Treasures from the Vault

Written by Ellen Cox
Business Manager & Special Projects Assistant

The Library is exhibiting a portion of its Biblical Studies Collection of rare early editions in the gallery area, located near the back windows on the first floor. This collection is comprised of over 100 Bibles, Bible dictionaries, lectures, sermons, expositions, and commentaries. Most of these items were purchased from evangelist Dick Mills. The display features key English texts from the early 18th century. Of special note are the following:

  • Edward Elton, The Complaint of a Sanctified Sinner Answered: or an explanation of the seventh chapter of the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans, delivered in divers Sermons. 2nd ed. London: G. Eld. 1622.
  • Gervase Babington, Certaine Plaine, briefs, and comfortable notes, upon every chapter of Genesis. London: I. R. 1596. This small volume is the oldest book in the collection and includes a note in the cover: “Gathered and layde downe for the good of them that are not able to use better helps, and yet careful to read the word, and right hartily desirous to taste the sweet of it.”

The display features a variety of bindings, covers, and early type settings. Furthermore, each of the texts has its own special appeal. One is valued for its beautiful marble-patterned endpapers. Another was written by a woman and published in 1827. The author’s name does not appear on the cover or the title page, but is hinted at by a reference to a previous work.