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The Gutenberg Bible is the first great book printed in Western Europe from movable metal type. It marks a turning point in the art of bookmaking and in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern world. Completed in Mainz, Germany, probably in late 1455, Johann Gutenberg is generally credited with inventing the process of uniform type. The Bible was purchased for the Library of Congress from Dr. Otto H. F. Vollbehr by an act of Congress in 1930.
This view of St. Augustine is the earliest engraving of any locality that is now in the United States. The English fleet lies at anchor, the infantry troops having disembarked and are attacking the Spanish settlement on May 28 and 29, 1586. To see more, visit the online exhibit of The Cultures and History of the Americas; the Jay I. Kislak Collection.
The Rare Book and Special Collections Division Reading Room
101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ 239
Washington, D.C. 20540-4740
Map showing location
Weekdays, 8:30am-5:00 pm
* Final book requests at 4:15pm
Closed Sat/Sun & Federal holidays
Want to ask our reference staff a question about the rare book & special collections?
|The unique materials of the Rare Book
and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 800,000 items,
include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints,
posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At
the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold
to Congress in 1815.