It pays to do a little internet research every now and then! When I checked out the Mainz tourism page I found out the most prominent historical figure from Mainz was Johannes Gutenberg. Wow! I felt vey silly because I have walked by the museum several times and never noticed it before...I think the modern exterior didn't grab my attention.
Publishing was my career field a long time ago (pre-children). I am not kidding when I say I was thrilled to see this museum! I did the audio tour which was excellent. Right away the tour brought me a vault where the museum stores a prized two-volume set of the Gutenberg Bible.
The room is kept dark...I'm sure that is to protect the parchment from light. I downloaded these photos from the museum's website. The Bible was printed in the mid 1450s. The museum's copies are called the Shuckburgh Bibles, named for the English family that originally owned the set.
Any colored areas were added by hand after the black type was printed. Holes were left in the copy to add the red lettering by hand. Some bibles had much more elaborate colorings added.
It is really incredible to think about how the ability to print using moveable typeface revolutionized the world. It was a major component of the religious Reformation. Being able to print discussion about religious topics for use by the more common man was key to the distribution of differing religious thought. In a little over 500 years we have leapt to an ability to watch typeface set itself instantly while working on a laptop. I can remember using an Exacto knife to cut and paste newspaper copy when editing a newspaper twenty-plus years ago. Wouldn't Gutenberg love to see how his creation has evolved!
I'm so glad I live in this time period!
Today I am venturing to St. Stephens Cathedral where there are colored windows design by Marc Chagall. Yesterday it was cloudy...not good to stained glass window viewing...today it is sunny!