[Latin Bible (the “Gutenberg Bible”)]. Fragment of thirty-one
[Mainz: Johannes Gutenberg, c. 1455].
The Bible attributed to Johannes Gutenberg (c. 1400–1468), printed in an edition of approximately 180 copies, was the first large-scale demonstration of the printing press as an instrument of cultural advancement. Rendering the handwritten book largely obsolete, printing with moveable type changed how Europeans communicated, thought, worshipped, and lived, making the cultural achievements of the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the modern age possible. Bridwell Library’s fragment of thirty-one consecutive leaves of the Gutenberg Bible comes from an incomplete copy discovered in 1828 at a farmhouse near Trier, Germany. The leaves constitute the books of Jeremiah, Lamentations, and the beginning of Baruch.