Digitalization of the Plock Bible

Methods of Exploration

Hans Plock

Project Management: Prof Dr Claudine Moulin  (Universität Trier - Germanistik (Ältere deutsche Philologie)) · Universität Trier - Trier Center for Digital Humanities (TCDH) · Universität Trier - Germanistik (Ältere deutsche Philologie)

Project Participants: Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin · Trierer Kolleg für Mittelalter und Frühe Neuzeit (TriKo)

Sponsors: Universität Trier - Trier Center for Digital Humanities (TCDH)

Running time: since

Contact person (TCDH): Prof Dr Claudine Moulin; Dr Joëlle Weis

Research Area: Digital Literary and Cultural Studies, Digital Edition and Lexicography

Keywords: Research and Teaching, “born digital”, Manuscripts

Website of the Project: Hans Plock Project website

With Luther's two volume edition of the Bible, printed by Hans Lufft in Wittenberg in 1541, the City Museum of Berlin (stock number XIII 387) is in the possession of a unique testimony of the Reformation period.

In 1541, Plock bought his two-volume luxury edition of the Luther Bible, which would be his companion for nearly thirty years. Within his personal examination of the religious and political upheavals of the Reformation period and his personal use of the book, he included countless marginal and side-notes by his own hand as well as colored materials in the volumes themselves. So far, the contemporary paintings, copperplate prints and illustrations included in the Plock Bible have been given a wide attention especially by art historians; besides the art of Schongauer, Dürer and Cranach, four art works of Matthias Grünewald, an important painter and draftsman, can be found. The most extensive historic value of the Luther Bible can be attributed to Plock's handwritten notes, (critical) comments and diaristic memories, which can be considered an astoundingly authentic historical testimony, allowing us to gain an insight into Plock's life, his theological endeavors and the political, religious and artistic context of the Reformation period.

As a testimony of the Reformation period, the Plock Bible, which is characterized by the diversity of innovation (printing medium) and tradition (culture of manuscripts) as well as public (print) and private (writing cultures), is in the possession of a wide range of information from a theological and art-historical perspective as well as with regard to linguistic, literary and cultural history, and thus, offers an ideal corpus for genuine interdisciplinary analysis and research.

The Plock-Bible will be transcribed with regard to its handwritten additions and will moreover be presented in a digital edition with all the marginal and side-notes as well as the primary text and image materials. The evaluation of the historico-cultural and linguistic aspects of the handwritten annotations in the Plock-Bible will be examined as well. For the digital edition and analysis, the Plock-Bible will be transcribed and annotated via Transcribo, a digital tool developed by the TCDH.

Within the context of this research project, the Trier Center for Digital Humanities and the Department II / German Studies of the University of Trier in cooperation with the City Museum of Berlin organized a workshop in the Märkisches Museum in Berlin on October 31 and November 1 2019. At this conference, our project plan was presented. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary exchange of information was enhanced by oral presentations about Hans Plock and his linguistic, hitorico-cultural and art-historical meaning as well as talks to contemporary history, the history of the Reformation, the edition of hybrid works and marginalia as well as Digital Scholary Editing.

Within the context of this research project, the Trier Center for Digital Humanities and the Department II German Studies / Medieval Philology of the University of Trier as well as the Research Library for Reformation History (RFB) organized a second workshop on December 2 and 3 2021, which was held online. The workshop is connected to a conference in the City Museum of Berlin in 2019, which was dedicated to Hans Plock (ca. 1490-1570), a silk embroiderer originally from Mainz who lived in Halle (Saale) for many years, and his book possessions. The online workshop broadened the perspective by taking a more systematic and comparative look at bourgeois book ownership and use from the 15th to the 17th century. This interdisciplinary workshop included presentations on book analysis by turning the main attention to the traces of use.

The Call for Papers you can find here.

Collection online Plock Bible, Hans Plock 1541, City museum Berlin, TriKo, RFB Wittenberg


Carolin Geib
E-mail: geibatuni-trier [dot] de
Phone: +49 651 201-3358

Dr Joëlle Weis
E-mail: weisatuni-trier [dot] de
Phone: +49 651 201-3017

Julia Fischer
E-mail: hennemannjatuni-trier [dot] de
Phone: +49 651 201-3849

Prof Dr Claudine Moulin
E-mail: moulinatuni-trier [dot] de
Phone: +49 651 201-2305