The Bible of the Embroider 

Hans Plock (1490-1570)

Methods of Exploration

The Project


The target of this project is the analysis of a unique biography on the basis of Hans Plock's annotated Bible edition, which is characterized by the diversity of innovation (printing medium) and tradition (culture of manuscripts) as well as public (print) and private (writing cultures). Plock's unique artistic work, connecting the skills of reading, writing, watching and drawing, and, therefore, making this book a „container“ of diverse kinds of information and media, will also be examined for its target audience and its recipients.


The planned project aims at the analysis and evaluation both of the Luther Bible as well as other books owned by Plock. This project is carried out by 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 (Albrecht Henkys). Particular attention will be paid to the following aspects:


1.    The Luther Bible will be transcribed with regard to its printed composition as well as Plock's 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. Not only the printed edition but also the marginalia and visual material will be presented as a picture and in a full-text, and, thus, the entire work will be made accessible for further scientific evaluation.


2.    The Plock Bible will be positioned into its contemporary historic context, and Plock's handwritten additions will be examined in terms of content and function as well as in their cultural and textual interplay. Among others, we will focus on the following elements: the examination of marginalia referring to the printed text of the Bible (1541) as well as the analysis of notes and marginalia not primarily relating to the original text, but referring to other contents (contemporary history and Reformation period) or showing quotations taken from other textual sources. Besides religious and historico-cultural aspects, Plock's Bible is also of unique interest with regard to linguistic history, as it demonstrates the effects Luther's language may have had with this „living object“ in the Early Modern German period. The evaluation of the historico-cultural and linguistic aspects is the subject of a doctoral dissertation (Carolin Geib). In cooperation with art historians, the picture elements will be examined and positioned into the context of the contemorary tradition and, thus, will be able to be re-examined in a new interdisciplinary perspective.


3.    The digital edition as well as the results of the research will be presented in an online portal, which will not only be dedicated to Hans Plock scientifically but also be opened for the general public (see:


This concept is considered to be an essential part for an integral analysis of the Hans Plock project, his books as well as his works of art as an embroider of silk.



The project team:

Trier Center for Digital Humanities and Department II German Studies / Medieval Philology of the University of Trier:

Prof. Dr. Claudine Moulin


City Museum of Berlin:

Alrecht Henkys


Trier Center for Digital Humanities:

Dr. Thomas Burch, Carolin Geib, M.A.