Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible) is a print of the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible that was printed by its namesake, Johann Gutenberg, in Mainz, Germany using moveable type, mass-produced starting on February 23, 1455. This Bible is the most famous incunabulum and its production marked the beginning of the mass production of books in the West.
A very complete copy comprises 1282 pages; most were bound in two volumes.
It is believed that about 180 copies of the Bible were produced, 40 on vellum and 140 on paper, a number which boggled minds in societies which, from time immemorial, had to produce copies of written works labouriously by hand. Gutenberg produced these Bibles (which were printed, then rubricated and illuminated by hand), over a period of three years, the time it would have taken to produce one copy in a Scriptorium. Because of the hand illumination, each copy is unique. Two-color printing techniques, which would have eliminated the need for rubrication, were developed later. As of 2003, the number of known extant Gutenberg Bibles includes 11 complete copies on vellum, one copy of the New Testament only on vellum, and 48 substantially complete integral copies on paper, with another divided copy on paper.
- The British Library's The Gutenberg Bible website
- The University of Texas Ransom Center's Gutenberg Bible website including detailed images
- Online digital edition
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