Gutenberg Bible

close up of Gutenberg Bible

The Bible, produced by Johann Gutenberg (ca. 1397–1468), is considered the first substantial book printed in Europe. Gutenberg's Bible was issued in an edition of approximately 175 copies. Only 48 of them survive today, including 12 on prepared animal skin known as vellum, such as the one seen here. The book's large format suggests that it was intended for institutional rather than personal use, and that it belonged to a wealthy monastery or church.