Gutenberg, Johann, 1397?-1468

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Johannes Gutenberg was born in Mainz, Germany sometime between 1394 and 1404. He is best known for the invention of the moveable type printing press which ushered in the modern period of human history. Prior to his invention, Gutenberg lived in Strasbourg and appears to have been a goldsmith member enrolled in the Strasbourg militia. By 1448, he was back in Mainz and took out a loan from his brother-in-law Arnold Gelthus; by 1450 the press was in operation. Gutenberg then received a loan from wealthy moneylender Johann Fust and Peter Schöffer.

In 1455, Gutenberg completed his 42-line Bible, known as the Gutenberg Bible. About 180 copies were printed, most on paper and some on vellum. Gutenberg and Fust had a dispute regarding finances; Furst sued. The court decided in favor of Fust, giving him control over the Bible printing workshop and half of all printed Bibles. Thus Gutenberg was effectively bankrupt, but he had a small printing shop in Bamberg around 1459. Gutenberg died on February 3, 1468 in Mainz. Although Gutenberg was financially unsuccessful in his lifetime, the printing technologies spread quickly, and news and books began to travel across Europe much faster than before.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Thorn, Edmund. A general history of printing wherein is shewn the origin of that noble art : manuscript, [after 1728]. University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Chicago Club of Printing House Craftsmen. [Miscellaneous pamphlets, etc. commemorating the five hundredth anniversary of the invention of printing, Chicago, Ill., October 1, 1940]. Chicago History Museum
referencedIn [Précis of the life of Gutenberg, in chronological order]. Nolan, Norton & Company, Incorporated
referencedIn Vol. I, ff. 220, XVIII cent.includes:f. 1 William King, d 1729 Archbishop of Dublin: Letter to S. Madden: 1701.: Copy.f. 5 Francis Gwyn, politician: Letter to R. Harley: 1693.: Copy.f. 5b Narcissus Luttrell, annalist; bibliographer: Letter to R..., 18th century British Library
referencedIn Wronker, Erich, 1921-1997. Erich Wronker collection of printing medals, 1243-2001 (inclusive), 1740-1988 (bulk). RIT Library, Wallace Library
referencedIn [Gutenberg pamphlets]. Jewish Theological Seminary of America
referencedIn Blätter der Erinnerung, 1835- L. Tom Perry Special Collections19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts
referencedIn Thorn, Edmund. A general history of printing wherein is shewn the origin of that noble art : holograph, [after 1728]. Texas Christian University
referencedIn Sonne, Niels H. (Niels Henry), 1907-. Physical analysis of the General Theological Seminary Gutenberg Bible, June 1975 / made by N.H. Sonne. Christoph Keller, Jr. Library, Keller Library
referencedIn Monnin, Antoine-Marc, b. 1806. Les chants de la Marianne : manuscript, 1851-1867. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn SKINNER (AUBREY E. ) PAPERS, 27120344., ca. 1834-1985. Dolph Briscoe Center for American History
referencedIn AN historical and critical essay on John Gutenburg, the inventor of printing, by the Reverend Charles Winaricky, Dean of Moldauthein, in Bohemia, translated from the German manuscript by the Chevalier John de Carro, M.D., physician at Carlsbad, etc. ... British Library
referencedIn The Gutenberg Bible, 1450-55 [manuscript], n.d. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Rushmore, Arthur W., 1883-1955. Rushmore collection, 1900-1992 (bulk 1927-1955). Free Public Library of the Borough of Madison
referencedIn Maugérard, Jean-Baptiste, 1735-1815. Mémoire lu à la séance du 24 août 1789 de la Société royale des sciences et des arts de Metz, par Dom Maugerard,... sur la découverte d'un exemplaire de la Bible connue sous le nom de Guttemberg, accompagné de renseignements qui prouvent que l'impression de cette Bible est antérieure à celle du Pseautier de 1457 [manuscript]. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn De Vinne, Theodore Low, 1828-1914. Theodore De Vinne letter to Charles W. H. Wyman [manuscript], 1882 June 20. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Gutenberg, Johann, 1397?-1468. Artist file. Brooklyn Museum Libraries & Archives
referencedIn Jozefe, Wilhelm. Blätter der Erinnerung / von Wilhelm Josefe, 4th Band, 1835-[197-]. Harold B. Lee Library
creatorOf Gutenberg, Johann, 1397?-1468. Gutenberg Bible : [Isaiah XX-XXIII, 8]. Florida State University
referencedIn Kubilius, Walter. Papers, 1949-1971. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
referencedIn Fuhrmann, Otto W., 1889-1966. Otto W. Fuhrmann papers, 1930-1961. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Museum Plantin-Moretus. Anvers. Musee Plantin : photograph album, circa 1880. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Thorn, Edmund, A General History of Printing Wherein is Shewn the Origin of that Noble Art, after 1728 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Addition to the Prints Collection None., 1718-1945 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Portrait file: Guide. Houghton Library
referencedIn University of California Printing Services. University of California Printing Services records, circa 1932-2010. UC Berkeley Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Caxton, William, ca. 1422-1491 or 2 person
associatedWith Chicago Club of Printing House Craftsmen. corporateBody
associatedWith De Vinne, Theodore Low, 1828-1914. person
associatedWith Fuhrmann, Otto W., 1889-1966. person
associatedWith Fust, Johann, -1466, German printer; of Add MS 39303 person
associatedWith Jozefe, Wilhelm person
associatedWith Jozefe, Wilhelm. person
associatedWith Kubilius, Walter. person
associatedWith Maugérard, Jean-Baptiste, 1735-1815. person
associatedWith Monnin, Antoine-Marc, b. 1806. person
associatedWith Museum Plantin-Moretus. corporateBody
associatedWith Rushmore, Arthur W., 1883-1955. person
associatedWith Schöffer, Peter, ca. 1475-1547 person
associatedWith Skinner, Aubrey E. person
associatedWith Sonne, Niels H. (Niels Henry), 1907- person
associatedWith Thorn, Edmund. person
associatedWith University of California Printing Services. corporateBody
associatedWith Wronker, Erich, 1921-1997. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Mainz 08 DE
Mainz 08 DE
Printing industry


Birth 139?

Death 1468-02-03





Ark ID: w6ch0d7h

SNAC ID: 84096062