Gutenberg Bible on display
To mark Book Week Scotland 2018 and the 550th anniversary of the death of Johannes Gutenberg, one of the Library's most treasured items, our copy of the Gutenberg Bible is being shown publicly for one day only.
of the Old Testament
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book of Ecclesiasticus
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Also known as 'The 42-line Bible', the Gutenberg Bible is one of the world's most famous books. It was completed around 1455 in Mainz, Germany by Johannes Gutenberg, known as the inventor of printing with moveable type in Europe, and Johannes Fust.
180 copies were originally produced, but only around 20 complete copies still survive today. The Library's copy is one of these, and you can see both volumes in this special display.
Other precious 15th-century printed books from the Library's collections are also being shown, including a Book of Hours from 1493, a Breviary from 1489 and the first illustrated travel book dating from 1486.
Both volumes of the Library's Gutenberg Bible contain handwritten red and blue rubrics and ornate decorations. A page from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament contains an intricately illuminated letter 'H' depicting Moses with horns holding the tablets with the Ten Commandments.
Illuminated letter 'O'
Striking illuminations adorn the text of both volumes of the Library's Gutenberg Bible, as well as decorations in the margins. The first page of the book of Ecclesiasticus from the Old Testament contains an illustration in the margin alongside a letter 'O' decorated with the face of a person.
You can view both these pages, and the rest of the Old and New Testament in our digitised version of the Gutenberg Bible.
Thursday 22 November
George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
Free. Drop-in display — no need to book.