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Medieval Literature in Manuscript and Print: Incunables

Incunables, or incunabla, are books printed within the first fifty years after the advent of printing with moveable type. Special Collections houses two of these treasures!

Gutenberg Bible facsimile

Biblia Latina. Patterson, N.J.: Pageant Books, 1961. Special Collections [Folio] BS70 .G8 1961

There are only 49 surviving copies of the Gutenberg Bible. Perhaps not surprisingly, TCU does not own one! We do, however, have a fine facsimile edition. The Pageant Books facsimile derives from two illuminated copies --one now housed at the Königlichen Bibliothek in Berlin and another housed at the Standischen Landesbibliothek in Fulda.

The University of Texas has a copy that is on permanent exhibit. Their informative digital exhibit can be accessed through the image below.

Portrait of Johannes Gutenberg

Imitatio Christi

à Kempis, Thomas. Imitatio Christi. Augsburg, Germany: Günther Zainer, [before 5 June 1473]. [Quarto] BV4820 .A1 1473


Biblia LatinaBasel, Switzerland: Nicolaus Kesler, 1491. Special Collections [Quarto] BS75 1491

Atlas of Early Printing

The Center for the Book at the University of Iowa has a really cool visual showing the spread of printing in Europe. Click on the image below to access.

Woodcut of early printers