Arts of the Book, a permanent exhibition of almost 600 objects from the Library's collections, opened in the first floor gallery on 1 July 2011.
Here visitors can view books from the ancient world, including the world famous Chester Beatty Love Poems (c.1160 BC), Egyptian Books of the Dead and beautifully illuminated European manuscripts. One of the highlights is the display of Western book-bindings (5th-20th century) and Old Master prints. The exhibition also explores the richness of the Islamic manuscript tradition including illustrations and illuminations, calligraphy, and exquisite bindings from across the Middle East and India. Highlights from East Asia include one of the finest collections of Chinese jade books in the world, Japanese picture-scrolls depicting fables and legends, and deluxe woodblock prints. Audio-visual programmes complement the exhibition, helping the visitor to learn more about the arts of the book throughout the world.