Print / Share  
 
 

Stories

The Gutenberg Facsimile Displays the Beauty of Books in the 1400s

July 21, 2017

Gutenberg BibleSince its opening in 1994, the Noel Memorial Library has provided students, faculty and staff with a tremendous selection of books. An interesting collection is the religious collection which holds books that date back to the 1400s. One of the most impressive books is the Gutenberg Facsimile.

Gutenberg BibleThe Gutenberg Facsimile is a reproduction of the original Gutenberg Bible. It is divided into two books with about one-thousand pages combined and is 32 centimeters. It is also written in old Latin. Although it is the reproduction it allows insight on how books were once created.

“You can get an idea of what it looks like. It also has some very interesting illustrations around the edge, and in the original version those would have been done by hand. So, it’s just, it’s a beautiful book and it’s an example of how people would hand make items,” said Martha Lawler, associate librarian. “Which is how books were printed until the mid-1800s. People would even process the paper by hand, so everything printed before 1850 is unique and that’s what makes it special.”

The creation that LSUS holds was produced around the 1960s. While people may think that this is the original, the originals are scarce. The Gutenberg Facsimile has been on campus since the nineties.

“I’m not sure how long it’s been on the campus. The collection has been here since 1995. So at least that long,” Lawler said. It was part of what James Smith Noel wanted to be a working collection.

Many students are unaware that this special book is located in the library. Though there are few requests to view the reproduction, people are encouraged to take a look. The Gutenberg Facsimile is always available for viewing.