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Shelf Life

“Shelf Life” is a podcast from the Newberry Library about the humanities–and the humans behind them. Each episode features a new conversation with librarians, curators, and researchers about anything from the history of fake news to the secret lives of famous American authors.

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The Quest for Gutenberg Fragments

Copies of the Gutenberg Bible weren’t always prized collectors’ items. During the Reformation, which emphasized the importance of vernacular translations of the Bible over the canonical Latin version, many Gutenberg Bibles collected dust or worse: disbound and scattered to the winds, their pages were used to bind other books or to wrap and protect archival documents.

Eric White, Curator of Rare Books at the Princeton University Library (and author of Editio Princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible), tells us about his quest to find these fragments, two of which are right here at the Newberry. Eric speaks with Jill Gage, the Newberry’s curator of printing history.

The Quest for Gutenberg Fragments by Shelf Life, from the Newberry Library

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