Student interns in Stack III this summer

Over this summer, our three student interns, Thomas, Holly and Mila have been hard at work behind the scenes in New College Library’s Stack III. Their task was to work with the X Collection, a collection of large (folio) early printed books. Over the years this collection had gathered a layer of dust, which our interns carefully removed with a museum book hoover. Having our interns handling each of these books was also a great opportunity to learn more about them, and to understand how the collection was composed in terms of date, language and place of publication. These details were logged using methodology adapted from projects on collections in National Trust Houses.

We’re delighted to say that that our interns have tackled three full bays of the X Collection, and cleaned and logged over 1600 books. We now know that the collection (as logged so far) is almost entirely pre-1800 in date, predominantly in English and Latin and pretty equally split between European and UK imprints. All this information will help us to develop future projects to catalogue this collection online.

It was a pleasure to work with our student interns, and through their enthusiasm to rediscover these collections. Hope to do it all again next year!

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity.

With thanks to Margaret Redpath, NCL Library Services Manager and Karen Bonthron, ECA/NCL Helpdesk Team Lead

Jewish Studies Collections at New College library : early books

This week New College welcomes the British Association for Jewish Studies Conference to Edinburgh. Delegates are welcome to visit New College Library where they’ll find a display of Jewish Studies related items from our Special Collections..

Early Jewish sacred texts, biblical scholarship and devotional works in Hebrew can be discovered throughout New College Library’s Special Collections.

leha-Rav rabenu Mosheh bar Naḥman. Perush ha-Torah. Pisa: Bene Sontsino, 1514. Dal-Chr 15.

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Psalm singing and the Reformation

New College Library welcomes delegates to The Cultures of the Reformation: A Colloquium in Honour of Professor Jane Dawson on Thursday 1 June 2017. We have updated our current display of early psalm books and Scottish liturgy to include two new items.

The CL. Psalmes of David in meter : for the vse of the Kirk of Scotland : the contents of this buke follovve in the next page after the kalender. Imprinted at London : By Thomas Vautrollier dwelling in the Black-Friers, 1587.  tUR 77 1587

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Psalms in public and private

New College Library welcomes the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland this week with a display of early psalm books.

The psalmes of David in metre : according as they are sung in the Kirk of Scotland … Edinburgh, 1596. tUR 77 1596

During the period 1564-1644, around 70 editions of the Psalme Buik were produced for used in the Church of Scotland. Continue reading

Reading the Reformation : Philipp Melanchthon

Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) was born on 16 February 1497, to become a Greek scholar and Protestant theologian, and a powerful force in Reformation debate.

A colleague of Luther’s at the University of Wittenberg, Melanchthon took part in the ‘pamphlet wars’ that spread the debates across Europe. New College Library holds early examples including this 1521 pamphlet:

Melanchthon, Philipp. Aduersus furiosum Parisiensium theologastrorum decretum Philippi Melanchthonis pro Luthero Apologia. Basel, 1521. New College Library B.a.1.15

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Reading the Reformation : John Fisher

New College Library’s collections provide a rich resource for and about Reformation theology and its readers. One of these readers was John Fisher  [St John Fisher] (c.1469–1535), bishop of Rochester, cardinal, and martyr in the time of Henry VII and VIII. Tutored in Greek by Erasmus, Fisher was able to use Erasmus’s edition of the Greek New Testament (1). Like his contemporary, Thomas More, Fisher was an active opponent of Martin Luther in the theological debates of the 1520s.

New College Library holds two editions of Fisher’s response to Luther’s theology, Assertionis Lutheranae confutatio (1523).

—Assertionis Lutheranae confutatio / per Reuerendum Patrem Joannem Roffensem Episcopum, Academiae Cantabrigiensis Cancellarium. Antwerp, 1523. X7/A2

 

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Reading the Reformation : Luther

On 14, 15 and 16 February 2017, the Cunningham Lectures at New College will mark the 500th Luther anniversary, with lectures by Professor Kaufmann covering Europe, Reformation and Luther.

New College Library holds outstanding Reformation collections that support the theme of the first lecture, Book, Print and Reformation. This includes examples of Luther’s pamphlets like the one below, from the early part of his career at the University of Wittenberg.

