Gutenberg Bible

I once touched a page of the Gutenberg Bible. Just one page, and it wasn’t illuminated at all, just immaculately printed words. If you held it up to a bright light, you would see how those perfect letters were placed exactly on the back of the perfect letters that came before them.

I once touched a page of the Gutenberg Bible. It was in a room, and the room was not special. It had florescent lighting and I was crowded in with 12 other people, looking at manuscripts. We didn’t have to wear gloves, but only pencils were allowed in the room, not pens.

I once touched a page of the Gutenberg Bible. The bible itself a symbol of the beginning of the long divorce between wealth and the dissemination of knowledge. Soon, common people would be laying their hands on these words. Not until the internet would we leap forward again so far.

I once touched a page of the Gutenberg Bible. If I wasn’t a witch before then, I would have become one in that moment when I saw the magic of the words laid out before me.

Cullen Murphy tells Terry Gross about how the invention of the printing press impacted the third Inquisition:

For a long time, the church had had an effective monopoly on the intellectual life in Europe. Publishing was something that involved copying manuscripts. … Suddenly, there’s a new technology on the block. And the church sees this as a threat. So the church sees a combined attack — from the printing press and the Protestant Reformation — [and that] is really the thing that instigates the third Inquisition. … This is the Inquisition that puts Galileo on trial. … It’s the Inquisition that starts the index of forbidden books.

Image of the Gutenberg Bible via

A show of nerdiness. The Finale.

I wasn’t expecting it. Caught off guard by that first glance, I involuntarily debated breathing. My next inhale was orgasmic. Several people looked my way, but I only saw them peripherally and I didn’t care because I was overwhelmed. It was too much. I had to turn away and look at something else.

When I had come round that corner, I recognised the Beowulf Manuscript immediately. Despite this being the first time I had ever set eyes on it, I knew this was it. I’ve read it many times and I felt the words speak to me through the glass and across the letters that formed the Old English in which it was written 1000 years ago. But I wasn’t ready to see the story I love so much. I needed time to prepare myself for such an event.

So I turned and walked around the room, trying desperately to pay attention the other magnificent manuscripts. Nizami’s Khamsah, the Guthlac Roll, Sultan Baybar’s Qur’an, the Gutenberg Bible, and the Golden Haggadah were all there along with many more wonderful things. I could hardly look at them. Beowulf, Grendel, and especially Grendel’s mother were all I could think about.

I took a moment and sat on the small couch. Then I went and stood in front of that display for at least thirty minutes. Pretty sure I ticked off at least four people. Screw them. This was my life’s dream.

Oh. And I saw the Magna Carta too. It was kinda cool.

It has been calculated the each copy of the Gutenberg Bible…required the skins of 300 sheep. -from an article on printing

I can see them squeezed into the holding pen
behind the stone building
where the printing press is housed,

all of them squirming around
to find a little room
and looking so much alike

it would be nearly impossible
to count them,
and there is no telling

which one will carry the news
that the Lord is a shepherd,
one of the few things they already know.

—  “Flock,” Billy Collins

Headcanon that after Aziraphale wistfully mentioned in passing how much he’d love to own a Gutenberg Bible, Crowley figures that stealing a Bible from a library has to count as a bad deed and once he has it well, haha, not like I have any use for it right?  

That was the plan at least.  Crowley’s upper body strength is mediocre at best.

((Text in image:  “In unsuccessful attempt to steal a Gutenberg Bible from Harvard University’s library, the would-be thief underestimated the weight of the books (70 pounds) and tumbled six stories to the ground.))

Had the honor and pleasure of exchanging art for fic with my dearest catchclaw​ again for cockles week! Here are her gorgeous words below:

Sing Into My Mouth

Jensen is a man of few words. 

Part of it is that he’s spent his whole life talking, it seems like. At least in front of the camera. You spend all day saying the same thing over and over again from three different freaking angles and suddenly silence seems like a pretty good deal. 

