British Library Treasures in full: Gutenberg Bible
Main The Basics Background The Texts References Links Glossary
Print References
The best critical summary of the present state of knowledge on Gutenberg is Guy Bechtel, Gutenberg et l'invention de l'imprimerie: Une ênquete (Paris: Fayard, 1992). ISBN 2213028656

For a good short account in English see Martin Davies, The Gutenberg Bible (London: The British Library, 1996). ISBN 0712304924

On the earliest mention of Gutenberg's Bible see Martin Davies, 'Juan de Carvajal and Early Printing: The 42-line Bible and the Sweynheym and Pannartz Aquinas', The Library, 6th series, 18 (1996), 193-215.

On the possibility that Gutenberg printed indulgences already in 1452 see Kai-Michael Sprenger, '"volumus tamen, quod expressio fiat ante finem mensis Mai presentis". Sollte Gutenberg 1452 im Auftrag Nicolaus von Kues' Ablaßbriefe drucken', Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, 74 (1999), 42-57.


The text of the Gutenberg Bible is placed in a philological context in Heinrich Schneider, Der Text der Gutenbergbibel zu ihrem 500järigen Jubiläum untersucht, Bonner biblische Beiträge, 7 (Bonn, 1954).

A discussion of its relation to the tradition of the Vulgate, and a complete list of the texts included in the Gutenberg Bible can be found in Robert Weber, 'Der Text der Gutenbergbibel und seine Stellung in der Geschichte der Vulgata', in: Johannes Gutenbergs zweiundvierzigzeilige Bibel, Faksimile-Ausgabe nach dem Exemplar der Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz Berlin: Kommentarband, ed. W. Schmidt and F. A. Schmidt-Künsemüller (Munich, 1979), 9-31.

The text in relation to the work of the printers is discussed by Paul Needham, 'The Text of the Gutenberg Bible', in Trasmissione dei testi a stampa nel periodo moderno, vol. II: Il seminario internazionale Roma-Viterbo 27-29 giugno 1985, ed. by Giovanni Crapulli (Rome, 1987), pp. 43-84, and Paul Needham, 'The Changing Shape of the Vulgate Bible in Fifteenth-century Printing Shops', in The Bible as Book: The First Printed Editions, ed. by Kimberley van Kampen and Paul Saenger (London, 1999), pp. 53-70. ISBN 0712346015

A more detailed discussion of the texts, on who bought and used Bibles in the 15th century and on how commercial imperatives changed the Bible is found in Kristian Jensen, 'Printing the Bible in the Fifteenth Century: Devotion, Philology and Commerce', in Incunabula and Their Readers: Printing, Selling and Using Books in the Fifteenth Century, edited by Kristian Jensen (London: The British Library, 2003), pp. 115-138. ISBN 0712346769

An account of the principles followed in the critical edition of the Vulgate prepared under the supervision of a Papal committee since 1908 is found in Henri Quentin, Mémoire sur l'établissement du texte de la Vulgate, Ière partie, Octateuque, Collectanea biblica latina, 6 (Rome and Paris, 1922). This work received a mixed critical response.

On the early printing of versions of Donatus:
W. O. Schmitt, 'Die Ianua (Donatus): Ein Beitrag zur lateinischen Schulgrammatik des Mittelalters und der Renaissance', Beiträge zur Inkunabelkunde, dritte Folge, 4 (1969), 43-80, and the postscript in Remigius, Schleswig 1486: A Latin Grammar in Facsimile Edition with a Postscript by Jan Pinborg, Det Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab Historisk-filosofiske meddelelser, 50:4 (Copenhagen, 1982). ISBN 8773041211

A modern edition of Donatus' text with an excellent introduction, of relevance also for the 15th century: Louis Holtz, Donat et la tradition de l'enseignement grammatical: étude sur l'Ars Donati et sa diffusion (IVe-IXe siècle) et édition critique (Paris, 1981). ISBN 2222026377

For an introduction to the teaching of Latin in the 15th century see Kristian Jensen, 'The Humanist reform of Latin and Latin teaching', in The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism, edited by Jill Kraye (Cambridge, 1996), 63-81. ISBN 0521430380


Making the book

An excellent introduction to printing and book making is Philip Gaskel, A New Introduction to Bibliography (Oxford, 1972), with several later editions.

