At the heart of the collection are the Bodmer Papyri of the first Christian texts. They include the oldest-known copy of the Gospel of Saint John, which is also the first codex to have reached us. The other masterpiece is the Gutenberg Bible, the first book ever printed.
In total, Martin Bodmer acquired more than 80 Bibles – in Greek, Latin and Hebrew as well as in vernacular languages such as Luther’s German or King James’ English. There are even copies in Iroquois and one of the Ethiopian languages as well as a multi-lingual version.
The Fathers and Doctors of the Church are also well represented. The collection includes manuscripts by Saint Augustine, Saint Bernard and Thomas of Aquinas, as well as the Rhine Valley mystics Eckhart and Suso.
Luther features prominently with no less than 60 original documents, including the famous Wittenberg Theses. The Jewish faith is represented by Moses Maimonides and the first edition of the Zohar (Mantua).