Tayside and Central Scotland

Gutenberg Bible reproduced by Falkirk binders

The book Image copyright Helix Binders
Image caption The book was produced by Robert McKernan (L) and Iain Kirkwood (R)

A book-binding company in Falkirk has created a copy of one of the world's rarest and most valuable books.

Helix Binders worked with the John Rylands Library in Manchester to create a "handling copy" of the 15th Century Gutenberg Bible.

The library wanted to provide scholars with a replica of the volume owned by the University of Manchester that they could view and touch.

There are thought to be only 16 complete copies of the bible.

It was the first real book to be mass-produced using movable type printing techniques - and so could be made in a fraction of the time it had previously taken scribes to write by hand.

The copy was produced by the owners of Helix Binders Iain Kirkwood and Robert McKernan and will be unveiled by the library in the new year.

Mr Kirkwood said: "Because the original copies are thought to be amongst the most valuable books in the world they cannot be handled, so the library began a search to find a print and bind company who could help them produce a copy that would allow people to get up-close to the work.

"We've had excellent feedback from the library staff who are delighted with the replica which was sent to Manchester in November.

"To have played such a crucial role in creating a copy of the bible, thought to be the first major book printed in the west using mass produced moveable type, is a privilege."

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