The Penrith Museum of Print's October 26th Celebration of 400 years since the first complete Folio edition of Shakespeare's plays, held as part of Sydney Rare Book Week, has received a boost with the PVCA agreeing to loan the treasured Gutenberg Bible facsimile, 2 volumes, for the event.

GutenbergBible Mazarin facs DoduThe facsimile Gutenberg Bible (Old & New Testaments) was set up and printed in the exact way Gutenberg would have - even the rag paper was made specially to match. The 3rd book is a descriptive volume.

Gutenberg Bible IlluminatedA beatifully Illuminated page from the Gutenberg Bilble In addition to copies of the complete works of Shakespeare Folio edition from the 1800s, the Penrirth Museum of Print's free October 26th event will now include the two volumes of the 42-line facsilile Mazarin Bible which were bequeathed to the PVCA (then PIAA) by the late Vic Alberts of Standard Publishing, along with other rare books. Matt Aitken, PVCA President and IVE Group executive kindly arranged the loan.

The last time the Gutenberg Bible had a public outing was in 2018 when Print to Parliament took place and Canberra pollies were able to see the exquisite example of letterpress history.

This year's display is part of  Sydney Rare Book Week, 23rd-28th October and the Penrith Museum is part of the multi-site events that include the State Library of NSW, Sydney University and UNSW.Stephanus withP2P GutenbergBiblePenrith Museum's Dr Stephanus Peters shows a Canberra politician the Bible in 2019.

Although primarily a celebration of 400-years of Shakespeare's Folio - of which the State Library has an original 1623-printed copy - it is also a celebration of Letterpress printing and typography and the arrival of Australia's last Letterpress machine to print newspapers - the 1939 Heidelberg Zylinder Automat from the Don Dorrigo Gazette.

Industry researcher Andy McCourt will provide a short and entertaining backrounder and visitors will be able to enjoy a free tour of a variety of Letterpress and line-casting type equiment, and even set their own names just as Gutenberg would have done, letter by letter using moveable type and a composing stick!

Footnote: Interestingly, both the first comprehensive English translation of the Bible - the 'King James Version - and Shakespeare's first Folio, were printed and published during the reign of King James the First, the KJV in 1611 and the Shakespeare in 1623. Both books changed the course of human history. Before the King James version, it was a capital offence in many countries to translate and publish the Latin Bible into English - and many who did, such as Wycliffe and Tyndale were burned at the stake!


Date of event: 26th October 2023 from 10:30am to 12:30pm

Cost: Free
Location: Penrith Museum of Printing, grounds of the Penrith Paceway, Ransley Street Penrith, Penrith, NSW, 2750

Register for this event  on this  Eventbrite link . Although free, numbers have to be limited for OH&S reasons.

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