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Posts Tagged ‘donations’

Historic Papal politics : Platina’s Lives of the Popes

Platine historici liber de vita Christi ac pontificum omniu : qui hactenus ducenti et vigintiduo fuere. New College Library, Inc. 66

Platine historici liber de vita Christi ac pontificum omniu : qui hactenus ducenti et vigintiduo fuere, 1481. New College Library, Inc. 66

Bartolomeo Platina, (1421-1481) was a writer and member of the College of Abbreviators in Rome, a body of writers in the papal chancery who prepared the Pope’s bulls, briefs and decrees before they were formally written out by scribes. Deprived of his office and imprisoned by Pope Paul II, he left a lasting vengeance for his enemy in his Vitæ Pontificum Platinæ historici liber de vita Christi (1479). As well as being a polemic against his enemy, Platina’s Lives of the Popes was an invaluable early handbook of papal history which had an enduring influence on historical opinions.

New College Library holds this 1481 edition of Platina’s Vitæ Pontificum in the Incunabula Collection, catalogued online as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects. A manuscript note records the original owner as F. Sargent, the donor of other rare and valuable items to New College Library.

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Israel, the Assyrians and a shoemaker’s gift

The sacred and profane history of the world connected : from the creation of the world to the dissolution of the Assyrian Empire …, and to the declension of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel …/ by Samuel Shuckford, D.D. Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty, George the Second. ; Revised … by James Creighton. Philadelphia, 1824.
New College Library [Special Collections] Z.2152

At todays’ opening seminar in the Divinity Biblical Studies Research Seminar series, the speaker is Dr Carly Crouch, Lecturer in Hebrew Bible, University of Nottingham, on “Israel and the Assyrians”.

On that note, here’s an ambitious work of history from New College Library’s Special Collections that covers the Assyrian Empire and  “the declension of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel”. Written by Samuel Shuckford in the eighteenth century, this edition was published in the nineteenth century and is the first American edition of this work.

What interested me the most was in fact the label inside the book (well, I am a librarian), which states:

“Presented to the Free Church of Scotland, by Thomas Aikman, shoemaker, a native of Scotland, near Sterling [sic], a citizen of the United States of America since 1794 – a member of the Presbyterian Church in full communion for more than fifty years. Burlington, N.J., 1844.”

With this provenance, the book must have been donated to New College Library as part of the first appeal for books that came with the founding of New College as the College for the Free Church of Scotland after the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843.  It shows that Thomas Aikman, an emigrant of humble background, was following religious affairs in his homeland closely and that the principles behind the founding of New College were close enough to his heart for him to donate this book.

This book is part of the ‘Z’ Collection, currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

Another Book Sale success at New College Library, Edinburgh

New College Library held another successful Book Sale of duplicate volumes and unsuitable donations this Freshers week in the David Welsh Reading Room, New College Library. We’re pleased to be able to tell you that we raised over £1200! All proceeds will go to support New College Library funds. Previous book sales have supported new book purchasing, rare book conservation and archive listing projects.

The Book Sale would not be able to happen without the support of helpers from the New College postgraduate student community, who staffed the sale and helped with setting up and clearing away. A big thank you goes out to them!

Students and staff often ask what will happen to the unsold stock. This year some books will be going to the  Josophat Mwale Theological Institute (JMTI), in Zomba, Malawi, courtesy of Dr David Reimer. Other stock is being collected by St Columba’s Hospice Bookshop, Edinburgh.

A Study in Syriac

Syriac has been taught at New College, Edinburgh, since its earliest days, as part of the family of ancient languages studied here. Today, for University of Edinburgh Students in years 3  and 4, Aramaic and related Semitic languages (post-Bibilical Hebrew, Syriac and Ugaritic) can be taken as options in Hebrew, Hebrew Bible, and New Testament honours programmes.

Schola Syriaca (1672). New College Library, Hebrew 14.

 This item, Schola Syriaca: unà cum synopsi Chaldaica et dissertatione de literis & lingua Samaritanorum (1672) looks back at the tradition of Syriac learning.

Held in New College Library’s Special Collections,  it is three books bound in one, covering Syriac grammar, syntax and comprehension passages. Despite the main language of the book being in Latin, the text reads from back to front as a book entirely in Syriac would.

One of many books presented to the library in 1924 by the widow of Rev. J.E.H. Thomson, this book belongs to the Hebrew Collection recently catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects. With thanks to our Hebrew Cataloguer, Janice Gailani, for sharing details of this item.

 

How an Olympic champion became a missionary

The BBC Scotland programme Eric Liddell: A Champion’s Life http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lb63b  on BBC2 tonight (Monday 23rd July) at 10pm features items from University of Edinburgh Collections.

RUNNING THE RACE: Eric Liddell Olympic Champion and Missionary. John W. Keddie.

New College Library recently received a donation of a biography of  former Olympic Champion Eric Liddell, by John W. Keddie.  Immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire, Liddell won gold in the 400 metres at the Olympic games in Paris 1924, but famously refused to compete in his best event, the 100 metres, because it was held on a Sunday. He went on to study at the Scottish Congregational College and in 1925 went to China as a missionary with the London Missionary Society.

New College Library holds a  letter (30 June 1940) from Liddell to Mary and George Cameron, Heriot, Midlothian describing his movements during his last trip with his family. After two years in a wartime  internment camp with other members of the China Inland mission, he died on 21 February 1945, five months before liberation.

Liddell’s Olympic medals were donated to Edinburgh University by his daughter Mrs. Patricia Russell. A new Sports Scholarship at Edinburgh University, the Eric Liddell High Performance Sports Scholarship, was launched recently in his memory.