Recent Additions to the PRC Seminary Library (3rd Quarter 2017)

SemLibrary2In October of this year I submitted the following list of books to the Theological School Committee of the PRC Seminary. It is a list of significant books obtained and processed for the third quarter of this year, covering July to Sept. Not intended to be exhaustive but selective, the list highlights some of the more important additions to our library.

The list also is sent, of course, to our faculty and students, so that they can have an idea of what is being added for their benefit. I trust the list will serve to benefit you readers too. Not simply so you can see how your monies are being spent, but also so that you may find something to use and read for your personal growth.

I divide the list into the following categories to help organize the books. The somewhat unique formatting follows the way the books are catalogued in the program I use (Resourcemate).

Happy browsing!

Biblical studies/ Commentaries/ theology

  • Focus on the Bible Series: Job: The Mystery of Suffering and God’s Sovereignty / Richard P. Belcher, Jr. — 1st-pb. — Fearne, Ross-shire, GB : Christian Focus, 2017.
  • God’s Word for YouJohn 1-12 for You / Josh. Moody; Andreas J. Kostenberger. — 1st-hc. — England: Good Book Company, 2017.
  • Mentor Commentary: Psalms: Volume 1 – Psalms 1 – 72 & Volume 2 – Psalms 73 – 150/ Allan M. Harman – Fearn, Ross-shire, GB: Mentor (Christian Focus), 2011.
  • Teach the Text Commentary SeriesEcclesiastes and Song Of Songs / Edward M. Curtis. — 1st – hc. — Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2013.
  • Reformation Commentary on Scripture, OT & NT (IVP) – I Corinthians /S. Manetsch
  • Welwyn Commentary: The Book of Psalms: From Suffering to Glory; Volume 1: Psalms 1 – 72 – The Servant-King / Philip Eveson. EP BOOKS, 2014.

Individual Titles

  • Justified by Faith: Study Outlines on Romans / Johannes Francke — 1st-pb. — London, Ontario: Inter League Publication Board, 1991.
  • Seeking the Face of God: Nine Reflections on the Psalms / David Martyn Lloyd-Jones; Christopher Catherwood. — 1st U.S.-pb. – Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005.
  • A History of the Bible as Literature: Volume 1: From Antiquity to 1700 / David. Norton — 1st-hc. — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993 [Letis collection]
  • A History of the Bible as Literature: Volume 2: From 1700 to the Present Day / David. Norton — 1st-hc. — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993 [Letis].
  • The History of the Higher Criticism of the New Testament: Being the History of the Process Whereby the Word of God Has Won the Right To Be Understood / Henry S. Nash, 1854-1912. ; Shailer Mathews. — 2nd-hc. —  New York: Macmillan, 1906 [Letis collection]
  • The Old Testament Explained and Applied. / Gareth. Crossley — 1st – reprint – hc. — Webster, NY: Evangelical Press, 2002.
  • The Christ of Wisdom: A Redemptive-Historical Exploration of the Wisdom Books of the Old Testament / O. Palmer. Robertson; Walter C. Kaiser. — 1st-pb. — Phillipsburg, N J: P & R Publishing, 2017.
  • Knowing God in the Last Days: Commentary on 2 Peter / Mark H. Hoeksema. — 1st-hc. — Jenison, MI : Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2017.
  • Divine Sabbath Work / Michael H. Burer; Richard S. Hess — 1st-hc. — Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2012 (Bulletin For Biblical Research Supplements) vol. 5
  • What Christians Believe About the Bible / Donald K. McKim. — 1st-pb. – Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1985.
  • Scribes, Scrolls, and Scripture : A Student’s Guide to New Testament Textual Criticism / J. Harold (Jacob Harold) Greenlee, 1918-. — 1st – pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1985.
  • Stump Kingdom : Isaiah 6 – 12 / Dale R. Davis. — 1st-pb. — Fearn, Ross-shire, GB: Christian Focus Publications.

