Gutenberg, his life, and his work have been the subject of much
imaginative speculation. Our knowledge rests chiefly on the books
which he produced and on a relatively small number of documents.
Most relate to legal and financial matters. This is typical of the
sort of information which survives in archives.
Most people only make their way into city or state archives if
they have legal problems. Fortunately for us Gutenberg had his share
of these. We learn about his money problems and his involvement
in law suits. It is only by chance that such documents occasionally
give us information which helps us understand how Gutenberg made
Information regarding Gutenberg's early
of experimentation, years
of the Bible, and the last
years of his life can be found on this website.
The best critical summary of the present state of knowledge on
Gutenberg is by Guy Bechtel, Gutenberg et l'invention de l'imprimerie:
Une ênquete (Paris, 1992).
See also Martin Davies, The Gutenberg Bible (London, 1996).