And part of it, too, is personality. He doesn’t feel the need to jabber. Never did. Hell, even as a kid, he could say more with an eyebrow than Kerouac could in ten pages.

This is actually a good thing, Jensen learns, in modeling. Acting, too. It’s a gift. But in his day-to-day, those few precious hours he gets to spend away from this set or that one, it’s a little trickier, his inclination to keep his mouth shut. 

To girlfriends, to best friends, to his little sister, his dad: there’s so much that Jensen wants to be able to say, to express in some way that’s more permanent than a smile, even one that’s captured on film. 

But words aren’t his thing, never have been. At least ones that he has to come up with himself. 

So it’s not Misha’s fault, Jensen’s anxiety over his twist tie of a tongue. No, Misha just brings it all up there in neon. Won’t let him ignore it anymore. Because Misha has a way with words, a way of making the English language seem foreign and exquisite, and this is true, always: but sex makes it doubly so.

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Great Moments In Warriors History: Fan Makes The Worst Sign Of All Time

Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5 of the Finals because of his inability to stop hitting people in the balls. His last nut slap occurred after LeBron James stepped over him, basically baiting him into the flagrant foul. LeBron also received a technical for his actions, but didn’t get suspended, probably because he hasn’t spent the playoffs hitting people in the genitals.

Afterward, LeBron complained - not about the slap itself, but that Draymond had crossed the line in his comments. An intrepid NBA reporter dug deep and determined that Draymond called LeBron a “bitch.” Immediately, the least qualified spokespeople for the Warriors weighed in. Klay Thompson took a break from vaping to opine that LeBron’s feelings had been hurt. Marreesse Speights claimed he’d lost the respect he and his mole had for LeBron since high school. And Steph’s Curry’s wife took to Twitter to denounce LeBron as well, always a great sign for a team’s chances. Just ask Tom Brady and Wes Welker!

Warriors fans took their cue from the team, booing LeBron constantly, even during warmups and his walk from the team bus. They made signs, too. One sign asked if it was time for LeBron’s baby bottle. One fan brought an oversized bottle. Another has a sign that read Most Valuable leBaby. Look, if you can’t decide between MVB and “LeBaby,” just include both!

The sign pictured above is perhaps the worst sign in sports fan history. First, it is printed out, and in multiple colors, showing a clear degree of planning. Every terrible thing about this sign was absolutely intentional. The sign suggests LeBron’s nickname should be “Loser Cry Baby James,” which is not even clever enough to be a Donald Trump insult. It sounds like something a drunk Hans & Franz would come up with. And the quotation marks!

“High road” is in quotes, as are “King James” and “Loser Cry Baby James” (imagine if someone didn’t think that was a direct quote!). There’s a parenthetical which confusingly claims LeBron’s feelings were “hurt,” which I guess is quoting Klay Thompson? “Hurt” is in caps, as are 60% of the words in the sign. There’s an ellipsis! Really, if you have to make a lot of decisions about punctuation, rethink your sign.

This sign makes the angry letter Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wrote after LeBron left for Miami look like the Gutenberg Bible. Comic Sans font would make this sign classier! There’s plastic snot coming out of the LeBron photo’s nose! This sign took hours of work, and at least one trip to the store. This is the Battlefield Earth of fan signs, only with even worse philosophy behind it.

Look at that kid, and then look at the proud parent behind him. That dad has never helped with a diorama or a science fair project, but he stayed home from work Monday to help his son craft this magnum opus of suck. If the worst parts of a YouTube comment section vomited on some posterboard, it would still look better than this sign.

And it’s laminated! So this terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad sign could be preserved forever, and presumably framed for display in the family home.

LeBron James scored 41 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers won.


Let’s take a trip to some of the most breathtaking and gorgeous libraries in the world.

