Gutenberg-Museum – World museum of letterpress printing

The Gutenberg-Museum, world museum of letterpress printing, is one of the oldest museums of the history of books, print and type. Only a few hundred metres away from the place where Johannes Gutenberg originally brought printing with movable types to perfection, about 130,000 visitors from all over the world admire the inheritance of the man who, due to his outstanding importance, was chosen as „man of the millennium“. The Gutenberg-Museum makes experienceable that the present shift to the digital information and media society goes back to what began more than 550 years ago with Gutenberg's invention.

The Gutenberg-Museum fulfills with its exhibition contents and collections the classical museum duties of collecting, maintaining, presenting and conveying. It documents the history of writing, printing and book in the whole world: from the book culture before and after Gutenberg through printing presses from past centuries up to the art of printing in Eastern Asia or in the Islamic cultural environment. There the range goes from the development of manuscript, newspaper and printing history through the important Exlibris collection up to the miniature-press archive. Some of the museum’s greatest treasures are two Gutenberg Bibles with 42 lines, printed in the middle of the 15th century.

Above all in his numerous special exhibitions the Gutenberg-Museum takes up subjects of current research, processes them excitingly and understandably, and bends into the 21st century. Imbedded into the “Luther Decade”, the special exhibition “On the 8th day God invented the Cloud” showed how virtuously Luther and his contemporaries of the 16th century moved among the flood of new media, writings and pieces of information – and it drew parallels to our present world.

Several often award-winning special exhibitions, having as a topic the newly-established focus on typography in 2011, attracted worldwide attention, just as the book accompanying the “Futura” exhibition. This special exhibition brings together the entire research achievements to this first substantial one in Germany. The “Futura Catalogue” was published in German language in 2016 and in English language in 2017. The specialist library belonging to the museum with its more than 80,000 media units concerning books, prints and type is also of great significance. Users from all over the world visit it when they need information about research or scientific projects.

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