Author(s): Stephan Fussel
The Book That Changed the World A complete reprint of the revolutionary Gutenberg Bible
The printing press has been called the greatest invention of the second millennium. Published in Mainz around 1454, the Gutenberg Bible was the first major Western publication to be printed with movable metal type, ushering in a whole new age of knowledge distribution through mass-produced books.
Before Gutenberg, woodcut printing and early forms of movable type printing had been mastered in Asia, but had not reached Europe. Instead, every book produced in Europe had to be copied by hand in a long, labor-intensive process. With Gutenberg's innovation of mechanical movable type, it became possible to significantly speed up production without sacrificing quality. Gutenberg's invention radically enriched public knowledge, pioneering mass communication and allowing people to access ideas, and participate in discussions, like never before. When it comes to radical revolutions in public education, the Gutenberg Bible is comparable to the Internet.
This complete Gutenberg Bible reprint derives from one of the very few surviving complete vellum edition worldwide; the G ttingen Library edition, which is consequently one of the most valuable books in the world and has also been listed in the UNESCO Memory of the World program. All 1,282 pages of this artistic and technological masterwork are included, along with a companion book written by Stephan F ssel, Gutenberg-Chair at Mainz University, introducing Gutenberg and his transformative influence, as well as two important documents of the time: the G ttingen Model Book which was used to illuminate the G ttingen Library edition and the only surviving notary document by Ulrich Helmasperger, which records the history of this unique invention and its product, the Gutenberg Bible.