"Gutenberg and I" – What does Gutenberg mean to me, to Mainz and to the whole world?

A campaign on the occasion of Johannisnacht from 21 to 24 June 2019

With the "Gutenberg and I" campaign, we asked visitors to the Johannisnacht in Mainz three questions: "What does Gutenberg mean to me, to Mainz and to the world?

The aim of the campaign, which was largely organised by the Freundeskreis Gutenberg in cooperation with the Gutenberg Foundation, the Gutenberg Museum and the Department of Public Relations and Protocol of the City of Mainz, was to raise awareness of Gutenberg among the population of Mainz by asking individual visitors to the Gutenberg Festival to present their personal idea of Gutenberg in small talks.

In addition to the medieval walking acts, bookshops in downtown Mainz decorated part of their shop windows on the theme of Gutenberg (Erlesenes & Büchergilde, the Bukafski bookshop, the Dom bookshop, Hugendubel am Brand, the Cardabela bookshop, the BINO bookshop in Nieder-Olm and the Claudius bookshop in Mainz) and Tobias Mayer (STUZ) shot short clips for the YouTube channel "Freundeskreis Gutenberg". Children ask the market visitors or familiar faces from Mainz, such as the character Frederik van der Sonne or Thomas Neger, and Dr. Annette Ludwig, the director of the Gutenberg Museum, what Gutenberg means to them, how important he is to the world, or simply what one would like to ask him if one were to meet him etc.

The campaign was a complete success and we would like to thank everyone very much. Many visited the stand of the Freundeskreis Gutenberg and answered our questions during the "Gutenberg and I" campaign. Here are some of the best answers:

1 What does Gutenberg mean to you personally?
"I am happy to live in a city that has produced such a great person."
"I am a teacher. Without Gutenberg, no education, no books."

2 What does Gutenberg mean for the city of Mainz?
"Mainz without Gutenberg is unthinkable, Mainz and Gutenberg are mentioned in the same breath."
"Gutenberg and Mainz, that's the festival."
"We missed him when he wasn't on the pedestal anymore."

3 What does Gutenberg mean for the world?
"Innovation in every respect."
"The art of letterpress printing was revolutionary and that should be sung of."

The newly founded Munich City Group

Since the beginning of 2019, the Gutenberg Society has wanted to expand its activities and involve its internationally distributed members more closely by founding locally active city groups. The cooperation of like-minded people needs points of contact, which we want to make available. Above all, personal encounters provide the opportunity to expand and deepen knowledge about the areas of interest through contacts. Our member Ernst Reif has now launched the first city group of this kind in Munich and started with the first events in April 2019.

Further information about upcoming events can be found under News.

Join in
You also wanted to establish a group in your region? We will support you! Contact us by mail at info@gutenberg-gesellschaft.de or by phone at (+49)6131/226420.


An Obituary for Jens Beutel, former Lord Mayor of the City of Mainz and former President of the Gutenberg Society

The Presidium and Board of the International Gutenberg Society in Mainz mourn the death of the former Lord Mayor of Mainz and its former President Jens Beutel, who died on May8th 2019 at the age of 72.

Jens Beutel was born in Lünen in 1946 and, after completing his law studies, initially worked as a judge in Frankenthal, Koblenz and Mainz. In 1974, Beutel began his political career in the local advisory board of the Mainz district of Mombach. The SPD politician was elected to the city council in 1989 and the mayor of Mainz in 1997. He held this office until his retirement at the end of 2011.

During his time as Lord Mayor, Jens Beutel was also President of the International Gutenberg Society by virtue of his office. In doing so, he was committed to the interests of the society beyond the mere official duty. During his presidency in 2001, the Society celebrated its 100th anniversary. Even after his time as President, Jens Beutel remained closely associated with the themes and goals of the Gutenberg Society and the Gutenberg Museum. He continued to be an active member and participated regularly in the events, most recently during the festivities marking the Gutenberg Year 2018.

In 2005 Jens Beutel received the medal of honour of the Mainz twin city Dijon and in 2011 the ring of honour of the city of Mainz for his almost four decades of local political activity. In many respects, he was a formative personality in the history of Mainz. Our sympathy goes especially to his family and all his relatives.

Presidium and Board of the International Gutenberg Society in Mainz e.V.

YouTube channel with Gutenberg videos

As a follow-up to the manifold activities in the Gutenberg year 2018, the Mainz Institute of Book Science was able to publish its own YouTube channel with nine films each in German and English on "Gutenberg und die Erfindung des Buchdruck" / "Gutenberg and the impact of printing in Western culture" on the Internet. The production of letters, casting, the printing press, the exclusion of typesetting, the Gutenberg Bible, rubrication and illumination, the Göttingen sample book, the spread of the art of book printing during the incunabula period and the mechanisation of typesetting production in the 19th century are presented. These films were produced for the Enhanced E-Book on Gutenberg by Rowohlt, who published them as Digibuch Plus in 2013.

Since the 6th edition of the Gutenberg paperback is currently being published in German by Rowohlt and the 1st edition in English by Haus-Publishing in London in early summer, these films will also be included in the e-book by QR code in print and by link.

We are happy to recommend these films to your attention:


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