Michael Morgan Bible Exhibit at Union University

I recently posted a list of the items from the Green Collection which will be on exhibit at our upcoming King James Bible Festival, “KJV400: Legacy & Impact”. I can now also provide a list of the items which will be in display simultaneously from Michael Morgan’s private collection. Michael has visited Union previously with an exhibit of his old and rare psalters. The list below contains hyperlinks to help explain various items.

I was amazed at what will be on display between these two collections so I asked Michael how unusual this exhibit will be, since he is often involved with similar exhibits and has a good knowledge of them.  His answer amazed me:

This really promises to be one of the most incredible exhibits anywhere during this anniversary year. Many of the books are so exceedingly rare that the sheer fact they will all be in one place at the same time makes it a unique opportunity to experience the history of the King James Bible. Virtually every translation will be represented in first or very early editions, from Wycliffe to the Oxford Standard KJV of 1769. That’s truly amazing!

I can’t imagine another exhibit in the country which comes close to this. I do know that the Folger Library [Washington, D.C.] and the Bodleian Library at Oxford have assembled an exhibit, but except for the fact that some of those books belonged to the kings and queens involved in the process, it won’t be any more comprehensive. I can only speak for the English side, but this exhibit borders on unbelievable. Where else could there be 2 Tyndales, a Coverdale and a Taverner, 4 Great Bibles, and 2 first printings of the KJV? I hope the exhibit will be available for viewing to those who might not be registered for the conference. It would be worth the driving time and perhaps even the cost of a hotel room to see such an assembly!

This will be a wonderful, perhaps once in a lifetime, opportunity and I hope you and people in your churches will be able to take advantage of it.

Here is the list of key items which will be here from Michael Morgan’s collection:

Wycliffe NT (Pickering printing, 1848)
(a magnificent black-letter printing, a good complement to the mss. leaf to be displayed)

Tyndale/Erasmus NT, 1550
(prints Tyndale and Erasmus’ Latin versions in parallel columns)

Matthews Bible, 1549 (“Wife-Beater” Bible)
(the second printing of Matthews Bible, and the first with Becke’s controversial notes)

Great Bible, 1540
(good complement to the 1539, virtually identical but could be opened to another page)

Great Bible, 1562 (First Elizabethan Edition)
(with Altdorffer’s woodcuts, beautiful edition)

Geneva Bible, 1578 (First Large Folio Edition)
(black-letter to compete with Bishops’ Bible, with Prayer Book)

Geneva Bible 1640
(Final Edition, and first to formally omit the Apocrypha)

Bishops’ Bible, 1572
(Second Folio with revisions, display could highlight differences)

Cartwright’s NT 1618 (Catholic confutation)
(similar in scope to Fulke’s NT)

KJV Folio 1611 (“He” Bible)
(a second copy of the First Folio, could be open to highlight a different page)

KJV Folio 1616
(First revision)

KJV Folio 1629
(First Cambridge revision)

KJV Folio 1638
(First Cambridge “Standard” Edition)

KJV Folio 1660
(Field’s magnificent Bible commemorating Charles II, with huge folding engravings)

KJV 1675
(First Oxford Edition)

KJV Folio 1716/7
(Baskett’s “Vinegar” Bible, very impressive edition — huge!)

KJV 1762
(Paris’ Cambridge revision)

KJV Folio 1763
(Baskerville’s Bible, First Issue, considered one of the finest English Bibles ever printed)

Full Score of Handel’s “Messiah” 1761 (KJV Text)
(a tie-in with the music associations of the KJV)

Macklin’s Bible Folio 1800
(largest Bible ever printed — I’ll only bring one of the huge volumes, of which there are 7)

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