Creating the Gutenberg Bible

The first major book to be printed on the Gutenberg press was the Bible. Printed in the mid-15th century, it was a copy of the Latin Vulgate and would have taken up to five years to complete. And of the approximately 180 copies printed—only 20 are known to survive today. Each copy contained about 1,300 pages.

Each page had as many as 2,500 characters, the type resembling the handwriting of the period and all set by hand! Illustrations were hand-painted by artisans, making each Bible unique. Johannes Gutenberg’s press brought the Bible to the people in their own language, and by igniting the spread of information and ideas, it became a catalyst for the Protestant Reformation.

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