The Publication of the Gutenberg Bible

February 23, 1455 is the traditional date of the publication of the Gutenberg Bible. Written in Latin Vulgate, it is not known exactly how many copies were printed. Some sources say 158, others 180.

Forty-nine copies (or substantial portions of copies) have survived, and they are the world’s most valuable books.

The original Bible sold out immediately to owners as far away as England and possibly Sweden and Hungary. At least some copies are known to have sold for 30 florins – about three years’ wages for a clerk. Although this made them significantly cheaper than manuscript Bibles, most students, priests or other people of ordinary income wouldn’t have been able to afford them.

The last sale of a complete Gutenberg Bible took place in 1978, which sold for $2.2 million. The price of a complete copy today is estimated at $25−35 million.[

A two-volume paper edition of the Gutenberg Bible was stolen from Moscow State University in 2009 and was recovered by the FSB IN 2013. It was valued at over 20 million dollars.

The British Library’s Treasures in Full allows you to view the entire book.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. I make no guarantee as to its accuracy. Its purpose is to inform, educate, amuse, and raise awareness about causes and opportunities around the globe. I also encourage civil debate in the comments.


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