If you visit the Given in Good Faith exhibition, currently open at the Centre for Research Collections, you’ll be able to see some of New College Library’s treasures set in the context of the exhibition themes of church history, worship, scripture and science.
For the first of these themes, church history, we chose Special Collections items that demonstrated how New College Library’s historic collections look back to the Free Church of Scotland’s intellectual history and reflect its heritage as a centre of learning for Presbyterian ministry.
Treasures from the Reformation include the first edition of John Calvin (1509-1564)’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. One of New College Library’s iconic items, this guide and inspiration for a new form of Christian life, became a hugely influential work of Protestant theology. Less than a dozen copies of this edition are known to be in existence.
Calvin, Jean. Christiane religionis institutio, totam ferè pietatis summã. Basel: Thomas Platterum & Balthasarem Lasium, 1536. TR.852
At New College Library we’ve been busy cataloguing the TR Collection, one of the Funk Donation funded projects, and over 1500 items have been catalogued so far. Believed to have once been kept in the Tower Room at New College Library (which is the origin of the shelfmark) this collection contains many early and interesting items. We’ve chosen three of them to put on display in the New College Library Hall, and using our new Special Collections scanner to capture images from them.
Ursin’s Arboretum Biblicum, a guide to trees in the Bible, is a richly illustrated early botanical work.
Ursin, Johann Heinrich (1608-1667). Joh. Henrici Ursini Arboretum Biblicum : in quo arbores & fructices passim in S. literis occurrentes … Nuremberg : Johannem Danielem Tauberum, 1699. New College Library TR.1123
Significant new content is now available in C20th Religious Thought, Vol. II: Islam – more than doubling its size. Continue reading