Die Gutenberg-Bibel

Experience the history of book printing interactively with one of the most magnificent books in the world: This is made possible by the Living Book® in the “Stabi Kulturwerk” of the Berlin State Library in German and English.

The Gutenberg Bible is considered the first book printed with movable type. It owes its name to the Mainz patrician Johannes Gutenberg, who invented letterpress printing with individually cast letters around 1450.

Even today, the precise and aesthetic realisation of this earliest typography, which is still clearly in the tradition of contemporary manuscripts, is fascinating. The possibility of reproducing it as a perfect copy revolutionised the printing world from then on.

Supplemented by individually decorated initials and artistic illustrations, which were added by hand after printing, each copy, however, remained truly unique.

This Living Book®, for example, is modelled on the original copy in the Berlin State Library – complete with its magnificent leather binding with embossing, elaborate decorations and book clasps. An impressive play of light brings the book to life and invites guests to leaf through it.

On the basis of reproduced original book pages, visitors can experience how the process of letterpress printing was carried out. Background information on Johannes Gutenberg and the special features of the Berlin copy appear as if by magic on the book pages or are made easy to understand by animated illustrations.

The impressively handmade book decorations on the inside pages appear as if by magic. Piece by piece, the magnificently illuminated pages with colourfully painted initials and growing tendrils are created. A dragon glides across the entire desk. Monks, peacocks and monkeys move across the pages.

The Living Book® in the Stabi Kulturwerk of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin can be seen in the central building Unter den Linden.