Some cool new best selling books images:
“Early Printed Bibles in Europe” Case from “In the Beginning was the Word” Exhibit
Image by Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library
Christianity’s influence permeates western civilization, reaching into every nook and cranny of our history and culture. The Bible, Christianity’s scripture, is likely the best-selling book of all time. Even as American society has become more secular and many Americans turn away from organized religion, the Bible itself is available in an ever-expanding variety of languages, translations, and editions with all manner of supplements for its readers.
This exhibit explores not the history of the Bible itself but the history of the printing of the Bible. It begins with Gutenberg and other early printers in continental Europe, then moves across the English Channel to examine the publication of Bibles in England, Wales, and Scotland. The exhibit then turns its attention to Bibles and related scriptures, some in English, some not, in the American colonies and later the United States.
All of the Bibles in this exhibit are the property of Swem Library, except the Aitken Bible of 1782, which is the property of Bruton Parish Church but is normally stored at Swem. We thank Bruton Parish for permission to display it.
EARLY PRINTED BIBLES IN EUROPE
Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized the world of Bible reading when he printed Bibles in the mid-1450s. On his heels came numerous editions of printed Bibles, some the work of entrepreneurial printers and others the work of scholars. Their efforts enabled laypeople to read the Bible in their native languages and study it in its original languages, helping spark the Protestant Reformation.
Johannes Gutenberg and the First Printed Bible
Up until the mid-1400s, producing a new Bible typically took a scribe at least a year, copying the text by hand. That changed when Johannes Gutenberg (?-1468), a goldsmith and printer in Mainz, Germany, developed a printing press using movable type. He spent several years creating his masterpiece, a double-folio edition of the Latin Vulgate Bible used by the Catholic Church, then completely dominant throughout much of western Europe. By 1455, Gutenberg had printed approximately 180 copies, some on paper, some on vellum. Costing three years’ wages for an ordinary worker, the book was less expensive than scribes’ copies, but still not affordable for ordinary people. Most copies likely ended up in monasteries and other institutions rather than in private hands. An amazing 47 or 48 survive today, mostly in research libraries, a tribute to the key role the Gutenberg Bible and movable type played in spreading both the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation.
The copy on display here is a facsimile printed in 1961. Note how the blackletter text resembles that of the small manuscript Dutch Book of Hours (a medieval devotional book for laypeople). Gutenberg deliberately made his type to resemble manuscript letters in hopes of gaining acceptance for the movable type.
Anton Koberger, Modern Entrepreneur
These leaves are a fragment from the ninth Germanic Bible printed by Anton Koberger (ca. 1440-1513) in 1483 in Nuremburg. Koberger in the late 1400s printed about 1500 Bibles at a time. An excellent businessman, he ran an international printing empire, employing a network of printers in other cities and sold his books through agents and correspondents around Europe.
Scholarly Editions: The Complutensian Polyglot Bible
The more widespread availability of the Bible and the religious ideas swirling around Europe in the late 1400s and early 1500s stimulated interest in studying the Bible in its original languages and early translations. Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436-1517) personally organized and financed a project at the University of Alcalá in Spain to produce a polyglot Bible, a Bible in which text in several languages would appear in parallel columns. The scholars worked from 1502 to 1517, creating what is known today as the Complutensian Polyglot Bible. The columns on the original leaf presented here have text from Hebrew, Latin Vulgate, and Greek Septuagint manuscripts. The columns on the bottom are Aramaic and a Latin translation produced by the project.
Scholarly Editions: Robert Estienne
Robert Estienne (1503-1559), also known as Robert Stephani, of Paris was a printer with a very scholarly mind. To make sure that the editions of the Bible that he published were as accurate as possible, he collected earlier manuscripts and compared them, studying carefully the changes in the text. His editions are known for annotations and margin notes with variants of the texts, citing his sources. To be able to connect the notes with the appropriate text, Estienne divided the Bible into chapters and verses, an innovation that gained widespread acceptance. On display here is his two-volume 1545 edition of the Latin Vulgate and Zurich texts in parallel columns; one volume is still in its original binding. The Zurich translation was associated with Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), a Protestant reformer. Though raised a Catholic, Estienne increasingly favored Protestantism. Theologians at the University of Paris forced him to leave the city, and he relocated in 1550 to Geneva, one of the great centers of Protestantism.
Artistic Edition: Hans Holbein
This beautiful Bible includes woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543), some reproductions of which are displayed in this case. Holbein was a German artist from Augsburg who did much of his early work in Basel, where the Reformation spirit was strong. It likely was in Basel in the 1520s that he created a series of 90+ woodcuts of Biblical scenes. He painted the great humanist Erasmus, who recommended him to his friend Sir Thomas More. Holbein went to England from 1526 to 1530, painting More and the humanist circles in which More moved. After a brief visit to Basel, he returned to England in 1532. Holbein abandoned his former patron, who incurred the wrath of Henry VIII for opposing his divorce and was executed. Instead, Holbein gained the sponsorship of Anne Boleyn and Sir Thomas Cromwell, who themselves eventually fell out of favor and were executed. Holbein nonetheless became the great portrait painter of Henry VIII’s court. Over his career, Holbein worked for both Protestants and Catholics, and his religious views are unclear. This Bible, from Lyon in 1544, was one of a series of Bibles featuring Holbein’s woodcuts printed in the late 1530s and 1540s.
From the Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William and Mary. See swem.wm.edu/scrc/ for further information and assistance.
confab.yahoo : James Surowiecki : New Yorker
Image by (nz)dave
The first of a series of open to the public/industry presentations hosted by Yahoo. This is James Surowiecki, the moderator for the night, and a New Yorker columnist who wrote the best selling book "The Wisdom of the Crowds".
Presenters from Yahoo, Google, HP & Microsoft, amongst others were in attendance.
Photos for a work assignment – that are showing up on various blogs – a nice summary of the presentation, where these photos have been used can be found at www.readwriteweb.com/archives/prediction_markets_report_y….