of the British Library

Treasures of the British Library Quiz


If you haven't visited the British Library to see some of the magnificent literary treasures it contains, here's a little taste to tide you over until your opportunity arrives...good luck and enjoy.

A multiple-choice quiz by thejazzkickazz. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
96,348
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
526
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. What is the name of the gallery that contains the most treasured works of literature in the British Library?
Hint

John Ritblat Gallery
St Pancras Gallery
Pearson Gallery
King George's Gallery

2. Undoubtedly one of the most priceless works of literature in the British Library is one of the original copies of the Bible created by which pioneer of the printing press?

Answer: (One Word)
3. As if the first printed Bible isn't enough, the British Library also contains a copy of the second major printed work, created by Peter Schäffer. What work did Schäffer print?
Hint

The Divine Comedy
Metamorphosis
The Odyssey
Psalterium

4. Which individual was partner in the production of both the first printed Bible and of Schäffer's printed work? Hint

Fugger
Zantz
Herz
Fust

5. The oldest example of Japanese print can be found in the British Library, a copy of the "One Million Pagoda Charms". What was the name of the Japanese Empress who ordered the printing of this work?
Hint

Hiroko
Michiko
Shotoku
Natsume

6. Another astounding piece of literature, this time the earliest dated printed work, what is the name of this Buddhist scripture to be found in the British Library?
Hint

Lotus Sutra
Visualization Sutra
Platform Sutra
Diamond Sutra

7. Another work of Asian literature found in the British Library, the "Raknakuta" (or 'Gem-Heap') is the earliest known collection of sermons from which figure of world religion?
Hint

Lao Zi
Buddha
Confucius
Mahavira

8. The British Library is fortunate to house a very early French work called "Somme Le Roi", a compendium of moral instruction. Name the French man of religion who penned this interesting work.
Hint

Saint-Denis
Jean de Berry
Abbot Sugar
Frère Laurent

9. The 'Kar Gling Zhi Khro' is a very well known 'book of the dead'. The British Library contains an original of this text, discovered by Karma Lingpa in the 14th century. In which country was this book created?
Hint

India
Tibet
Japan
Thailand

10. Contained within the British Library also is a portion of the very first complete manuscript of the New Testament. What is the title of this 'Codex'?
Hint

Codex Alexandrinus
Codex Nitriensis
Codex Vaticanus
Codex Sinaiticus


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. What is the name of the gallery that contains the most treasured works of literature in the British Library?

Answer: John Ritblat Gallery

Also called the 'Treasures of the British Library', this gallery was named after one of the chief donors to the British Library when it was being constructed. If you are interested in seeing a couple hundred of the rarest and most valuable literary works in the world, I highly recommend a visit to this gallery while in London!
2. Undoubtedly one of the most priceless works of literature in the British Library is one of the original copies of the Bible created by which pioneer of the printing press?

Answer: Gutenberg

Gutenberg was born Henne Gänsfleisch zur Laden, but everyone knows him by his former name. The Gutenberg Bible contained within the Ritblat Gallery is one of a few still intact throughout the world.
3. As if the first printed Bible isn't enough, the British Library also contains a copy of the second major printed work, created by Peter Schäffer. What work did Schäffer print?

Answer: Psalterium

The "Psalterium" is also known as the "Book of Psalms". The Schäffer Psalterium is also interesting in that it employed multi-colored printing for the first time, red and black!
4. Which individual was partner in the production of both the first printed Bible and of Schäffer's printed work?

Answer: Fust

Johann Fust of Mainz, Germany was the financial powerhouse behind Gutenberg's printing press. Unfortunately, the partnership dissolved after several years when Gutenberg failed to return Fust's investment, and Fust gained control of Gutenberg's printing apparatus. Schäffer was Fust's son-in-law, and helped continue the printing legacy begun by Gutenberg with his "Psalterium".
5. The oldest example of Japanese print can be found in the British Library, a copy of the "One Million Pagoda Charms". What was the name of the Japanese Empress who ordered the printing of this work?

Answer: Shotoku

Empress Shotoku (Koken) had one million (probably an exaggeration) copies of these "Charms" (Dharani - Buddhist prayers) printed beginning in 764 A.D. They were placed in small, wooden pagodas (hence the name) and distributed throughout Japan.
6. Another astounding piece of literature, this time the earliest dated printed work, what is the name of this Buddhist scripture to be found in the British Library?

Answer: Diamond Sutra

Though block printing existed prior to 868 A.D. when this copy of the Diamond Sutra was created, this is the earliest officially dated printing discovery. This copy of the Diamond Sutra was discovered in one of the "Caves of the Thousand Buddhas" (Mogao Caves, near Dunhuang, China) by the famed Hungarian explorer Aurel Stein, who spent the first couple decades of the 20th century combing China for works of antiquity. You can read about Stein's (and other explorers) adventures in China in Peter Hopkirk's "Foreign Devils on the Silk Road".
7. Another work of Asian literature found in the British Library, the "Raknakuta" (or 'Gem-Heap') is the earliest known collection of sermons from which figure of world religion?

Answer: Buddha

Another remarkable item in the Ritblat collection, this item was discovered in India and is considered part of the Buddhist Tripitaka (Three Baskets), something like the 'Bible' of Mahayana Buddhism.
8. The British Library is fortunate to house a very early French work called "Somme Le Roi", a compendium of moral instruction. Name the French man of religion who penned this interesting work.

Answer: Frère Laurent

Called in English "The Book of Vices and Virtues", the "Somme Le Roi" was originally penned in 1279, commissioned by French King Philip the Bold. It achieved wide circulation and was translated into a number of languages as its influence increased.
9. The 'Kar Gling Zhi Khro' is a very well known 'book of the dead'. The British Library contains an original of this text, discovered by Karma Lingpa in the 14th century. In which country was this book created?

Answer: Tibet

The "Kar Gling Zhi Khro" (The Peaceful and the Wrathful Deities), also known as the "Tibetan Book of the Dead" was supposedly authored by Pad Masambhava. It gives instructions for dead souls on how to be reborn into proper vessels and other such refinements.
10. Contained within the British Library also is a portion of the very first complete manuscript of the New Testament. What is the title of this 'Codex'?

Answer: Codex Sinaiticus

The "Codex Sinaiticus" is so-named because it was penned at the Monastery of St. Catherine near Mt. Sinai. Portions of the manuscript contained in the Ritblat Gallery were discovered by Constantine Tischendorf, a German Biblical scholar, in 1859. The text was written in ancient Greek, what a fascinating treasure! Please keep your eye out for part two of this series, coming soon!
Source: Author thejazzkickazz

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