Exhibition on ‘Macao’s Role in the Spread of Western Printing Technology across the East’ to be held in May

Senado Library

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Macao SAR, the Macao Public Library of the Cultural Affairs Bureau will host an exhibition on ‘Macao’s Role in the Spread of Western Printing Technology across the East’ at the Senado Library (Municipal Affairs Bureau Building, No. 163, Av. de Almeida Ribeiro) from 18 May to 15 June this year, including a lecture and a guided tour to be held at 3pm on 18 May as well. The activities will be conducted in Cantonese and admission is free for all who wish to participate.


Chinese wooden moveable-type printing originated during the Song Dynasty and was taken to Europe through the Silk Road, where German inventor Johannes Gutenberg transformed it into ‘leaden moveable-type printing’. The technology was then brought to Macao by Western missionaries through the maritime routes during the ‘Age of Exploration’, after which native Macanese and Chinese people as well as British, American and French missionaries residing in Macao combined efforts to create the ‘leaden moveable-type Chinese characters’. This brought improvements to leaden moveable-type printing for both Chinese and Western characters, and led to its popularity in China after the opening-up of the five ports for foreign trade. The purpose of this exhibition is to look into Macao’s role, achievements and contributions in the spread of Western printing technology by showcasing dozens of rare books and periodicals held by the Macao Public library which are related to this subject.


The key speaker of the lecture is Dr. Lee Shuk Yee (Stella), holder of a Ph.D. in Literature and Art from the Jinan University, in Guangzhou, currently a researcher of rare books in foreign languages at the Macao Public Library. Dr. Lee regularly introduces the said collections of the Library online and published Collision and Exchange: A Synopsis of Rare Books in Foreign Languages in Macao Central Library in 2013.


The exhibition will be open from 18 May to 15 June from 1:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. (excluding on Sundays and public holidays). Registration to the lecture can be made online at or by phone though tel. 28930077 during office hours (excluding Mondays before 2:00p.m.). For details please refer to the Macao Public Library website at