Library News »05/03/2013


Limited Edition Pennyroyal Caxton Bible donated to UI Library


The University of Idaho Library’s Special Collections and Archives department announces the addition of a two-volume Limited Edition Pennyroyal Caxton Bible donated by Bruce and Suzie Kovner, arts patrons and philanthropists.

This edition of the King James Version of the Holy Bible is illustrated by Barry Moser, the foremost American master of wood engravings. It is the first illustrated Bible of its kind since Gustave Doré’s edition of the Le Saint Bible in 1865.

Published by the Pennyroyal Caxton Press in 1999, the edition is one of 400 copies printed. Volume one contains the five books of Moses, the historical books and the books of poetry. Volume two contains the books of prophecy and the New Testament.

Each volume measures 16 x 11.5 inches and fits into its own full linen tray case. The hand sewn bindings are reminiscent of Renaissance vellum bindings with the titles stamped in 24 carat gold on the front covers and spines of both volumes.

The pages were composed and printed on a Heidelberg KSBA printing press with specially manufactured paper from the village of Zerkall, Germany, where the first mill for hand papermaking was built in the sixteenth century.

“With this gift, University of Idaho students, staff, faculty and community members have the opportunity to see and experience a beautiful book produced and bound with these traditional skills,” said Garth Reese, head of Special Collections and Archives. “But the beauty of this Bible is not in Moser’s engravings alone,” he added. “It is also an example of some of the finest contemporary printing in existence.”

“Even in this digital age, these volumes show the persistence of fine crafting in the face of mass production. It’s truly a monument to the art of the book, and the University of Idaho Library is privileged to own a copy of this Bible,” said Reese.

The library’s Special Collections and Archives maintains a reading room on the main floor of the library where the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible and other rare and archival items may be viewed. The reading room is open Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours will be Monday – Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.

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