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Cedarville Centennial Library Celebrates Collection Milestone

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by Public Relations Office

September 25, 2002

Cedarville, Ohio—The Centennial Library at Cedarville University recently celebrated a collection milestone. The Library`s print collection reached 150,000 volumes, and in honor of that event, a rare 17th century Geneva Bible was purchased and processed into the collection as print volume number 150,000. This small quarto edition of the Bible was published by Robert Barker in London in 1608. The Bible has a 19th century binding, and also bound within it are two concordances, a 1609 Psalter and a 1608 Common Book of Prayer. The first edition of the Geneva (also known as the Breeches) Bible was published in 1560 in Europe, after many of the supporters of the English Reformation fled to Geneva, Switzerland, because public reading of the Bible had been prohibited in England. Although never officially adopted in England, for three generations the Geneva Bible was the most popular of all English versions, with 40 editions published between 1560 and 1640. According to Lynn Brock, director of library services, "The Geneva Bible was the Bible used by the Puritans and the Pilgrims. In addition, this version was read by Shakespeare and Bunyan, and it was of cardinal importance for its influence on the English language, literature, and thought." Along with this Geneva Bible, the Centennial Library owns an equally rare third printing of the first edition of the King James Version of the Bible. The copy is a large folio lectern Bible published by Robert Barker in London in 1617. This was the third distinct folio edition of the first edition of the King James Version originally published in 1611. The Library is anticipating further purchases of the major 16th and 17th century English translations of the Bible as funds become available. Located in Cedarville, Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited Baptist university of arts, sciences, professional, and graduate programs. Offering 100 areas of study to approximately 3,000 students, the University features an award-winning campus computer network and a worldwide Christian ministries program.