Library's rare facsimile of Gutenberg Bible intrigues visitors from Germany

The children of Axel and Jennifer Mehnert of Germany pose with the book recently donated to the library by the Mehnert family. From left are Kian, Siana and Darien. (Photo submitted)


Klaus and Gesine Mehnert of Radolfzell, Germany, visited Guttenberg for a couple of weeks in the summer of 2010. They were travelling with their son Axel, his wife Jennifer and their three children, all of whom live in Reichenau, Germany.  Jennifer is the daughter of Jim and Lee Johnston of South River Park Drive, Guttenberg.

Klaus and Gesine were fascinated by the German settlement story of Guttenberg and particularly the possible naming tie to the Gutenberg Bible.  They visited the Gutenberg Bible copy in the Guttenberg Library and the replica press in city hall. 

Following their visit to the U.S. they went to the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, to learn more about the Gutenberg Bible. According to Wikipedia, the Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed with movable type in the West.  Forty-two to 46 original copies, or substantial portions of copies survive, and are considered the most valuable books in the world. Individual pages sell for $20,000 to $100,000 each and a complete Bible is estimated to be worth $25 to $35 million dollars today. 

Continued in the pages of The Guttenberg Press

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