Imagining Noah’s Ark : Special Collections on display at New College Library

Noah’s Ark has been in the news lately with the recent block buster film Noah. Currently on display in the entrance to New College Library is a nineteenth-century imagining of Noah’s Ark, in a work by Edward Wells (1667–1727), a Church of England clergyman and educationist.Ark

This image from An historical geography of the Old and New Testament (1809) shows a fold out engraved illustration of the ‘Inside of the Ark‘. Wells has attempted to provide a rational plan of how all the animals required could be fitted into Noah’s Ark.  The text on adjoining pages details the precise numbers and nature of the species considered to be housed in each area.This book is part of the Natural History Collection at New College Library, numbering about 175 books. This dates from the early days of New College, where ‘Natural Science’ was taught until 1934. The collection includes examples of the mid-nineteenth century controversies over evolution and natural selection, with geology particularly well represented. The collection was catalogued online as part of the Funk Projects.

Christine Love-Rodgers, Academic Support Librarian – Divinity

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