There are a large number of books that post-date the sixteenth century in the Van Kampen Collection, but these do not reflect the current collecting policy. Small sub-groups within this period are as follows: first editions of John Bunyan; inscribed Bibles and autograph manuscripts by C. H. Spurgeon; decorative Bibles and bindings from the Victorian period; elaborately bound Books of Common Prayer; first editions of Bibles in non-Western languages.

VK 503, The Gospels in Old Slavonic, 16th/17th century

Many Christian communities, such as the Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Singhali, and Russian Christian communities, continued to produce manuscript Bibles long after the advent of printing. In addition to examples from these traditions, the Collection holds a number of Western Hebrew Torah and Haftorah scrolls from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.

VK 427, The Ruskin Septuagint, 16th/17th century

The Bible in America is not an emphasis of the Van Kampen Collection, although a rare Eliot Bible in the Massachuset language and several other early American biblical monuments are part of the holdings.

VK 397, The Eliot Bible in Massachuset, Cambridge, MA, 1661-1663

An exception to the general de-emphasis of modern materials is made for Ethiopic manuscripts, an area where early medieval traditions of manuscript production endure to the present century. The Collection currently includes seven Ethiopic biblical manuscripts - most undated. These codices reflect Christian textual and artistic traditions which have remained relatively unchanged over many centuries. The first Ethiopic translation of the Bible was completed toward the end of the 7th century, with the text derived mainly from Greek, but in part from Syriac versions. Reflecting the extreme conservatism of the Ethiopic church, the text remained virtually unchanged until the period of Jesuit influence in the sixteenth century. In light of a very conservative pattern of textual transmission, Ethiopic Bibles, even of a relatively late date, may provide important insights into other early Eastern text traditions.

NEXT: Secondary Holdings



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