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1455 AD.



During the Middle Ages, books were extremely rare because they were handmade in a long and toilsome process. The creation of a single book could take approximately two years. Therefore the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg was revolutionary and forever changed communication across Europe and around the entire world.


A new era had begun. The first book to ever be printed was the Bible ­ Jerome's Latin translation. The printing started in Mainz, Germany in 1452 and wasn't completed until 1455. This printed version of the Vulgate has since been called Gutenberg's Bible. Gutenberg put a lot of heart in the process, using high quality paper and hand­colored large letters. The publisher created a beautiful font cut; it was cut of 24 capital letters and 24 small Latin letters. The printing press was set to make 22 lines on a page, with the text in two columns and margins with room for illustrations. The buyer could choose an artist to decorate their personal copy if they wished. In this way each book was unique.


The Bible was published in two volumes, for a total of 196 copies. Only 48 of those original copies have survived until today. One of the original Gutenberg Bibles can be found in Peplin, Poland. The creation of the printing press was a great step that contributed to spreading of the Word of God. This must have been the hope of Johannes Gutenberg when he said, "A spring of truth shall flow from it: like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore unknown to shine amongst men."


Polonsky Foundation Digitization Project,


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