A woodcutter, a printer, a publisher and Albrecht Dürer’s godfather

He was born in Nuremberg to a family of bakers in 1440/1445 and died in the same city in 1513.

His name is mentioned in the Nuremberg annals for the first time in 1464. It is known that in 1470 he married Ursula Ingram and found his own typography. In 1488, Koberger was elected member of the Great Council of Nuremberg. In 1491, after the death of Ursula, he married Margarete Holzschuher from a rich patrician family. Since 1504, he was mostly a bookseller.

Koberger’s typography was one of the biggest not only in Germany but in the whole Europe. According to some sources, about hundred people worked there. He published a first book in 1473 and 250 books before the end of the century. The branches of his typography operated in Venice, Milan, Paris, Lyons and Vienna. Koberger also sold books. He owned two papermills which gave him possibility to print many copies of books.

Koberger published mainly Latin books, less often German ones. They covered various areas of knowledge but in most cases were dedicated to theology, philosophy or law. Three books gave Koberger an outstanding glory in his lifetime and after his death: Schatzbehalter der wahren Reichtümer des Heils written by Stephan Fridolin, a Franciscan monk, and illustrated in Michael Wolgemut’s workshop; Hartmann Schedel’s World Chronicle and the Apocalypse series of woodcuts by Albrecht Dürer.

After Koberger’s death, his business started to decline. In 1526, the typography was closed. The books were sold till 1532.