Obituary for Herman-Hartmut Weyel

Former President and Honorary President of the International Gutenberg Society (1987-2021), Herman-Hartmut Weyel deceased at the age of 88 years

The Presidium and Executive Board of the International Gutenberg Society mourn the death of the former Lord Mayor of the state capital Mainz and its former President and Honorary President Herman-Hartmut Weyel, who passed away on Sunday, 28 November 2021, at the age of 88. 

Born in Prenzlau in 1933, Herman-Hartmut Weyel was a trained administrative lawyer. Before moving into the Mainz City Council in 1969, he worked in the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of Justice. In 1979, Weyel then took over the chairmanship of the SPD parliamentary group and was elected Lord Mayor in 1987. 

In his capacity as Lord Mayor, he was also appointed President of the Gutenberg Society by virtue of his office. His meritorious activity, based on a great understanding of the Society's concerns, lasted for 10 years. After completing his term as Lord Mayor and thus as President of the Society, Weyel was elected Honorary President at the 1997 General Members' Meeting. In this capacity he remained an active member of the Board until the end and we thank him for 34 years of untiring commitment and dedication to the aims of the Gutenberg Society. 

Herman-Hartmut Weyel was honoured for his services with the Gutenberg Bust and was a recipient of the Ring of Honour of the City of Mainz. With him, the city of Mainz and the Gutenberg Society have lost a great personality. Our sympathy goes especially to his family and all his relatives. 

Presidium and Board of the International Gutenberg Society


120 Years International Gutenberg Society

On June 23, 1901, exactly 120 years ago, the International Gutenberg Society was founded in Mainz. Since then, it has unwaveringly pursued two important goals: Research on the history and development of printing technology and writing-oriented media, and the idealistic and financial promotion of the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz.

The history of the Gutenberg Society is closely linked to that of the Gutenberg Museum, at the opening of this museum it met for the first time. Within a very short time, the society grew rapidly and by the end of 1901 already had over 600 members.

In 1926, the Gutenberg Society celebrated its 25th anniversary with the publishing of a commemorative publication, which was also the first volume of the Gutenberg Yearbook, which has been published annually in almost uninterrupted succession ever since. Today, the Gutenberg Yearbook is still the most important result of the work of the Gutenberg Society and the central publication organ of the international Gutenberg research. In addition, more than a hundred other publications have been issued by the Gutenberg Society, including in the "Small Prints" series.

Since 1968, the Gutenberg Society and the City of Mainz have also awarded the Gutenberg Prize, worth 10,000 euros, for outstanding artistic, technical and scientific achievements in the field of printing. The award was initially presented every three years, and since 1994 has alternated annually with the Gutenberg Prize of the City of Leipzig, which also honors outstanding achievements in book art.

"The Gutenberg Society can thus look back with pride on a long tradition of successful activity, which is primarily borne by the support and commitment of its members," emphasizes Lord Mayor Michael Ebling as President of the Gutenberg Society.

Even today, the Gutenberg Society, with around 700 members in more than 30 countries around the world, is an important institution not only for Gutenberg research, but also as a supporter of the Gutenberg Museum. The office is located in the house "Roman emperor" together with the specialized library of the Gutenberg Museum as well as its administration. In the coming years, the Gutenberg Society is facing an exciting time with the planned structural and content-related realignment of the Gutenberg Museum, and as in the past 120 years, the Gutenberg Society will support the Gutenberg Museum to the best of its ability on its way to a new future.

We warmly invite you to celebrate our 120th anniversary with us at our digital celebration event following the 120th General Member's Meeting. You can look forward to the presentation of the hot-off-the-press Gutenberg Yearbook 2021 by the editor Prof. Dr. Stephan Füssel as well as a lecture by the Gutenberg Prize winner 2020, Gerhard Steidl.

Date: Saturday, June 26 2021
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom, you will receive the access data after your registration at info(at)



Our city groups

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. To this end, we have found some committed members who organise and carry out events on their own premises in the name of the Gutenberg Society. Ernst Reif made the start in Munich and launched the first events in April 2019. He was followed by Mario Derra in Gernsheim ( and Hans Josef Altmann in Velbert-Langenberg (

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 or by phone at (+49)6131/226420.


Follow Us on Social Media

We are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and invite you to follow us for up-to-date information about the Society, the Gutenberg Museum and our as well as international events!

Facebook: @Ggesellschaft
Twitter: @GutenbergInt
Instagram: @gutenberggesellschaft
Youtube: @Internationale Gutenberg-Gesellschaft

Related links

Gutenberg Museum Main:

Society of Bibliophiles:

Gutenberg Institute for World Literature and Writing-oriented Media - Department of Book Studies (JGU Mainz):