About the Loan

The loan of the Gutenberg Bible comes at a time of historical commemoration and strengthening bonds between the universities of Melbourne and Manchester. The copy of the Gutenberg Bible held by The John Rylands Library at The University of Manchester was once part of the book collection of George Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer, who commissioned Matthew Flinders to circumnavigate and fully map the Australian continent. [READ MORE] 2014 marks the bicentennial of the publication of the account of this voyage with its famous map (proposing ‘Australia’ as the name of the continent) in 1814, the same year Lord Spencer’s library, including his Gutenberg Bible, was first described in a catalogue of his collection. In addition, in March of this year, the Vice Chancellors of The University of Melbourne and The University of Manchester, Glyn Davis and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, announced The Universities of Manchester and Melbourne Mobility Fund aimed at strengthening professional and academic staff engagement between the two institutions. Also, within the last few years, Manchester opened the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons in honour of the late Alan David Gilbert (1944–2010), who served as VC for both universities.