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18th Century Bibles Given to Covenant’s Library


Mark Caldwell has donated three Bibles, printed in the 18th century, to the special collection of the Anna E. Kresge Memorial Library. The gift was made in honor of Drs. Niel and Kathleen Nielson.

The Christopher Sauer II German-language Bible was printed in Germantown, PA, in 1776. Legend has it that British soldiers used pages from this edition for cartridge paper or “gun-wad” during the battle of Germantown.

The copy of the Isaiah Thomas Bible, printed in 1791 in Worcester, contains an extensive birth and death record for the Hayes family of Massachusetts, and includes the dedication to King James, despite being printed after the Revolutionary War.

The Isaac Collins Bible was printed in 1791, and excluded the standard dedication to King James, which Collins deemed “wholly unnecessary for the purposes of edification.”

“Material artifacts like these help connect our students to numerous aspects of history, from the development of bookmaking technology to the various stages of Bible printing in America,” says John Holberg, Covenant’s research instruction and special collections librarian.

The Bibles are currently on display in the library.