Church History/Biography

  • Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts That Continue to Shape Our World / Brad S. Gregory, 1963-. — 1st-hc. — San Francisco, CA: HarperOne, 2017.
  • The Ninety-Five Theses in Their Theological Significance / Benjamin B. Warfield, 1851-1921. — Solid Ground Christian Books, 2017. (Solid Ground Reformation 500 Title)
  • Maarten Luther: Doctor Der Heilige Schrift, Reformator Der Kerk. / Willem J. Kooiman, 1903-1968 — 2nd-hc. — Amsterdam : W. ten Have, 1948
  • Luther and His Katie / Dolina. MacCuish. — reprint-pb. — Fearn, Ross-shire, GB: Christian Focus, c1983.
  • Remembering the Reformation: An Inquiry into the Meanings of Protestantism / Thomas Albert Howard, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2016.
  • Introducing Tyndale: An Extract from Tyndale’s “An Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue” / William Tyndale, d. 1536; John Piper; Robert J. Sheehan — 1st-pb. — Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2017.
  • Ulrich Von Hutten and the German Reformation / Hajo Holborn, 1902-1969. ; Roland H. Bainton, trans. — 1st Harper ed. – pb. — New York, NY: Harper & Row, 1937.
  • The Counter-Reformation / Arthur G. Dickens — 1st – pb. — London: Thames & Hudson, 1968 [Letis collection]
  • The Catholic Reformation / Michael A. Mullett — 1st-pb. — London: Routledge, 1999.
  • The Counter-Reformation, 1500-1600 / B. J. Kidd — 1st-hc. — London : Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1933 [Letis collection]
  • The Censorship of the Church of Rome and Its Influence upon the Production and Distribution of Literature: A Study of the History of the Prohibitory and Expurgatory Indexes, Together with Some Consideration of the Effects of Protestant Censorship and of Censorship by the State / George H. Putnam, 1844-1930 — 1st-hc. — New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1906 (2 vols) [Letis collection]
  • Papist Pamphleteers: The Allen – Persons Party and The Political Thought of the Counter – Reformation in England, 1572-1615. / Thomas H. Clancy — 1st-hc. – Chicago, IL : Loyola University Press, 1964.
  • Inquisition and Society in Spain in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries / Henry. Kamen. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1985 [Letis collection]
  • Robert Bellarmine: Saint and Scholar / James Brodrick, 1891-1973. — 1st-hc. — Westminister, MD: The Newman Press, 1961 [Letis collection]
  • How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion / August Hasler; Peter Heinegg, transl. — 1st-hc — Garden City, N.Y. : Doubleday, 1981 [Letis collection]
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church / Malachi. Martin. — 1st-hc. — New York: Putnam, 1981 [Letis collection]
  • Revivalism and Separatism in New England, 1740-1800: Strict Congregationalists and Separate Baptists in the Great Awakening / C. C. Goen — 1st-hc. — New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press, 1962.
  • Church History: An Introduction to Research Methods and Resources / James E. Bradley; Richard A. Muller — 2nd-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2016.
  • Frisians to America, 1880-1914: With the Baggage of the Fatherland / Annemieke Galema — 1st-pb. — Groningen, the Netherlands: REGIO-Project Uitgevers, 1996.
  • Lives of the Fathers: Sketches of Church History in Biography / Frederic W. Farrar, 1831-1903 — 1st- hc — Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1889 (2 vols.) [Letis collection]
  • The Medieval Church: From the Dawn of the Middle Ages to the Eve of the Reformation / Carl A. Volz. — 1st-pb. – Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1997.

Creeds/Confessions/History of

  • Only by True Faith: An Explanation of the Heidelberg Catechism – Book 1 – Lord’s Days 1-24 / Arthur Van Delden — 2nd-pb. — Kelmscott, Australia: Pro Ecclesia, 2000. And Book 2, Lord’s Days 25-52

