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Morris Harvey Archives  

This guide contains information relating to the Morris Harvey Archives at the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia.
Last Updated: Jun 28, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Rare Books Collection Print Page

Rare Books Collection

     The Schoenbaum Library's Rare Books and Manuscripts include a variety of unusual items.  Here one may find items as varied as 12th century manuscript Bible leaves, a first edition of Peter Pan, or a copy of Jedidiah Morse's 1797 American Gazetteer, the first geography of the United States.  A psalter in German and Greek published in Paris in 1545, was a gift from Dr. Leonard Riggleman, former president of Morris Harvey College. 

    Notable acqusitions in 2000 were a three volume 1789 Atlas of Britain, and a copy of the 1684 Chronicles of the Kings of England.  Both titles were gifts.

    The Rare Book & Manuscript collection, numbering approximately 800 items, is housed in the Archives Reading Room.  Hours are by appointment only.  Please contact the Library Director at (304) 357-4918 to arrange an appointment.


Original Bible Leaves

Please Note: The Schoenbaum Library does not appraise or in any way provide a valuation on books, manuscripts, or other items. Please don't ask.

At some time between 1936 and 1942 Morris Harvey College received as a gift from The Women's Society of Christian Service, Methodist Churches of West Virginia a set of 37 matted leaves from noteworthy Bibles dated 1121 A.D. to 1935 A.D. The set was part of a limited edition of 100 sets collected and annotated by Otto F. Ege of the Cleveland School of Art, who also lectured on the history of the book at the School of Library Science at Western Reserve University in Cleveland. [The set was issued in October of 1936. Morris Harvey College severed its relationsip with the Methodist Church in 1942.]

The collection consists of following leaves from the following Bibles:


