By-laws

By-laws of the International Gutenberg Society

§ 1 Name, seat, business year

1) The association controls the name “Internationale Gutenberg-Gesellschaft in Mainz e.V.”. The Gutenberg Society is an international
consortium for exploration and research of the history and development of printing technology and other writing-oriented media.
2) The association’s seat is in Mainz.
3) The business year is the calendar year.


§ 2 Association purpose

The duties and responsibilities and goals of the association are:
a) The exploration and research of print and book studies, the typography and the advancement of other writing-oriented media: The publication of research results in the Gutenberg Jahrbuch and other suitable association publications,
b) intellectual and material support of the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz.


§ 3 Legal status, nonprofit status

1) The Gutenberg Society is recorded in the register of associations of the municipal court in Mainz.
2) The association’s capital may not be used for statutory purposes.
The members do not share in any profits. No one is permitted to benefit through unauthorized administrative expenses or disproportionate salaries.
3) The association exclusively and directly pursues non-profit purposes as defined by the §§ 51 ff of the revenue code. The association is recognized as a nonprofit organization by the fiscal authorities in Mainz.
4) Membership dues and donations for the benefit of the association are tax deductible.


§ 4 Types of members, Membership, Dues
1) The society offers following types of membership:
a) Regular members.
b) Supporting members who are paying higher yearly dues than the set minimum dues.
c) Members in a family membership. Relatives of a regular member can become a family member for a reduced due.
d) Trial membership. Trial membership is limited for one year and without paying due. Trial membership is possible only once.
2) Any individual that has reached the age of 16 and who wants to support the goals of the association is able to become a member of the association. Regular members or supporting members can also be corporate entities, other associations and statutory corporations governed by public law.
3) The president decides if a member will be admitted.
4) The amount of the minimum yearly dues for regular members and the reduced due for members in a family membership are set by the members at the Members’ Meeting. The dues are payable by March 31st of the current business year at the latest. The president can decrease the minimum dues in individual cases upon reasonable request.


§ 5 Termination of membership

1) Membership ends through resignation, death, or termination. The same is true for a lapse in membership/termination of a corporate entity.
2) Resignation of membership can be recorded in written form only at the end of the calendar year. The notice of resignation must be received by the association by September 30th at the latest.
3) Every member can be disqualified with immediate effect when statutory duties are not fulfilled, despite written appeals. Particularly if payment of dues is delayed more than one year or if the purpose of the association, esteem or the peace of the association are disrupted through the member’s behavior.
4) The board determines the expulsion. The resolution is delivered to the member in written form. Within one month of the delivery the member can submit a written objection, over which the board will decide with a two-thirds majority.
5) A resigned or expelled member receives no dues refund for the current business year.


§ 6 Rights and duties of the members

1) Members will be informed regulary about activities and will be invited to events of the society.
2) Members who have not paid their yearly dues prior to the regular members’ meeting have no right to vote.


§ 7 Honorary title and ring of honor

1) The members’ meeting can, at the suggestion of the board, elect a previous president of the association as an honorary president.
2) Honorary members are elected at the members’ meeting at the suggestion of the board. Only a member who has earned special merits through the association can become an honorary member. Honorary members do not pay dues.
3) The title “Senator of the Gutenberg society” is an honorary title of the society. Appointment and function of the senators are regulated by § 12.
4) The board can award an honor to members and non-members for distinguished support of the association.


§ 8 Elements of the association

Elements of the association are
a) the members’ meeting,
b) the board,
c) the president,
d) the advisory senate
e) Advisory board


§ 9 Members’ meeting

1) The regular members’ meeting convenes once per year—if possible on St. John’s Day. The meeting is called, at the latest four weeks prior to the appointed day, through publication of the agenda by the president. Member’s motions must be submitted to the business office in written form ten days prior to the assembly.
2) The members’ meeting will be conducted by the president and in the event he/she is incapacitated, a member of the board. A written memorandum over the assembly’s course of actions and the summarized resolutions will be produced and is to be signed by the assembly leader and the secretary.
3) The regular members’ meeting has the following objectives:
a) acceptance of the board’s statement of accounts (business report, annual financial statement),
b) acceptance of the examiner’s audit certificate,
c) acceptance of the annual statements,
d) discharge of the board and management board,
e) election of board members,
f) election of two examiners,
g) adoption of a resolution regarding the annual budget,
h) adoption of a resolution to set the amount of the minimum dues,
i) adoption of a resolution to amend the statutes of the association or for disbandment,
j) discussion of member’s motion,
k) election of an honorary president or honorary member,
l) advisement and resolution regarding miscellaneous questions listed on the agenda.
4) Decisions of the members’ meeting will be determined by a simple majority of the present members. By-law or dues changes can only be decided if they are announced by being printed in the invitation. Such changes require a majority of three-fourths of the present members.
5) Special members’ meetings can be called if the president or the board believes it is necessary or makes the request to at the least two hundred members.


