Gutenberg Bible, New Testament.


Gutenberg Bible, New Testament.


The Gutenberg Bible is the first major European printed book, and was produced in Mainz, Germany in the mid-1450s, by Johannes Gutenberg. It was the first printed edition of the Vulgate Bible, and although scholars have disagreed as to the number of copies printed, some estimates have ranged between one hundred eighty and two hundred. A recent census of surviving copies, by Paul Needham, which included both those that are complete and those that are partial, located under fifty copies, with ten copies currently in American collections. The Lilly Library's volume consists of 116 printed leaves, comprising most of the New Testament. It was part of a Bible reportedly found in a farmhouse in Olewig near Trier in 1828, which later passed to the ownership of the Trier Stadtbibliothek. It eventually was sold and brought to the United States. After passing through the hands of two dealers and one collector, during which time some leaves were removed, it was acquired by George A. Poole, Jr. and came to the Lilly as part of his collections in 1958. Paul Needham, in his study of surviving copies of the Gutenberg Bible, has determined that the Lilly Library New Testament and the incomplete copy of Volume I at the Bibliotheque Universitaire at Mons, Belgium were once part of a single copy. Also part of this same copy were a number of separate leaves and fragments, now in various locations. From: The Bible in the Lilly Library, An Exhibition Prepared and Described by Joel Silver, 1991.

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Mainz, Printer of the 42-line Bible (i.e. Gutenberg, later Fust and Schoeffer?)


ca. 1454-55


Gutenberg, Johann, 1397?-1468.


[116] leaves (of 643) fol. (36.3 cm.)




Lilly Library BS75 1454 vault