About the exhibition
The Giant Bible of Mainz and the Gutenberg Bibles are on view in the East Corridor on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building. The Bibles are surrounded by six murals collectively referred to as The Evolution of the Book.
These murals depict the process of recording and imparting knowledge from the use of symbolic rock structures through the invention of mechanical printing by Johann Gutenberg. The Bibles are displayed here because the Mainz and Gutenberg Bibles are representative of two important elements of human written communication—manuscript and printed writing.
The Bibles can be seen as bookends, representing the end of an era (Mainz and manuscript writing) and the beginning of an era (Gutenberg and movable type). Both Bibles were produced in the same city during the same period.