Image Fidelity

“If you’ve seen the Book of Kells, you will want to see The Saint John’s Bible.”

Fr. Paul L. Locatelli, SJ
Former Chancellor, Santa Clara University

The Heritage Edition’s fidelity with the beauty of the original masterpiece is achieved through multiple techniques.


Fade-resistant, permanent ink is applied through a special printing technique using ultraviolet light. The depth of the images is a testament to the quality of this process.


Gold and silver foils are applied to the illuminations to capture the stunning effect of gold and platinum leaf in the original. In ancient manuscripts, it’s the presence of gold that qualifies a manuscript as truly “illuminated.”

Hand Finishing

In order to be true to the artistic intent of the original, many illuminations required hand finishing. No two Heritage Edition sets are identical thanks to these final touches.


The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) has created the world's largest archive of manuscript photographs in both microfilm and digital format. HMML was responsible for imaging the original Saint John’s Bible manuscript.

The original manuscript was kept on location at the press in order guarantee color accuracy.

All 1,150 pages required Donald Jackson’s initials prior to final approval.

When printing was complete, custom dyes were created in order apply gold and silver foils with textures that matched the original manuscript.

Sarah Harris, a Welsh artist and Donald Jackson’s studio manager, hand finished many of the 160 major illuminations in Heritage Edition.