The University of Dayton’s Roesch Library is excited to welcome “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible.”
This traveling exhibition is organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C., and the American Library Association Public Programs Office, said Katy Kelly, Roesch Library’s outreach and communications librarian.
UD’s library was selected as one of 40 sites nationwide to host this exhibit, and it was made possible thanks to a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Kelly said.
The exhibition is in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the first printing of the King James Bible, said Ione Damasco, a cataloger librarian.
Students will find a multitude of artifacts on display when they visit the exhibit, including a first edition King James Bible, from 1611, which is on loan from Denison University, Kelly said.
She said that other items include rare books such as a first edition Douai-Rheims Bible, which is the first English translation of the Catholic Bible, another Bible with illustrations by artist Marc Chagall and a Jerusalem Bible illustrated by Salvador Dali.
Also included in the exhibition are rare copies of famous works including “Leaves of Grass” by Walt Whitman, “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville and “Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, Kelly said.
Damasco said that the exhibit will include informational panels that trace the history of the King James Bible and discusses its lasting influence.
Throughout the exhibit students will gain a better understanding of the complex history of early translations of the Bible, Kelly said.
Students can also expect to discover the cultural influence that King James Bible has had on our culture, including our literature, music and common phrases, Kelly said.
Damasco said that students will be surprised at how the King James Bible has become so deeply embedded in American culture.
This is also an opportunity for students to see rare books that are hundreds of years old that people don’t often get to see, Damasco said.
The exhibit is free and open to the public during library operating hours until Sept. 19, Kelly said. There are also numerous events scheduled such as book discussions and lectures, she said.
For more information, contact Roesch Library at 937-229-4221 or library.udayton.edu.