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Archive for July, 2013

From slave trader to ‘Amazing Grace’ – John Newton

[Newton, John] / An authentic narrative of some remarkable and interesting particularas in the life of ********* ... London, 1786.

[Newton, John] / An authentic narrative of some remarkable and interesting particularas in the life of ********* … London, 1786. New College Library Z.1188

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of John Newton, Anglican clergyman and hymn writer. This volume from New College Library’s Special Collections tells his remarkable story. The Authentic narrative of some remarkable and interesting particulars in the life of Mr. Newton describes Newton’s early career as a seaman on a slave trading ship. He experienced  a profound religious conversion, which when he finally took up life on shore led him to become active in evangelical revival. He pursued private studies in Divinity and taught himself Greek, Hebrew and Syriac.

In 1764, the year he was ordained as an Anglican priest, his Authentic Narrative appeared and quickly became a bestseller. Newton’s early life as a seaman slave trader coloured his experiences in later life, when he wrote and campaigned against slavery and is known to have met and advised William Wilberforce. He was a prominent hymn writer, and his legacy lives on today in the well known hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ .

New College Library has this sixth edition, at Z.1188, published in 1786, but it went through ten British and eight American editions before the end of the century. It was quickly translated into several other languages – New College Library also holds a Gaelic edition at Gaelic Coll. 137.

Sources

D. Bruce Hindmarsh, ‘Newton, John (1725–1807)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2010 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/20062, accessed 18 July 2013]

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New College Library is open throughout the Edinburgh Festival 2013

Edinburgh Festival time is coming, and the Assembly Hall on the Mound will once again be a Festival venue.   As well as the Assembly Hall, the Rainy Hall and various other rooms at New College will be used during this year’s Festival Fringe from Thursday 18th July to Friday 30 August 2013.

New College Library remains open throughout the Festival season.   Should you see any sign at the gates saying ‘This Venue is Closed’,  this will apply only to the Festival Fringe venues and will not restrict your own access to the Library, which you can enter as usual. During Fringe performance times, access to the Quad will be controlled by Fringe staff and you are advised to carry your staff or student card, to facilitate your entry and to minimise any inconvenience.

If you are visiting Edinburgh, you are welcome to register for visitor reference access to New College Library. Please bring two forms of identity with you. We require photographic proof of identity, confirmation of current address, and a passport size/style colour photograph to register for a reference card.

John Calvin – Works and Correspondence now available online

By Flemish school (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. On permanent display in Espace Ami Lullin of the Bibliothèque de Genève.

John Calvin 1509-1564. By Flemish school (Unknown) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
On permanent display in Espace Ami Lullin of the Bibliothèque de Genève.

Newly available to University of Edinburgh users is the online version of the Works of John Calvin, including the Institutes of the Christian Religion. This is the edition of the Institutes translated by Ford Lewis Battles and  published by Westminster Press in  1960. Also included are Calvin’s  Tracts and Treatises (3 vols.), translated by Henry Beveridge, originally published by the Calvin Translation Society (Edinburgh) in 1851,and Letters of John Calvin (4 vols.), edited by Dr. Jules Bonnet, translated by David Constable, originally published in 1855-57.  This online version complements the many printed editions of Calvin’s works which are available at New College Library.

Online access for University of Edinburgh users  is available via the Past Masters Database – see http://www.ed.ac.uk/is/databases-a-z under ‘P’.

This resource was purchased for the forthcoming Calvin in Context course at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

New books at New College Library – July

Oxford Handbook of Theology and Modern European ThoughtHeidegger on DeathNew College Library has a regular display of new books at the far end of the Library Hall, close to the door to the stacks.

New in this month  is the  Oxford handbook of theology and modern European thought  edited by Nicholas Adams, George Pattinson and Graham Ward, on the shelf at  B803 Oxf.

Also new is Heidegger on death : a critical theological essay by George Pattinson, at B3279.H49 Pat..  This title is also available as an e-book.

These titles were purchased for Theology & Ethics at the School of Divinity, Edinburgh University.

You can see an regularly updated list of new books for New College Library on the Library Catalogue – choose the New Books Search and limit your search to New College Library. Here’s a quick link to new books arriving in the last few weeks. A word of caution – some of the books listed here may still be in transit between the Main Library (where they are catalogued) and New College Library, so not on the shelf just yet.