On the improvement to the printing press in the 1470s see Lotte Hellinga, 'Press and Text in the First Decades of Printing' in Libri tipografi biblioteche: Ricerche storiche dedicate a Luigi Balsamo, Biblioteca di bibliografia italiana, 148 (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1997), at pp.1-23. ISBN 8822245040

For a recent theory of how Gutenberg made his type see Blaise Agüera y Arcas, 'Temporary Matrices and Elemental Punches in Gutenberg's DK type' in Incunabula and Their Readers: Printing, Selling and Using Books in the Fifteenth Century, edited by Kristian Jensen (London: The British Library, 2003), pp. 1-12. ISBN 0712346769

Clear conspectuses of the two variant settings of the Gutenberg Bible are found in Seymour De Ricci, Catalogue raisonné des premières impressions de Mayence (1445-1467), Veröffentlichungen der Gutenberg-Gesellschaft, 8-9 (Mainz, 1911), no. 34 at pp. 26-7, and in Paul Schwenke, 'Die Gutenbergbibel', in: Johannes Gutenbergs zweiundvierzigzeilige Bibel: Ergänzungsband zur Faksimile-Ausgabe (Leipzig, 1923), p.25.

On the paper and its distribution within each gathering see Paul Schwenke, 'Die Gutenbergbibel', in: Johannes Gutenbergs zweiundvierzigzeilige Bibel: Ergänzungsband zur Faksimile-Ausgabe (Leipzig, 1923), and Paul Needham, 'The paper supply of the Gutenberg Bible', The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 79 (1985), 303-74.


Using the books

The best discussion of marks of use in the Gutenberg Bible is Gerhardt Powitz, Die Frankfurter Gutenberg-Bibel: Ein Beitrag zum Buchwesen des 15. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1990). ISBN 3465022319

For the fragment of the Bible with an English provenance see Margaret Nickson, 'Bagford and Sloane', British Library Journal, (1983), 51-55. On its English decoration see Eberhard König, 'A leaf from a Gutenberg Bible illuminated in England', British Library Journal, (1983), 32-50.


Selling the Bible

On prices see Leonhard Hoffmann, 'Gutenberg und die Folgen: Zur Entwicklung des Bücherpreises im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert', Bibliothek und Wissenschaft, 29 (1996), 5-23.

Leonhard Hoffmann, 'Buchmarkt und Bücherpreise im Frühdruckzeitalter', Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, 75 (2000), 73-81.

Uwe Neddermeyer, Von der Handschrift zum gedruckten Buch: Schriftlichkeit und Leseinteresse im Mittelalter und in der frühen Neuzeit. Quantitative und qualitative Aspekte, Buchwissenschaftliche Beiträge aus dem Deutschen Bucharchiv München, 61 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1998). ISBN 3447040688

In English, on book prices mainly in Italy:
Martin Davies, 'Two Book-lists of Sweynheym and Pannartz', in Libri tipografi biblioteche: Ricerche storiche dedicate a Luigi Balsamo, Biblioteca di bibliografia italiana, 148 (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1997), pp. 25-53. ISBN 8822245040

and the chapter 'Buying printed books' in Brian Richardson, Printing, Writers and Readers in Renaissance Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 112-18. ISBN 0521571618


Facsimiles

There are several, often very expensive, printed facsimiles of copies of the Gutenberg Bible, of varying quality.

There is a CD of the Göttingen copy of the Gutenberg Bible, including important supplementary materials on 15th-century book decoration and on the trial between Gutenberg and Johann Fust. The CD is both in English and in German and can be ordered on http://www.gutenbergdigital.de

There is also a CD of the copy in the Library of Congress, which can be ordered from http://www.octavo.com/editions/gtnbbl/index.html


 

Main   The basics   Background   The texts   References   Links   Glossary