Luther, Martin. Auslegung und Deutung des heylige vater unsers … Leipzig, 1518. New College Library tpGT 2 1518

Each pamphlet, printed using the newly developed printing press technology, was cheaply produced and easily distributed, allowing the ideas they contained to spread quickly. Continue reading

New Testaments from history

At the beginning of next month, the University of Edinburgh welcomes the Annual Meeting of the British New Testament Society, which will take place on 3- 5 Sept 2015. Currently on display in New College Library are three notable New Testaments from our Special Collections. Continue reading

John Knox and the Scottish Reformed Kirk

At 4pm today, Tuesday 19 May, in the Assembly Hall, Prof Jane Dawson will address the General Assembly on the topic of John Knox, following publication of her recent biography. Prof. Dawson’s new book is on display in the Funk Reading Room and in the main display case we have early printed books from the time of John Knox selected by Prof. Dawson to illustrate key themes about his ministry and the development of the Scottish Reformed Kirk from 1560 onwards.

Knox, John. Sermon on Isaiah. London, 1566. New College Library LR1/7

Knox, John. Sermon on Isaiah. London, 1566. New College Library LR1/7

This sermon by Knox was preached on 19 August 1565, in St Giles’ Kirk where Knox was minister and is the only full text of one of Knox’s sermons to have come down to us. It was printed because Knox had been given a temporary preaching ban having offended King Henry [Lord Darnley and husband of Mary, Queen of Scots] by Knox’s pointed use of the Old Testament story of Ahab and Jezebel.

tUR 77 1596

Psalmes of David [Henry Charteris ] 1596 New College Library tUR 1596

The ‘Psalm Buik’. This metrical Psalter was used by the Reformed Kirk after the Scottish Protestant Reformation and this volume comes from the end of the sixteenth century because multiple editions were produced to satisfy demand. John Knox’s congregation in Geneva had started the project [1555-9] and it had been further developed in Scotland after 1560. Psalm singing played a central role in Reformed worship and in the lives of ordinary Scots, especially those who could not read but could sing and so remember the words of the psalms.

Knox, John. An Answer Geneva, 1560. LR1/7

Knox, John. An Answer Geneva, 1560. LR1/7

Knox’s ‘Answer’. This was Knox’s longest book and dealt with the doctrine of predestination. It was published in Geneva in 1560 after Knox had returned to Scotland. Following the lead of John Calvin on predestination, Knox refuted an anonymous author who had championed free will. As was common practice, Knox challenged each of his opponent’s arguments in turn – this makes the book long and not an easy read!

*With thanks to Prof Jane Dawson for this blog post text*

Christine Love-Rodgers – Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

Jewish scholarship on display at New College Library

Babylonian Talmud. Sulzbach,1766. Folio, in 12 volumes

Babylonian Talmud. Sulzbach,1766. Folio, in 12 volumes. Longforgan Collection.

In celebration of the public lecture on The Bible and the Mishnah by Professor Shaye J D Cohen, Harvard University on Tuesday 5 May, we currently have Jewish texts from our Special Collections on display in New College Library.

This Babylonian Talmud is part of the Longforgan Free Church Ministers Library, an extremely well preserved example of a Manse library which came to New College in the 1960s. It is currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Donation projects. As well as this 12 volume Babylonian Talmud, works by Maimonides and Isaac ben Jacob Alfasi ha-Cohen are evidence of the importance of Hebrew scholarship to the Scottish Church.

Seder Ṭohorot Mishnayot mi-Seder Kodashim im perush / ha-Rambam. Venice : Daniel Bomberg, 1528.

Seder Ṭohorot Mishnayot mi-Seder Kodashim im perush / ha-Rambam. Venice : Daniel Bomberg, 1528. New College Library Dal-Chr 58

This image is from Maimonides’s commentary on the Mishnah which was one of the first to be published. It is part of the the Dalman-Christie Collection, which was transferred to New College Library in 1946 from the Church of Scotland Hospice in Jerusalem. This collection was recently catalogued as part of the Funk Donation Projects.

Mischna, sive, Totius Hebraeorum juris : rituum, antiquitatum, ac legum oralium systema. Amsterdam : Gerardus & Jacobus Borstius, 1698. New College Library Dal-Chr 45

Mischna, sive, Totius Hebraeorum juris : rituum, antiquitatum, ac legum oralium systema. Amsterdam : Gerardus & Jacobus Borstius, 1698. New College Library Dal-Chr 45

This is the frontispiece from one of the volumes in this six volume set of the Mishnah with text in  Hebrew and Latin. It also contains commentaries of Maimonides and Bertinoro in Latin. New College Library holds copies in both the Dalman-Christie and the Longforgan Collections.

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity