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Print Comparing the Texts

View one copy

Select which copy
Select a book of the Bible

Compare two copies

Paper copy
Vellum copy

How to compare the texts

You can view the British Library’s two copies of the Gutenberg Bible separately or you can compare them.

If you chose to see one copy at a time, you will get two pages on the screen, the way you would if you had the book open in front of you. But to read them you may have to enlarge the image by clicking on it or using the enlarge icon (see below).

The drop down list gives you the order of the books of the Bible. They are in the same order in the two copies. This enables you to go to the beginning of each book of the Bible. Some of the books have prefaces. They are only listed separately if they begin on a different page from the book itself.

You can also compare the text of the two copies, as they are slightly different both in terms of how they were produced and how they were decorated by their owners. To do this, select a book from the 'paper copy' drop-down on the right hand search form above, and choose [compare with paper copy] in the 'vellum copy' drop-down.

Finally you can also view the important fragment of a third copy of the Gutenberg Bible which was decorated in England close to the time the book was printed, and a fragment of a school book, by Donatus, printed with the same types as the Gutenberg Bible, and an indulgence where the same type also occurs.

Icons shown on the display page act as follows:

Magnify image Shows an enlarged view of the page, opening in a new window. The left and right hand pages are enlarged independently, and open in separate windows, for easier comparison.

Show the next or previous page. When viewing one copy, these icons move two pages at a time, as if turning the page of the book. When comparing the two copies directly, these icons move each copy one page forward or back. When viewing different books from two copies, the icons on the left hand side move the left hand copy, and those on the right the right hand copy. These icons also appear in the enlarged view.

As well as these icons, you can display any page directly by entering its volume and folio number in the 'go to' boxes at the bottom of the screen. Volume and folio numbers should be entered in the format as displayed.

print Gives a printer-friendly version of the pages.

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