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Rare Bible, Given in Honor of Pope Francis’ Visit, on Exhibit at Library of Congress

Apostles Edition of The Saint John’s Bible Will Join Library’s Collection of Rare Religious Texts

Featured Book of the Month

Wood Hornbook. Eighteenth century, possibly American. From the Juvenile Collection.

An eighteenth-century hornbook, possibly American, with alphabet in lower and uppercases, followed by vowels, ligatures, and the Lord's prayer. Paper text covered with translucent horn tacked to the face. Two-line abacus with 12 beads in cutout at top. Carved indentions on verso.

Hornbooks were popular devices used to educate children from the 16th through 19th centuries and served as primers. Usually, hornbooks contained the alphabet, numerals and the Lord's Prayer.

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The Rare Book and Special Collection Division Reading Room

  101 Independence Ave. SE
Thomas Jefferson Building, LJ 239
  Washington, D.C. 20540-4740
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What's New in Rare Books


Books available from the Library of Congress Sales Shop:

The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
The Alfred W. Stern Collection of Lincolniana
This extensive collection of Lincolniana is now available online from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division.
View collection online »

The Gutenberg Bible

The Gutenberg Bible is the first great book printed in Western Europe from movable metal type. It marks a turning point in the art of bookmaking and in the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern world. Completed in Mainz, Germany, probably in late 1455, Johann Gutenberg is generally credited with inventing the process of uniform type. The Bible was purchased for the Library of Congress from Dr. Otto H. F. Vollbehr by an act of Congress in 1930.


The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 800,000 items, include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. At the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold to Congress in 1815.
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  September 30, 2015
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