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Verba Sacra: The Holy Bible from Medieval Manuscript to Modern Print

Currently on display in Ellis Library is the exhibition “Verba Sacra: The Holy Bible from Medieval Manuscript to Modern Print.” Among manuscripts and rare books, the visitor can see some of the rarities that have never being put on display before, such as the Book of Ruth, the Hebrew manuscript on aged parchment presumably written in the 13-14th century, or a very rare Church Slavonic Menaion (a liturgical book used in the Eastern Orthodox Church) for the month of June. There is also a magnificent, exquisitely illustrated edition of the Bible – the Pennyroyal Caxton, and, by way of sharp contrast, a green, pocket size, ubiquitous New Testament distributed by the Gideon's Society.

 From the humblest fragment to the sumptuous editions of the Bible commissioned by ancient kings or modern businessmen, they all, although timeless, can tell of their time and age.  They reveal or conceal stories of those who crafted them, of those who admired them, of those whose family history is still recorded on their end leaves. As one rediscovers them today, one partakes, in a sense, of these books’ history.

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