Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Peter Schöffer

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

Publisher and printer, b. at Gernsheim on the Rine about 1425; d. at Mainz in 1503. As a cleric in minor orders he was in Paris in 1451 working as a manuscript copyist. In 1455 he appeared as a witness at Mainz for Johannes Fust against Gutenberg. Later he married Fust's daughter, Christine, and he was a partner of Fust in the publishing business until 1456, from that date up to 1503 printing independently. Schöffer may have become an experienced printer as an assistant of Fust and perhaps of Gutenberg, but he had no share whatever either in the invention or in the improvement of typography, as has been claimed for him and his descendants; this is certain, notwithstanding the splendid impressions of the Psalters bearing his name and published in 1457 and 1459, the technical preparation of which has been ascribed to Gutenberg. The evident deterioration of books issued at the end of the century proves that Schöffer made no technical improvement in the art of printing. The work of Schöffer's press shows all the technical excellence of his predecessors, but no advance. He did much for the development of the art of printing by establishing commercial relations beyond the borders of Germany. But the management of his press was always conservative, and he published almost exclusively works on civil law, canon law, and theology. He neither made improvements nor did he adopt the improvements of his contemporaries, such as reducing the size of his books, issuing popular books, etc. At the time of Schöffer's death many printers of Germany and Italy had long surpassed both his publications and his press. Schöffer's son John carried on the business, 1503-31. The son was a capable printer and exerted himself to improve the work produced by his press, but was unable to place himself in the front rank of printers of the time. A second son of Schöffer's, Peter the younger, was a capable die-cutter and printer, and engaged in his trade at Mainz, 1509-23; at Worms, 1512-29; at Strasburg, 1530-39; at Venice, 1541-42. His son Ivo took up his quarters at Mainz, 1531-55, and there carried on the printing business of his grandfather.

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Free Catholic PDF's

How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. All FREE to download and faithful to the Magisterium.

Download Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.