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The Gutenberg Bible

The exhibition is dedicated to the 560th anniversary from the date the eminent 42-line Bible was created. This year the anniversary date is celebrated by the world community. The event will be held before the 500th anniversary of Francisk Skorina’s publishing activities which will be observed in 2017.

The 42-line Bible is one of the first and most eminent editions of Johannes Gutenberg which appeared in Mainz in 1452–1455. The folio is printed in Latin in excellent Gothic type, has a splendid design and is bound in two volumes.

The facsimile is produced on the basis of the original which is kept in the Diocesan Museum in Pelplin (Poland). In 2002–2003, in Poland an excellent facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible was published in only 198 copies. The edition was timed to the 550th anniversary of the first Bible printed in “moving” types, and also the 25th anniversary of the Papacy of Pope John Paul II. At the time Pope John Paul II received as a gift a copy of this edition which is kept today in Vatican.

The facsimile preparation took two years. Representatives of research institutions of Poland, Germany and Japan participated in this project. The facsimile is notable for a very high quality of reconstruction of the original with the use of advanced technologies. Paper with watermarks is precisely made. Initials and hand-written elements of book design are performed manually with the use of technology of that time. The casing by Henry Koster Lubeck of the middle of the 15th century is reproduced in the smallest details. Even damages of the original and inaccuracies in the printing are presented in the facsimile. Besides, the set is beautifully packed into a leather suitcase which is an exact copy of the road box made in 1939 for the original. It was used to save the Bible during the World War II.

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