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Johann Gutenberg's 42-line Bible (about 1455)

Image from the Gutenberg Bible

Johann Gutenberg's 42-line Bible
British Library C.9d3
Copyright © The British Library Board
A high-quality version of this image can be purchased from British Library Images Online. For more information email imagesonline@bl.uk

The Gutenberg Bible is the earliest book printed in Europe using movable type: the invention that changed the world. It was printed by Johann Gutenberg and his associates in Mainz, Germany, between 1454 and 1455. Between 160 and 180 copies were printed, but only 36 printed on paper and 12 on vellum have survived. Many have hand-painted decoration worthy of an illuminated manuscript. Despite his invention, Gutenberg never became rich. Peter Schoeffer, one of Gutenberg's craftsmen, made money where he had failed.

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