Baker University Bible collection displays centuries-old relics

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. — Each year inside the Collins Library at Baker University the Quayle Bible Collection displays unique books, paintings and drawings. In 1925, Bishop William Quayle, former university president, willed an extensive collection of more than 250 volumes of Bibles and early printed books to Baker University.

Since then the collection has more than doubled, gaining national attention for Baldwin City, Kan. This year the collection is illuminating the Bible through engravings and woodcuts along with 16th and 17th century illustrations, Bibles and tapestries. Director Kay Bradt said many are Protestant Bibles some as old as 1450.

“They included pictures because pictures grab a whole story at one glance; they also put lots of notes, and maps as well,” said Bradt.

Themes of the exhibit include the Creation, the depiction of God, demons, miracles and plagues and the life of David. Bradt says so far, the plague of frogs has been a student favorite.

“It’s 17th century Bible, there are frogs sitting on the chairs, the tables, hoping all over the ground,” said Bradt.

There are also clay tablets on display. Brady said they were used as contracts, when the deal was done, the clay was broken.

“When the ship sailed, the sheep were delivered, whatever, they would break the outside envelope,” said Bradt.

On display year-round, a page from the Gutenberg Bible, which was the first major book printed with movable type. This particular collection will be on display until July of 2014. The library is open from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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