Johannes Gutenberg (c1400-1468), a German inventor, who, after more than 20 years of experimentation, printed 300 copies of a 42-line, 1282-page Latin Bible, known today as the Gutenberg Bible (1454). Gutenberg’s publication inaugurates the era of movable-type. At the time, there were a total of about 30,000 books in all of Europe; by the year 1500, there were an estimated 9 million. Whereas scribes copied manuscripts by hand before Gutenberg’s invention, copying became mechanized and much faster after the invention. The invention of movable-type printing facilitated an easier exchange of ideas throughout Europe and helped spread the ideas of the Renaissance.
Gutenberg Bible: View the British Library's Digital Versions Online (The British Library)
Gutenberg Bible: Background about Gutenberg and his Bibles (The British Library)
Gutenberg Information (City of Mainz Online)