This extremely rare volume was identified by visiting scholar Shen Jin,
from Shanghai Municipal Library, in 1987, as one of only six known surviving
volumes of the original 600-volume printing of this Buddhist sutra. Printed
apparently privately during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE), it is believed to be
the oldest book in the Chinese collections at Columbia University. The
Prajna-paramita sutra is one of the most important sacred books of
Mahayana Buddhism, and Chinese translations of Indian sutras were used in the
spread of Buddhism-and of the Chinese written language as well-throughout East Asia.