1121 Armenian manuscript Bible. 5th century translation by Mesrop hand written in the Haikian alphabet (Iron writing) on vellum.
ca. 1240 Miniature manuscript Bible. Latin Vulgate version, usually attributed to St. Jerome. Jan written in Gothic script, eleven lines to the inch, on vellum.
ca. 1280 Manuscript Bible, Italian. Hand written in brown hued ink on vellum, with decoration in blue and red.
1480 Rusch Bible. First printed Latin Bible with glosses, made in Strassburg by Adolph Rusch for the Nuremberg publisher Anton Koberger. Four sizes of Gothic type on paper. Initial capital in red.
1495 Italian incunabula Bible. Paganinus de Paganinis: Venetiis. First edition of the Latin Bible in which catch words were used. Interlinear notes in small type.
1518 Aldine Greek Bible. In aedibus Aldi et Andrea Soceri, Venetiis. First complete Bible printed in Greek on paper. The annotation accompanying sayd the leaf is from a "duplicate copy" sold by the British Museum in 1834.
1519 Giunta Bible. Venetiis: Lucas Antonius de Giunta. A small edition.
1522 Erasmus' Bible. Basel: Thomas Volfius. Erasmus' translation of the New Testament.
1532 Bible of the Low Countries. Ludguni: In officiania Calcografia Jacobi Myt. A typical black letter (lettre de forme) Bible of the region with decorative initial capitals.
1541 Suppressed Luther Bible. Gedruckt zu leipzig durch Nicolaum Wolrab. This pirated edition of Luther's Bible contained so many errors that Luther requested it be suppressed.
1544-1546 Stephanus Hebrew Bible. Paris: Ex officina Roberti Stephani. This Bible was printed in seventeen 16 mo. volumes by Robert Stephanus, based on the text of Jacob Chayim.
1549 Matthew Bible. Imprinted at London by John Daye dwellynge at Aldersgate, and william Seres dwellynge in Peter colledge towarde Ludgate. The second version of the English Bible edited by John Rogers under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew. Also known as the "Becke Bible," the "Indecent Bible," and the "Wife Beating Bible."
1549 Great Bible. Imprynted at London in Fletestrete at the signe of the Sunne over agaynst the conduyte by Edwarde Whitchurche. This revision of Matthew's Bible was sponsored by Thomas Cromwell and is sometimes called, "Cromwell's Bible."
1551 Giustiniani's Hebrew-Latin Bible. Venetiis Ex OFFICINA Iustinianea. Hebrew text edited by Cornelius Adelkind.
1569 First printed Spanish Bible. Basel: T. Guarinus. The earliest edition of the complete Bible in Spanish, translated by the monk C. de Reina, a Spanish Reformer who had to flee to Enland. Also known as the "Bear Bible" from the device on the title page.
1569 Stephanus Greek New Testament. LVTETIAE, Ex officina Roberti Stephani typographi Regij, typis Regijs. The typeface for the very small book was cut by Claude Garamond.
1584 Plantin Hebrew Bible. Antuerpiae: Ex officina Christophori Plantini. Hebrew Old Testament with interlinear Latin translation, a reprint from the second half of volume seven in the Antewerp Polyglot.
1587 Hutter's Hebrew Bible. Haamburgi: Typis Elianis, per Iohannem Saxonem. The text, which does not agree with any earlier work, was edited by Elias Hutter, Hebrew professor at Leipzig. The root letters are printed in thick type, and the inflectional letters in outline type.
1592 Genevan or "Breeches Bible." Imprinted at London by the Deputies of Christopher Barker, Printer to the Queenes most excellent Maiestie." Edited by religious refugees in Geneva during the reign of "Bloody Mary," this was the Bible of the Puritans. It went through 160 editions. The use of the term "breeches" in Gen. iii, where the Authorized Version has "aprons", gives this version its name.
1596 Hamburg Polyglot. Hamburgi Jacobus Lucius Juni. This triglot has text in Greek Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Pagninus' Latin (O.T.), Beza's Latin (N.T.) and Luther's German arranged in four columns. The order is reversed on the verso of the leaf.
1609-1610 First Rheims - Douai Bible. Doway: Printed by Lawrence Kellam at the signe of the holie Lambe. First edition of the Roman Catholic Bible in English.
1611 King James' Bible. Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Maiestie. This "Authorized Version" is the work of fifty committee members. This leaf is taken from the second issue, the "She" Bible, called so for the reading in Ruth iii. 15, "...she went into the city."
1635 Pearl Bible. London: Printed by John field, Printer to the Parliament. The first English Bible to use the diminutive "pearl" type. The edition contained many omissions and printer's errors, and it is said Field received a bribe of 1,500 pounds to corrupt the text in Acts vi. 3, by printing "ye" instead of "we", to santion the right of the people to appoint pastors.
1655 London Polyglot Bible. LONDINI. Imprimebat Thomas Roycroft. The most accurate of the polyglots edited by Dr. Brian Walton. One of the first English books to be sold by subscription, it cost ten pounds. This O.T. leaf contains text in Hebrew, Latin Vulgate, Greek Septuagint, Chaldee Paraphrase, Syriac and Arabic versions, each with a Latin translation.
1671 Stiernhielm's Polyglot Gospels. Stockhomiae: Nicolai Wankif. Texts are printed in four columns across two pages: Gothic, Icelandic, Swedish, and Latin.
1685 Eliot Indian Bible. S. Green, Cambridge. A leaf from the second edition of the first scripture printed in North America, and also the first version prepared for a people in their own language. John Eliot learned the difficult and previoiusly unwritten Algonquin language, translated the entire Bible, and then taught the Indians to read their own tongue.
1740 Baskett Bible. Oxford. Printed by John Baskett, Printer to the University. Baskett and his heirs held printing patents that allowed them to monopolize the Bible market for ninety years. His earlier publications were so full of errors sometimes as many as 2,000 errors in one edition that they were nicknamed "The Basketfull of Errors." In 1724 the King issued an order that Baskett use better paper, correct the text, and charge a more reasonable price, which had to be printed on the title page. As a result this Oxford edition is almost free from errors.
1743 First Germantown Bible. Germantown: Gedruckt bey Christoph Sauer. The first American issue of a Bible printed in a European language. There was much opposition to the publication from religious opponents. Of the 2,000 copies printed, only about 150 are known to remain as complete texts.
1763 Baskerville Cambridge Bible. Printed by John Baskerville, Printer to the University. A folio-sized Bible, Baskerville went into debt to print this edition of 1,250 copies. Considered one of the four monumental printed Bibles, the other three being the Gutenberg 42 line Bible, the Doves Press Bible, and the Rogers Oxford Lectern Bible.
1763 Germantown Bible. Germantown: Gedruckt bey Christoph Sauer. The second edition of the first Bible issued in a European language in North America. Luther's version was adopted for the text. The third edition was almost entirely destroyed by British soldiers who used the paper for gun wadding at the battle of Germantown in 1777.
1782 Bible of the Revolution. Philadelphia. Printed by R. Aitken. The first Bible in English to be printed in America filled a need since no Bibles were being imported by the young and financially embarrassed nation.
1791 First Thomas Quarto Bible. Worcester: Isaiah Thomas. The first quarto Bible in English published in America. It cost seven dollars and the publisher agreed to take one half that sum in "Wheat, Rye, Indian Corn, Butter, or Pork, if delivered at his store in Worcester, or at the store of himself and Company in Boston, by the 20th day of December, 1790."
1808 Thomson's Bible. Philadelphia: Printed by Jane Aitken, No. 71 North Third Street. The first translation of the Septuagint into English by Charles Thompson, who was the first Secretary of Congress. It required twenty years of work with little or no assistance from reference work or other scholars.
1899 Polychrome Bible. New York. Dodd, Mead and Company. A new translation from the Hebrew into English under the direction of the great Shakespearean scholar, Horace Howard Furness. Orignal sources used by the translator are indicated by a background of differenct colors. The cost of editing and color printing was so great that only a few books of the Bible were issued before publication was discontinued.
1903-1905 Doves Bible. The Doves Press No. 1 The Terrace Hammersmith. Frequently referred to as the finest formal book of all time, the text was set by one compositor and printed on a one-hand press. It is printed in "Doves" type, a "translation" of the famous fifteenth century font of Jenson by Walker.
1919 Miniature Bible. Edineburgh: Nimmo, Hay and Mitchell, Ltd. A miniature facsimile of the Robert Burns family Bible. The printing of small Bibles has interested printers for centuries. Photoengraving now makes any scale possible, but there still remain technical problems associated with inking, printing, an binding.
1935 Rogers Oxford Lectern Bible. Oxford. Printed at the University Press. King James Version printed in a special cutting of "Centaur" type by Bruce Rogers, who also designed the format, layout and for six years supervised the printing. This edition was limited to two hundred copies.

All dates by Otto F. Ege. Descriptions adapted from those supplied by Otto F. Ege.

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