Today New College welcomes ministers and worship leaders to a CPD day focusing on Biblical resources. Topics include current scholarship on the Gospel of John and Advent themes in the Hebrew Bible.
At New College Library, we welcome people working in the church to use our outstanding theological collections for research and continuing professional development. Continue reading
Currently open on the sixth floor of the Main Library at the University of Edinburgh, the Given in Good Faith exhibition explores themes of church history, worship, scripture and science through some of the treasures of New College Library.
We chose the second of these themes, worship, because New College Library’s historic collections preserve many examples of individual and collective forms of worship. And the New College community has come together for religious worship since its beginning, and continues to do so today.
Hore beatissime virginis Marie ad legitimum Sarisburiensis ecclesie ritum … Paris: Francis Regnault, 1534. MH 193
Sixteenth century devotional works such as the printed Book of Hours ‘The Salisbury Rite’ are valuable examples of aids for private worship. Continue reading
One of our Funk Project cataloguers showed me this item The Fullness of Joy by Frances Ridley Havergal (Hymn 3926) this morning. After a humdrum week of working through variant editions of hymnbooks, this lovely illustrated volume really cheered him up! Continue reading
New on trial for University of Edinburgh users from 3 March to 31 March is the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology.
The Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology is the replacement for the Dictionary of Hymnology produced by John Julian in 1892, with a supplement in 1907.
It is an essential reference resource for scholars of global hymnody, with information on the hymns of many countries and languages, and a strong emphasis on the historical as well as the contemporary. It includes articles on individual hymns, authors from many countries, hymnals, organisations, and themes, as well as information on hymn tunes and their composers. Covering a multitude of hymn traditions from around the world, it is ecumenical and international.
You can access the trial via the link at : http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/databases-trials. Please give us your feedback as this is a key part of making a case to subscribe to resources like this.
Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – School of Divinity
We’ve started getting ready for Christmas at New College Library! The Christmas tree is now up in the Funk Reading Room, and we have a display of Christmas carol books from the Hymnology Collections in the entrance to the Library Hall.
The Hymnology Collections grew out of the gift in the 1880s of two thousand hymnbooks from James Thin, the founder of the famous Edinburgh bookshop. This collection has been added to by gift, purchase and the re-organisation of other library books of a similar nature to form the special collection of over five thousand items we have today, which are currently being catalogued online as part of the Funk Donation Projects. Primarily 18th & 19th century printed volumes, the collection covers sacred songs and poetry as well as hymns, including many items intended for children, both for Sunday School and home.
Currently on display we have :
Husk, W.H. Songs of the Nativity ; being Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern … London : J.C. Hotten, . Hymn 2578.
Christmas carols, hymns, etc. London : F. Pitman [18–?] Hymn 2591 With music for four voices, tonic sol-fa edition.
Hotten, John Camden. A garland of Christmas carols ancient and modern. Including some never before given in any collection. London : J.C. Hotten, 1861. Hymn 2129. A bookplate marks this item as having come from the original James Thin Collection.
A booke of Christmas carols : illuminated from ancient manuscripts in the British Museum. London : Joseph Cundall  Hymn 2590
Here at New College Library we’re rediscovering unique Special Collections items which tell the story of Scotland’s radical religious past.
The Lord’s Trumpet Sounding an Alarm Against Scotland. Edinburgh, 1731, New College Library S.b.32
This item, The Lord’s trumpet sounding an alarm against Scotland, and waining off a
bloody sword, reprints sermons originally preached in 1682 by Alexander Peden, one of the leading figures of the Covenanter movement in Scotland. Part of the New College Library Pamphlets Collection, it was identified when catalogued as unique on ESTC, or the English Short Title Catalogue, meaning that this imprint had never previously been identified.
The story of Scotland’s religious history is also evident in this eighteenth century pamphlet by Ralph Erskine, brother of Ebenezer Erskine, leader of the Secession Church which broke away from the Church of Scotland in the eighteenth century. Samuel VII and covenant theology. Faith’s Plea Upon God’s Word and Covenant is another example of a New College Library Pamphlet that has been identified as unique in the world.
Faith’s plea upon God’s word and covenant : a sermon preached on a preparation-day before dispensing the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, at Burnt-island ..
New College Library, H.d.288
Both these items were catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library, University of Edinburgh, where over 700 items unique on ESTC have been discovered.
Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity
Today, 11 January, is the anniversary of the birth of Laurens Hammond, inventor of the Hammond organ. New College Library holds this pamphlet, The Hammond Organ, published in the 1930s, in the Hymnology collections.
Patented eighty years ago in 1933-4, the Hammond Organ was aimed at church and domestic use, and it offered a new and cheaper alternative to the traditional pipe organ for church music. Later, it became popular for jazz, blues and rock music, as well as for church and gospel music.
Laurens Hammond was awarded the Franklin Institute’s John Price Wetherill Medal in 1940 for the invention of the Hammond electric organ.
This item was recently catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.
Moore, Thomas “Psalm singers’ pocket companion”, Glasgow 1756. Hymn 264/1
The feast of St Cecilia’s Day is traditionally celebrated on November 22nd. A 3rd century martyr, St Cecilia is known as the patron saint of musicians. Her legend relates that, as a young Christian, she was betrothed to a pagan but she had already vowed her virginity to God. As the organs played at at her wedding feast, Cecilia sang (in her heart) to the Lord, asking that her heart remain pure.
Here’s a book of Psalms to remember her by. Thomas Moore’s Psalm singers’ pocket companion is a publication from the revival era known as Gallery Psalmody, where leading singers and choir were located in a loft of the church. The new style lasted for about a century from 1755, and its main features were choirs singing in harmony of usually three parts, with some solo sections. Thomas Moore (- d. 1792) was a music teacher from Manchester Cathedral who came to Glasgow to teach singing.
This item is small, or pocket sized, and contains a number of manuscript doodles which may testify to the singer’s mind wandering elsewhere. Also interesting are the pages of handwritten music staves, perhaps to allow the singer to make notes of new tunes or harmonies.
The Psalm singers’ pocket companion belongs to the Hymnology Collection, and was catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects. With thanks to our Project Cataloguer, Oreste de Tommaso, for supplying details of this item.