Dogmatics/Theology/Historical Theology

  • Thomas Aquinas and John Gerhard. / Robert P. Scharlemann; David. Horne. — 1st-hc. — New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964 (Yale Publications in Religion), vol.7 [Letis collection]
  • The Papacy in the Modern World, 1914-1978 / J. Derek. Holmes; John T. Ellis. — 1st-hc. — New York: Crossroad, 1981 [Letis collection]
  • Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief / Bruce. Milne; James I. Packer — 3rd-pb. — Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009.
  • Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism: A Comparison of Traditional and Progressive Views / Herbert W. Bateman; Elliott E. Johnson; Darrell L. Bock; Herbert W. Bateman — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1999.
  • Jerome Zanchi (1516-90) and the Analysis of Reformed Scholastic Christology / Stefan Lindholm — 1st-hc. — Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2016 (Reformed Historical Theology), vol. 37
  • Hand in Hand: The Beauty of God’s Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice / Randy C. Alcorn. — 1st-pb. — Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2014.
  • All That Is in God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Christian Theism / James E. Dolezal; Richard A. Muller — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.
  • Christ and Covenant Theology: Essays on Election, Republication, and the Covenants / Cornelis P. Venema; Sinclair B. Ferguson — 1st-pb. — Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R Publishing, 2017.
  • Confessing the Impassible God: The Biblical, Classical, and Confessional Doctrine of Divine Impassibility / Ronald S. Baines; Richard C. Barcellos; James T. Butler; Ronald S. Baines — 1st-pb. — Palmdale, CA: RBAP, 2015.
  • The Anatomy of Arminianisme: or the Opening of the Controversies Lately Handled in the Low-Countryes, Concerning the Doctrine of Providence, of Predestination, of the Death of Christ, of Nature and Grace / Peter Moulin, 1568–1658. — Bound Photocopy. — London: Nathaniel Newbery, 1620.
  • On the Body of the Lord / Magnus Albertus, Saint, 1193?-1280; Albert M. Surmanski, transl.; Gregory F. LaNave — 1st-hc. — Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2017 (Fathers Of The Church – Mediaeval Continuation), v.17
  • Predestination / Howard G. Hageman, 1921-1992. — 1st-hc. — Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1963.
  • Dispensationalism in America: Its Rise And Development / C. Norman Kraus; Lefferts A. Loetscher, 1904-1981. — 1st-hc. — Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1958.
  • Naming the Antichrist: The History of an American Obsession / Robert C. Fuller, 1952-. — 1st-pb. — New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Jerome, Greek Scholarship, and the Hebrew Bible: A Study of the Quaestiones Hebraicae In Genesim / Adam. Kamesar — 1st-hc. — Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1993 (Oxford Classical Monographs) [Letis collection]
  • Cornerstones of Salvation: Foundations and Debates in the Reformed Tradition / Lee Gatiss — 1st-pb. — Welwyn Garden City, UK: Evangelical Press, 2017.
  • Particular Redemption: The End and Design of the Death of Christ / John Hurrion, c.1675 – 1731; Iain Hamish Murray; John Elias — 1st-pb. — Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2017.

Philosophy/Logic/Ethics

  • A Spiritual House: Reflections on Some Current Ethical Issues / W. Pouwelse — 1st-pb. — Winnipeg: Premier Publishing, 1986.
  • Like Living Stones: Reflections on Some Current Ethical Issues / W. Pouwelse — 1st-reprint-pb. — Winnipeg: Premier Publishing, 1985.

Practical Theology/Missions

  • The Apostolic Preaching and Its Developments: Three Lectures with an Appendix on Eschatology and History / Charles H. Dodd, 1884-1973. — 1st-reprint-hc. — London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1936.
  • Fulfilling the Great Commission: Papers Read at the 1992 Westminster Conference / Jean-Marc Berthoud; Paul Cook; David Kingdon — 1st-pb. — London: The Westminster Conference, 1992.
  • Counsel to Gospel Ministers: Letters on Preaching, Exemplary Behavior, and the Pastoral Call / John (Haddington) Brown, 1722-1787; Joel R. Beeke; Randall J. Pederson — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.
  • The Beauty and Glory of the Christian Worldview / Joel R. Beeke; Thomas Derek W. H.; Michael Barrett — 1st-hc. — Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.
  • Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage: Critical Questions and Answers / Jim. Newheiser; Edward T. Welch. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2017.
  • Messages of the Word: Sermons by Ministers of the Reformed Church in America / James F. Zwemer; John W. Beardslee; Ame. Vennema; James F. Zwemer — 1st-hc. — Holland, MI: Holland Printing Co., 1912.
  • Love One Another, My Friends: St. Augustine’s Homilies on the First Letter of John: An Abridged English Version / Saint Augustine , Bishop of Hippo; John. Leinenweber — 1st-hc. — San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1989.
  • Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken / David Powlison — 1st – pb. – Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017.
  • How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth / Christopher J. H. Wright — 1st – pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016.
  • Glorious Remembrance: The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper as Administered in the Liturgy of the Reformed Churches / Ray B. Lanning — 1st-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI : Reformation Heritage Books, 2017.

Misc. (Science, Family, Education, etc.)

  • A History of Classical Scholarship: From the Sixth Century B.C. to the End of the Middle Ages / Sir John Edwin. Sandys — 3rd – hc. — Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1921 (3 vols., covering all periods of history) [Letis collection]
  • History of Classical Scholarship from 1300-1850 / Rudolph. Pfeiffer — 1st-reprint-hc. — Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976 [Letis collection]
  • The American Intellectual Tradition: Volume I, 1630 – 1865 and Volume II: 1865 to the Present / David A. Hollinger; Charles Capper — 1st-pb. — New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • The Bible and Christian Education: Papers Delivered at the Educational Convention of the National Union of Christian Schools, 1925 / J. Althuis; G.W. Hylkema; H. Van Zyl — 1st-pb. — National Union of Christian Schools, 1925.
  • Acts of Synod of the Christian Reformed Church: 2017 / Christian Reformed Church in North America; Steven R. Timmermans — 2017-pb. — Grand Rapids, MI: Board of Publications of the Christian Reformed Church, 2017.
  • Godliness and Good Learning: Four Studies on a Victorian Ideal. / David Newsome; James Prince Lee, 1804-1869; David Cannadine — 1st-pb. — London: Cassell, 1961.

Periodicals (Old & New)

  • 9Marks Journal (Calvinistic Baptist)
Published in: on November 14, 2017 at 10:49 PM  Leave a Comment  

The Oldest Treasures From 12 Great Libraries – Atlas Obscura

This wonderful library item recently was featured on Atlas Obscura, and today it is our “Friday Fun” post for this first Friday of November 2017. The editors gave this brief introduction to the post:

In the history of writing, bound books as we know them today arrive fairly late, so there are no actual “books” on this list. Instead, this is a wondrous collection of illuminated manuscripts, papyrus scrolls, and clay tablets. Some of these items you can even see in person, if you pay a visit.

Have you ever wanted to “see” some of these rare treasures? Now you can – through these images, but also in person if you wish. Find out more by visiting the link below, after reading the opening paragraphs next.

We asked some of our favorite libraries: What’s the oldest item in your collection?

When you start to think about the oldest books that a library might hold, there are any number of rabbit holes you can fall down. What’s the oldest book in any particular city? What’s the oldest book in the world? Well, what do you mean by “book”? The oldest written text? The oldest manuscript? The oldest printed material? The oldest bound book?

Librarians take these kinds of questions very seriously, so when Atlas Obscura contacted some of our favorite libraries to ask about the oldest books in their collections, we were treated to a wealth of information about the treasures they hold.

The New York Public Library, for instance, has not only cuneiform tablets and ninth-century gospels, but also a Gutenberg Bible and a copy of The Bay Psalm Book, one of the oldest books printed in America. In addition to its own cuneiform tablets and Gutenberg Bible, the Library of Congress holds one of the oldest examples of printing in the world, passages from a Buddhist sutra, printed in A.D. 770, as well as a medieval manuscript from 1150, delightfully titled Exposicio Mistica Super Exod.

Source: The Oldest Treasures From 12 Great Libraries – Atlas Obscura

Published in: on November 3, 2017 at 6:47 AM  Leave a Comment  

The Women Who Rode Miles on Horseback to Deliver Library Books – Atlas Obscura

This fascinating story appeared on the August 31, 2017 email highlights of the Atlas Obscura website. It was headed by the simple title, “Librarians are amazing.” Being one and , therefore, being somewhat prejudiced, it would be easy to agree. But I will let this story from the Great Depression years inform your own mind.

Below are a few excerpts; find the rest of it at the link below. O, and be sure to look at the amazing archived pictures, especially at the end – a fine collection on the Kentucky pack horse librarians!

They were known as the “book women.” They would saddle up, usually at dawn, to pick their way along snowy hillsides and through muddy creeks with a simple goal: to deliver reading material to Kentucky’s isolated mountain communities.

The Pack Horse Library initiative was part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), created to help lift America out of the Great Depression, during which, by 1933, unemployment had risen to 40 percent in Appalachia. Roving horseback libraries weren’t entirely new to Kentucky, but this initiative was an opportunity to boost both employment and literacy at the same time.

…By the end of 1938, there were 274 librarians riding out across 29 counties. In total, the program employed nearly 1,000 riding librarians. Funding ended in 1943, the same year the WPA was dissolved as unemployment plummeted during wartime. It wasn’t until the following decade that mobile book services in the area resumed, in the form of the bookmobile, which had been steadily increasing in popularity across the country.

 

Source: The Women Who Rode Miles on Horseback to Deliver Library Books – Atlas Obscura

Published in: on September 29, 2017 at 7:30 AM  Leave a Comment  

The Rare-Book Thief Who Looted College Libraries in the ’80s – Atlas Obscura

Our post today may not be a very funny “Friday Fun” item, but it sure is strange and interesting.

Read on about the man who eluded librarians, library security, and police for years, stealing nearly half a million dollars worth of rare books from college and seminary libraries, wiping away marks of previous ownership, and reselling them to unsuspecting booksellers.

Below is the beginning of this tale of library-book terror, followed by a picture of one of the 19th-century travel books the clever cleptomaniac confiscated.

On the evening of December 7, 1981, Dianne Melnychuk, serials librarian at the Haas Library at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, noticed an unfamiliar gray-haired man of early middle age lingering around the card catalog near her desk. He had attempted to appear inconspicuous by way of nondescript, almost slovenly dress, but at almost six-and-a-half feet tall, with a 225-pound frame, he stood out.

Something about him rang a bell. Melnychuk discreetly followed him up to the sixth level of the stacks, and carefully observed him from the end of a row of shelving. In spite of the glasses he wore that evening, his face clicked in her memory.

A little later the article tells us more about this infamous book thief and how he plied his trade:

Far from casual, James Shinn’s approach was premeditated. It is believed that he would compile a “want list” of valuable books by reading library journals to find titles of value. Next, he would scan the National Union Catalog to determine which libraries held the desired items. He made an extensive study of library security techniques that allowed him to accumulate tools and tricks to avoid them. And he rarely bothered with a book valued under $300.

To finish reading this fascinating story, visit the link below.

Source: The Rare-Book Thief Who Looted College Libraries in the ’80s – Atlas Obscura

Published in: on August 25, 2017 at 4:02 PM  Leave a Comment  

Letis Collection Book Plates

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The last couple of weeks Andrew Koerner, my new summer library helper, and I have returned to cataloging some more books out of the Letis collection.

20170705_083725While the majority of the best books for our seminary library have been incorporated from this collection, we are now working on some of the specialty books (Dr. Letis had, for example, a good number of books on Roman Catholicism, feminist theology,  and biblical higher criticism.).
20170705_152913One of the interesting features of some of the older books is the book plates in the front. Some reflect Letis’ own stamp on the book he purchased,  while others reflect the former owner, including individuals and libraries – and in one case, a convent.
20170707_112323I post pictures of a few here for your enjoyment.
20170707_112059I bought some beautiful plates a few years ago from a local book store, and have placed them in a few of my favorite books. 🙂

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Published in: on July 7, 2017 at 9:44 PM  Leave a Comment  

Final Images and Impressions of the ACL Conference

Yesterday was the final day of the Association of Christian Librarians’ Conference, held this week at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids.

By the way, while working in the library for a while during a break on Wednesday, I discovered that CU’s Miller Library has a Torah scroll on special display. Impressive display room – you may actually walk into it and examine the scroll up close!

Each day of the conference began with a devotions and worship time (8 AM), but I missed those due to my other duties. I did, however, get to all but one of the workshops I  signed up for, including two yesterday.

