Sutra copying is considered a merit in Buddhism. Other meritorious practices included the memorization and recitation of sutras. The effort of sutra copying is considered an expression of piety, and recognized as a devotional practice, since it comprises worship, literature, and calligraphy. Since early in history, it was also not uncommon for people to sponsor monks and nuns to recite or copy sutras, thus indirectly cultivating merit in one’s ancestors, family, and self by transference.
The practice of sutra copying originated in China. Sutra copying was imported to Korea in the third century.[During the Nara period (710-794) in Japan, the practice of sutra copying became very popular in society. —from Wikipedia
Sangha member Gilligan has generously donated Heart Sutra tracing papers from Korea for us.