The Library of the Gutenberg Museum is a specialist library covering all aspects of printing, book history, and history of writing. It has about 80,000 volumes and periodicals.
In this Reference Library the books and publications, which are for the most part housed in the stockrooms of the museum, are made available in the reading room. The reading room, which has also books on open shelves, can be used by all interested persons free of charge.
Some of the books and publications are permanently or temporarily on show in the exhibition building of the museum.
The Library is subdivides into three fields:
"Collection of Incunabula", "Exhibits", and "Specialist Literature".
The Incunabula consist of more than 4,000 titles. These are registered in a separate catalogue. In addition to specialist literature on this subject, there is also available a microfiche edition of the most important incunabula from well-known collections.
Among the Exhibits there are all kinds of prints that are typical of their time, historically important, or works of high quality in the field of book art. The exhibits are registered in an alphabetical catalogue with numerous references as well as in a chronological catalogue. In addition, there are separate registrations of German and foreign prints made by hand-presses; bibliophile serials; prints of the Gutenberg Museum; and private prints.
The Specialist Literature, which refers to the whole history of printing and the script and which is unique both in its kind and comprehensiveness, is permanently used by pupils, students, academics, and other interested persons. It is registered in a systematic catalogue and several alphabetical catalogues, as well as in computerised ones.
The collections "Hettler" (referring to the subject of bookbinding) and "Mori" (referring to the subject of type-founding) as well as the "Mainzer Minipressen Archiv" (Mainz Archives for the Works of Small Publishers and Artistic Private Presses) belong to the library, too. The "Mainzer Minipressen Archiv", which also has its own catalogue, is to be found in a separate department of the museum administration building.
Guided Library Tours
by special arrangement (also possible with original old books)