This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies.
Bishop Payne Library

Rare Books

The Rare Book collection contains over 4,000 works, including editions of the Bible, theological works, Anglicana, historical resources, music, liturgies, and editions of the Book of Common Prayer. The collection ranges in date from a 15th century manuscript to a 1995 limited edition printing, although the bulk of the collection consists of eighteenth-century material. The languages represented include English, Latin, German, Greek, and Hebrew.

The Charles Winfred Douglas Memorial Collection of rare books is especially strong in Episcopal hymnody and the Anglo-Catholic plainchant revival. A gift from Washington Cathedral and dedicated to the praise of God across denominational lines, this collection contains Douglas’ publications, music manuscripts, and annotated books, as well as an extensive library of hymnals, liturgical works, and plainsong editions, some of considerable rarity, assembled by Douglas and enhanced by other Cathedral musicians.

All of the books in the rare book collection are fully cataloged in the library online catalog. Books for the collection may be requested at the circulation desk by filling out a request form. Contact Mitzi Budde, the Head Librarian, for more information.

Donors have chosen to build on BPL's collections of scores and church music with the David R. Curfman Collection and the J. Reilly Lewis Collection. Use this link to see their online inventory.

We are very grateful for those who have donated books to the rare book collection, such as The Rev. Roger Holloway. Mr. Holloway donated two editions of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, a 1604 edition of the Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiasticall from the Church of England, and a collection of 17th century Anglicana.
3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22304  |  Phone: 703-370-6600 or 800-941-0083 | Employee Directory