§ 10 Board

1) The board consists of:
a) by virtue of office
1. the mayor of Mainz as president,
2. the chair of the advisory senate,
3. a state cultural minister or a specifically appointed agent,
4. the president of the Johannes Gutenberg University or
a specifically appointed agent,
5. the city of Mainz department head responsible for the Gutenberg Museum,
6. the director of the Gutenberg Museum,
7. an individual holding the chair for for book studies (Buchwissenschaft) at the Johannes Gutenberg University,
8. the honorary president.
b) Through election at the members’ meeting, up to fourteen additional people. The term of office for the elected board members is four years.
2) The board is responsible for all duties that are not assigned in the by-laws or statutes of another element of the organization.
The board is in particular responsible for
a) preparation of the members’ meeting and execution of resolutions,
b) assembly of the annual budget and the statement of accounts,
c) selection of a vice president, a treasurer, and a secretry from the members of the board,
d) the economical and expedient appropriation of association funds,
e) appointment and dismissal of office employees.
3) The board provides itself with internal rules of order.


§ 11 Executive Committee

1) The executive committee consists of:
a) the president,
b) the vice president, treasurer, and secretary,
c) two additional members, which the board elects from the committee for four years respectively.
2) The executive committee will act in place of the board when the necessary decision cannot be made in due time. Furthermore it oversees proper business management.
3) The executive committee can request the president engage the auditing office of the city of Mainz outside of the annual audit request.
4) The president, vice president, and treasurer represent the association alone as defined by the § 26 Abs. 2 BGB.


§ 12 Advisory Senate
1) The board can name individuals who have earned extraordinary merits with the association or who act as international influential leaders for the association as “Senators of the Gutenberg Society”.
2) The senators comprise the advisory senate and elect a chair from their center for four years, respectively, parallel to the legislative period of the board members.
3) The chair of the advisory senate is invited to the board meetings and informs the senators.
4) The advisory council advises the members’ meeting and the board.
5) The senators officiate as ambassadors to relay the goals of the association and to promote membership internationally.


§ 13 Advisory board

1) The board can appoint persons for the advisory board who feel related to the Gutenberg society, its goals ,and ideas through their activities. Members of the advisory board do not have to be members of the society.
2) The prize winners of the “Gutenberg Award” and their laudatories will be members of the advisory board.
3) The president of the society is also chairman of the advisory board.
4) The members of the advisory board do constribute for the public awareness of the society.
5) The members of the advisory board serve next to the senator as an ambassador for sharing the goals of the society and for the international membership recruitment.


§ 14 Examiner

The members’ meeting elects two examiners to oversee the costeffective and purposeful appropriation of association assets and to review the annual statement, as well as to furnish the members’ meeting with a yearly audit report. They are elected every two years and also have the responsibility of administering unplanned cash audits.


§ 15 Assessment

In conjunction with the regular members’ meeting an assessment takes place, in which every two years the “Gutenberg Prize” is awarded. In the off years a lecture will be held.


§ 16 Business management

1) The business manager administrates the business operations of the Gutenberg Society. He/She is under the direction of the board.
2) The business manager, along with the secretary or a member appointed by the board, is responsible for press relations.


§ 17 Appropriation of funds by dissolution of the association

1) The dissolution of the association can be decided only by three-fourths of the present members during a special members’ meeting called for this purpose alone.
2) By dissolution of the association, the assets are transmitted to the city of Mainz, which must utilize them for the advancement of the Gutenberg Museum as a world museum of print-art.

These by-laws were confirmed by a majority at the 116th members’ meeting on June 24, 2017 and were recorded in the register of associations of the municipal court of Mainz.