Highlights of the "Gutenberg Year 2018"

In 2018, the state capital of Mainz celebrated a very special anniversary: the 550th anniversary of the death of the city's most famous son, Johannes Gutenberg. In the "Gutenberg Year 2018" the focus was on the past, but also on the present and the future with social media, 3D printing and the like. Of course, the Gutenberg Society could not be missing and this year again we offered many exciting events. We have summarized two highlights for you here.

Award of the Gutenberg Prize 2018 and Honorary Membership

On 23 June 2018, the International Gutenberg Society in Mainz e. V. and the City of Mainz awarded the Gutenberg Prize to the renowned literary figure and reading researcher Alberto Manguel.

On November 8, 2018, the International Gutenberg Society also honored Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse, master bookbinder and type artist, with an honorary membership of the Gutenberg Society. Ms. Zapf-von Hesse's life's work has made important contributions to the art of typography and printing. Especially in this special Gutenberg year of 2018, the focus is on those personalities who preserve, promote and further develop Gutenberg's art and heritage.

Gudrun Zapf-von Hesse, born on 2 January 1918 in Schwerin, is an internationally renowned typeface artist. In 1991 she was honoured with the Frederic W. Goudy Award, the highest American award in the field of writing and book art, and in 2016 (together with Hermann Zapf posthumously) received the first German award, the Art Prize of the Ike and Berthold Roland Foundation, as well as an apprenticeship with the renowned Weimar binding artist Otto Dorfner (1937-1940) and a position as lecturer for writing and type design at the Städel University in Frankfurt (1946-1954). She also taught herself how to type, ran her own bookbinding workshop in Frankfurt, and designed numerous typefaces, most recently her first digital typeface, Hesse Antiqua.

Honorary membership of the international Gutenberg Society is awarded only very rarely. With this exclusive award, the Gutenberg Society expresses its great admiration for Mrs. Zapf-von Hesse and her work.

Review of our Day trip to the cabinet exhibition "Gutenberg in Göttingen”

On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, the time had finally come: members and guests of the International Gutenberg Society and, a welcome innovation, volunteers and staff of the Gutenberg Foundation set off on an excursion to Göttingen. In the morning we started in the coach with food and drink. Professor Füssel enriched the trip with interesting and instructive information about Gutenberg and the Göttingen Gutenberg Bible on display. After a smooth journey there and arrival in Göttingen we went on the short way to the exhibition building, the Paulinerkirche, which experienced some ups and downs, but still retains its historical flair and deserves its purpose as a library building and exhibition venue.

In the darkened choir of the church we were then introduced to the Göttingen Gutenberg Bible, which has been part of the UNESCO world document heritage "Memory of the World" since 2001 and was only exhibited until 7 October. Dr. Johannes Mangei, Head of the Department of Special Collections and Conservation at the SUB Göttingen, provided us with a great deal of information about Gutenberg's role and the illumination and history of the Bible. We could also admire the mysterious Catholicon, where there are still uncertainties about the year, place and printer of origin. After the impressive guided tour to Gutenberg we were allowed to visit another gem in the historical building of the Paulinerkirche: the Heyne-Saal, which is otherwise closed to the public and houses one of the most beautiful library halls in Germany.

Impressed by all the wonderful, rare sights we went on to a nice dinner in the old town, followed by a short but concise city tour. We could admire the richly painted hall of the old town hall and learned charming details about the Gänseliesel Fountain and the history of the university town. After this varied collection of information about Göttingen and especially about Gutenberg we wanted to drive back to Mainz as undisturbed as on the outward journey, which unfortunately was made more difficult for us by increased traffic. Nevertheless, the time was used for intensive discussions and recapitulations, which was accompanied by a wonderful tour through Hessen, which ended in Mainz after all.