The International Gutenberg Society is an international association for the study of the history and development of printing technology and written media.
The Society was founded on June 23, 1901 in Mainz and is one of the most traditional scientific societies in Mainz. The Gutenberg Society, together with the city of Mainz and, in turn, with the city of Leipzig, awards the € 10,000 Gutenberg Prize for outstanding artistic, technical or scientific achievements in the field of printing.
In addition to promoting research in the printing and book industry, it provides conceptual and material support for the Gutenberg Museum Mainz. Its membership consists of around 800 members in 31 countries of the world (as of 2018). Its president is the Lord Mayor of Mainz.
The Gutenberg Society financially and ideally promotes the exploration of the history and present of printing and written media. As an important result of this effort, the society publishes once a year the "Gutenberg Yearbook", published since 1926, one of the most important publications on the subject of book, print and written history. The members of the Gutenberg Society receive it free of charge as an annual gift. Older vintages can be viewed and searched exclusively by members over the Internet. The access data for this access is given to each new member upon entry from the office. The "Small Prints" of the Society are published in loose sequence as well. They access current research results in a larger context.
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In 2021, the Internationale Gutenberg-Gesellschaft in Mainz e. V. could celebrate its 120th anniversary: it was founded on 23 June 1901. 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.