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About this Item


  • Catholicon.


  • A combination Latin dictionary and encyclopedia completed in 1286, the Catholicon of Giovanni Balbi was the first non religious book of substantial size to be printed. The 1460 edition, the first of many 15th century editions, contains in its colophon the first detailed printed reference to the introduction of printing with moveable type. This is also the first instance in which a book named its place of printing. Although the name of the printer is not given, the particular nature of the working and other evidence have led people to believe that this edition must have been printed by Johann Gutenberg.


  • Balbi, Giovanni, -1298.
  • Gutenberg, Johann, 1397?-1468, printer, associated name.
  • Augustus Frederick, Prince, Duke of Sussex, 1773-1843, former owner.
  • Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872, former owner.
  • Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • Mainz [Printer of the Catholicon (Johann Gutenberg?)] 1460.


  • -  Latin language--Grammar--Early works to 1500
  • -  Latin language, Medieval and modern--Dictionaries
  • -  Germany--Rhineland-Palatinate--Mainz


  • Incunabula--Germany--Rhineland-Palatinate--Mainz--1460


  • -  Library of Congress. Lessing J. Rosenwald collection, 31
  • -  Goff, F.R. Incunabula in American libraries, B-20
  • -  Copinger, W.A. Supplement to Hain's Repertorium bibliographicum, 2254
  • -  Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, 3182, variant 2.
  • -  Stillwell, M.B. Gutenberg and the Catholicon of 1460, no. 70 (1 line space above colophon)
  • -  Duke of Sussex Catalog, lot 1706
  • -  Zedler, "Das Mainzer Catholicon," 1905; Stillwell, "Gutenberg and the Catholicon of 1460;" Bennett, 15.
  • -  Gift of Lessing J. Rosenwald, 1943-1975. Other provenance information: Duke of Sussex; Phillips, Sir Thomas.
  • -  LC copy: initials, paragraph marks and underlines supplied in red, a few chapter headings in red; large initials in red and blue, a few in red or blue only. Old red morocco, gilt, silk lining papers. Provenance: Duke of Sussex (with his book-plate), Sir Thomas Phillipps.
  • -  Also available in digital form on the Library of Congress Web site.


  • [373] leaves. 40.4 cm. (fol.)

Call Number/Physical Location

  • Incun. 1460 .B3

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 47043559

Online Format

  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Balbi, Giovanni, -1298, Johann Gutenberg, Prince Augustus Frederick, Thomas Phillipps, and Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection. Catholicon. [Mainz Printer of the Catholicon Johann Gutenberg?, 1460] Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/47043559/.

APA citation style:

Balbi, G., Gutenberg, J., Augustus Frederick, P., Phillipps, T. & Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection. (1460) Catholicon. [Mainz Printer of the Catholicon Johann Gutenberg?] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/47043559/.

MLA citation style:

Balbi, Giovanni, -1298, et al. Catholicon. [Mainz Printer of the Catholicon Johann Gutenberg?, 1460] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/47043559/>.