Something of the broader mission of the Seminary comes into full view today with the announcement of the gift by the Washington National Cathedral of over 2,500 books and manuscripts in church music, liturgy, and theology. The news release today gives the details of this gift.
More personally, I had the opportunity to look at the collection with Head Librarian Mitzi Budde and staff librarian Susan Jaskot, whose expertise is rare book cataloguing. This included a view of some illuminated plainsong manuscripts. These never publicly catalogued items are one-of-a-kind and from them there are stories to be told and histories to be discovered.
We are caretakers and guardians of a great heritage. I think of how liturgical renewal could not have happened without discovered manuscripts, how the history of freedom from slavery cannot be remembered and understood without the oral histories and papers being collected in our African American Episcopal Historical Collection, and the list goes on.
Today we give thanks for the gift of the National Cathedral and to our librarians who are the caretakers and guardians of our heritage, who keep fidelity with the past for the sake of our life together.
Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D. Vice President for Academic Affairs The Clinton S. Quin Professor of Christian Ethics