Intercom Online......May 4, 2000

Gutenberg Bible pages in Libraries

A paper leaf from one of the few existing Gutenberg Bibles -- a two-sided sheet consisting of four pages -- now rests in a vault in the special collections area of the Paterno Library. Presented anonymously to Penn State, the leaf is from the Book of Jeremiah. The Gutenberg Bible, printed in Latin, has 641 leaves that are printed in large, Gothic letters in black ink on either vellum or paper, and features hand-illumination with red and blue ink.

Printed by Johann Gutenberg in Mainz, Germany between 1450 and 1455, the Bible is recognized as the first printed book using movable metal type. There are 47 complete Bibles in existence. Several years ago, leaves from two other Bibles that had been broken apart were sold; the Penn State leaf is from one of these Bibles.

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