University of Pittsburgh
May 20, 2004

Exhibition on the Origins of Chinese Script To Take Place at Pitt's Hillman Library


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—An exhibition showing the origins and evolution of Chinese characters—which represent the only ancient written language still in use today—will be on display from June 5 to 27 at the University of Pittsburgh Hillman Library, 3960 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Sponsored by the University Library System and Pitt's Asian Studies Center, it is free and open to the public.

"Chinese Script—From Oracle Bones to Computer Bytes" features 80 panels and approximately 40 material objects. In addition to depicting the origins and evolution of Chinese script, the exhibition will show the structure of Chinese characters, examples of Chinese calligraphy, and the use of Chinese script in The Information Age.

Oracle bone inscriptions, the earliest Chinese writing scripts, are the ancient Chinese characters carved on tortoise shells and animal scapulas more than 5,000 years ago. In contrast, computer software today allows one to type at a keyboard and have the words encoded into Chinese characters using either the characters' shape, pronunciation, or both.

"This exhibition will allow the local community to appreciate the historical development and the beauty of Chinese script, as well as the magnificence of cultural relics," said Hong Xu, head of Pitt's East Asian Library.

The exhibition items are provided by the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in New York City, N.Y. For additional information, call