This essay is a study of the woodblock print culture at Khê Hồi temple in Thường Tín district, Hà Tây province (belonging to present day Hà Nội), a temple that is located in the same area as two other temples addressed in this volume (Thắng Nghiêm temple and Phổ Nhân temple). After describing the temple’s history and the various Buddhist schools that have influenced Khê Hồi temple, this essay proceeds to describe and analyze the temple’s extant woodblock collection (over 700 plates, and many books), which was discovered in 2001. The essay goes on to examine the circulation of books printed from the temple’s woodblock collection by means of: (1) comparing the temple’s woodblocks with Buddhist texts in the collection of the Institute of Sino-Nôm Studies and (2) examining neighboring temples to determine whether or not they have preserved books printed from Khê Hồi temple’s woodblocks. Through analyzing the history of woodblocks and their circulation pertaining to Khê Hồi temple in the context of nineteenth-century Buddhist woodblocks and texts in Northern Vietnam, this essay argues that Buddhism played a preponderant role in the creation and dissemination of printed texts in nineteenth-century Vietnam. During this period, although Buddhist print culture was already quite developed, the circulation of printed texts was largely limited to temples, and had not yet become widespread in secular society or the “public sphere” at large. This would later change during the “Buddhist Revival” of 1920–1945, when printing and print culture had already taken on their modern form.

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