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Gutenberg Bible

The Gutenberg Bible  

Johannes Gutenberg was born in Mainz Germany around 1398.  He is considered to be the European inventor of the technology of printing which allowed for the spread of knowledge, promoted scientific development and became a milestone of western civilization.

 The height of Gutenberg’s art of printing is considered to be his printing of the bible. The two volume bible was created with the help of a staff of 20. For this bible, Gutenberg cast 290 different shapes. The colorful initials and signs were added later by an illuminator and a columnist. Of the 180 copies, it is believed that 150 were printed on paper, while the remaining 30 were printed on parchment.  Today, 48 copies remain in existence. [1]

Gutenberg BibleThe Gutenberg Facsimile

In 1956, the directors of Cooper Square Publishers undertook to recreate this book for posterity, as a lasting tribute to the art of mankind.  To assure the finest reproduction possible, the publishers devoted themselves for over five years to the vast undertaking and limited the edition to 996 copies of which Westminster’s copy is number 9.

 This edition, which was the first Gutenberg facsimile to be published in America, is derived from the only other facsimile ever reproduced at that time, the 1913-14 edition by Insel-Verlag, Leipzig, Germany which was based on the copy in the Koniglichen Bibliothek in Berlin and the copy in the Standischen Landesbibliothek in Fulda, The Insel-Verlag facsimile preserved the most magnificent illuminated pages in existence.  It represents, by far, the most beautiful Gutenberg Bible ever printed.


~~ Westminster’s copy of the Gutenberg Facsimile was a gift to the Seminary

from the collection of L. Paul Dilg ~~

[1]Gutenberg Home Page, English Version”. November 7, 2006. .