This summer, while expanding our e-resource collection, Bishop Payne Library also acquired three notable rare books. The first is a facsimile printing of a Calov Bible, published in 1681, that was owned by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Bible is the only known book to have survived from Bach’s personal library and includes marginal notes in his own hand. All of this has been faithfully recreated by the publishers of the facsimile. The library is fortunate to own one of the 1,000 copies of the facsimile that were published. The Bible compliments the J. Reilly Lewis Collection that was dedicated in April.
Another noteworthy addition is Thomas Cranmer’s A Defence of the True and Catholike Doctrine of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of our Savior Christ, published in 1550. This work is significant for anyone studying the Church of England and its liturgy as it presents Cranmer’s explanation of the eucharistic theology in the Prayer Book.
Finally, complementing our African American Episcopal Historical Collection, the library acquired A Manual of Religious Instruction, Specifically Intended for the Oral Teaching of Colored Persons, but Adapted for General Use in Families and Schools, by the Rev. John F. Hoff, published in Richmond in 1857. This work provides a window into antebellum religious thinking on African American religious education in Virginia.
These books may be consulted in the library upon request. Together these three acquisitions enhance the already deep and wonderful rare book collection of Bishop Payne Library.