The Page

The Gutenberg Bible is composed of 1,282 pages. Each page measures 17 x 12 inches. The type is set in two columns, forty-two lines each, from which it has become known as the “forty-two-line Bible,” or “B42.” In this section, explore the structure of this Bible’s pages by looking for the following:

Running titles (line of text at the top of a page indicating the title of a book, which repeats on every page or every other page)


Catchwords (words written in the lower right margin). A catchword was used to tell the binder the opening phrase on the next grouping of pages, known as a “quire.”

The size of the margins is based upon proportions used by scribes in creating manuscript books. Only one page of type was set up at a time and then printed.

Biblia latina (Bible in Latin), Mainz, Johann Gutenberg, 1455. Otto Vollbehr Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg Bible

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