№ 1 >>  Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress, but which is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings on Capitol Hill and the Packard Campus in Virginia, it describes itself as the largest library in the world. The Library of Congress moved to Washington in 1800, after sitting for eleven years in the temporary national capitals of New York and Philadelphia. Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812. To restore the collection in 1815, the library bought from former president Thomas Jefferson, 6,487 books, his entire personal collection. After a period of slow growth another fire struck the Library in 1851, in its Capitol chambers, again destroying a large amount of the collection, including many of Jefferson’s books. The Library of Congress then began to grow rapidly in both size and importance after the American Civil War and a campaign to purchase replacement copies for volumes that had been burned from other sources, collections and libraries (which had begun to speckle throughout the burgeoning U.S.A.). The Library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to have two copies deposited of books, maps, illustrations and diagrams printed in the United States. It also began to build its collections of British and other European works and then of works published throughout the English-speaking world. Although it is open to the public, only high-ranking government officials may check out books and materials. 

The collections of the Library of Congress include more than 32 million cataloged books and other print materials in 470 languages; more than 61 million manuscripts; the largest rare book collection in North America, including the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, a Gutenberg Bible (one of only three perfect vellum copies known to exist) over 1 million US government publications; 1 million issues of world newspapers spanning the past three centuries; 33,000 bound newspaper volumes; 500,000 microfilm reels; over 6,000 titles in all, totaling more than 120,000 issues comic book titles; films; 5.3 million maps; 6 million works of sheet music; 3 million sound recordings; more than 14.7 million prints and photographic images including fine and popular art pieces and architectural drawings; the Betts Stradivarius; and the Cassavetti Stradivarius. Read More | Edit

This blockbook Apocalypsis is a favorite item for some NYPL employees working with our incredible special collections. Found in our Rare Books Collection, this blockbook is the only one in the world that still has its original cover as far as we know. It’s an illustrated biblical text for less literate believers and was produced in 1465, ten years after the Gutenberg Bible, using a printing method that required the images and text on every page to be carved separately. Clearly, that technology couldn’t compete with movable type, so blockbooks’ heyday was short-lived. There aren’t many of these kinds of books around 550 years later, but we love that the sloppily painted folkloric pictures are in complete opposition to the sleek Gothic type of the Gutenberg. Plus, dragons and the fiery maw of hell!

hacker au, valentine’s day | enjolras/grantaire, joly/bossuet | holidays, dates, museums, robber baron libraries, histories

Valentine’s Day is almost a complete disaster.

Enjolras has been nervous about it, felt the crisis approaching. The truth is, he and Grantaire aren’t ready for Valentine’s Day.

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The World’s Most Expensive Books

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and perhaps that explains why the world’s most famous paintings sell for hundreds of millions of dollars more than the most expensive books. But even so, nothing can capture the insight into the author’s mind like carefully woven words penned in the master’s own hand, and when that master is Leonardo da Vinci – thirty million dollars is a bargain.

1. The Codex Leicester – Leonardo da Vinci. $30.8M (1994).
2. The Gospels of Henry the Lion – $12.4M (1983)
3. The Birds of America – $8.8M (2000)
4. The Canterbury Tales - $7M (1998)
5. The Gutenberg Bible – $5.4M (1987)
6. Traité des Arbres Fruitiers - $4.5M (2006)
7. The Northumberland Bestiary – $5.4M (1987)
8. First Folio: Comedies, Histories and Tragedies – $5.5M (2006)
9. Cosmography – $4.2M (2006)
10. Mozart’s 9 Symphonies Manuscript -  $4.1M (1990)

This weekend is the final weekend that our Library’s treasures—including Shakespeare’s First Folio—will be on view in the Erburu Wing of the Scott Galleries. One prized item will move over to the Huntington Art Gallery and some others will come back on view this fall. Head over to Verso to get the deets.

caption: Title page of Shakespeare’s First Folio edition, 1623. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.


It has been calculated that each copy of the Gutenberg Bible… required the skins of 300 sheep. 

I can see them squeezed into the holding pen

behind the stone building

where the printing press is housed. 

all of them squirming around

to find a little room

and looking so much alike

it would be nearly impossible

to count them,

and there is no telling

which one will carry the news

that the Lord is a shepherd,

one of the few things they already know. 

-Billy Collins