The Royal Bible. Missal. Accounts of the King of Spain, 1568–1578


The Officina Plantiniana, also known as the Plantin Press or Plantijnse Drukkerij, was established in Antwerp in 1555 by Christopher Plantin (1520–89), the greatest typographer and printer-publisher of his day. The Officina grew to become the largest printing and publishing house in Europe and helped to make Antwerp, along with Venice and Paris, one of the most important centers of printing in the West. Antwerp was at that time under Spanish rule, and Plantin held the monopoly on printing religious works for the Spanish home and colonial market. Shown here is the ledger containing a summary of the accounts of the Officina’s transactions with King Philip II of Spain in the years 1568–78 concerning the printing of the Biblia Polyglotta (Polyglot Bible) of 1568–73 and of liturgical books for Spain. The business archives of the Officina are an important source for the study of the book trade in Europe, economic and socioeconomic history, and intellectual developments at an especially turbulent time in the history of Europe and the West. The archives were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2001.

Last updated: May 24, 2017