Let me say something first about the special “solo librarians” meeting I attended Wednesday night. This is a special group (and online discussion group within the ACL network) in ACL for librarians who work alone, or with a very small staff. While there are large libraries employing many librarians that belong to ACL, there are plenty of us “small” people working in small institutions. And we have our own unique challenges and struggles (blessings abound too!).

I found it very helpful to be able to sit around a discussion table with these Christian colleagues for over an hour (including prayer time) and talk about things on our minds. This being my first experience, I mostly “listened in,” but I did find a few opportunities to ask questions and contribute to the discussion. And again, I found myself drawn to the “solos” at meal times and free times too, so that I could continue to benefit from good talks – especially with those librarians who work in small seminaries such as ours. Some of the key things I wanted to discuss were what programs do their libraries use (for technical services), what policies do they have in place, and how do they teach information literacy.

Yesterday morning I attended two workshops. The first was a great follow up to our “solo librarians'” meeting the night before, as this workshop was specifically on how to thrive as a “solo.” Presentations by six different solo librarians were given (two by video), all of them helpful and encouraging. They key thoughts were “persevere” and “keep evaluating and making improvements” (personally and institutionally), even if they are small.

Especially encouraging (moving, even!) was the talk by Paul Roberts, a “solo” (and a ACL Board member) from Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, AL, whose school suddenly closed on May 31, leaving him along with many others without a job. He spoke about “scriptural encouragement,” and in the light of the sudden change in his own life, about how important it is to walk close to the Lord, in the Word and prayer each day. I learned quickly to appreciate this humble servant of God.

The second workshop was an “unconference” one (just means it was not specifically planned by the conference team) on library “technical services.” A librarian from Judson College in Marion, AL led a valuable discussion on how our libraries can best carry out these services. While the presentation was simple, the discussion was fantastic – I learned a lot about cataloging, preservation, and maintenance of collections!

At noon we gathered at the Frederick Meijer Gardens across the street for a fabulous banquet and tour of the gardens. The meal was amazing, the fellowship rich, and the tour was…. Let’s just say I had to (wanted to!) leave early so as to catch the end our senior seminarians oral exam at synod at Hudsonville PRC.

As you now know, all seven examinations were approved and all seven men declared candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC. Graduation was held last night – a happy time for the men and their families, and for the churches. So thankful for these fine young men. For more on this, visit this news item on the PRC website.

Christian Librarians’ Conference

ACL-2017-conf

I am excited to attend and report on my first ever Association of Christian Librarians’ Conference, being held this week at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids.

Yesterday the conference began, including a special “meet and greet” for us “first-timers”, and I was able to connect with some new people already, including librarians from Dordt College and Liberty University among others – even an excited young man from Tanzania!

Today the main conference begins with a keynote speech this morning by Stephen J. Bell of Temple University and then various workshops and sectionals, including one for “solo” librarians (like myself) and a brand new one for seminary librarians. I am looking forward to learning new things and networking with new people to gain new information so as to better serve as librarian in our seminary.

tcl volume 57 issue 2 coverThe ACL also publishes its own Journal, The Christian Librarian, which is now available online here.

Perhaps a little humor is in order from my first-day conversations with several librarians about cataloging. We were discussing the importance of getting the right subjects in the record, and one librarian said he found a record recently on a work about God’s sovereign control of all things under the subjects “God” and “Providence”, with the words “Rhode Island” behind it. Oops!

Beautiful Miniature Books – in Iowa! Atlas Obscura

This week the geography folks at Atlas Obscura featured another great book item in one of its daily mailings (You are receiving these, right?!). This one is about a collection of miniature books at the University of Iowa. – including a teeny, tiny book containing the Bible book of Genesis (see the image here).

Here is the first part of the story about this collection. Read the rest at the link below. And visit the entire collection at the UI link in the quotation below.

In 1896, the Salmin Brothers, a Padua-based publishing company, produced Galileo a Madama Cristina de Lorena (Galileo’s Letter to Christina). It had an embossed cover and slipcase, but it had another, exceptional feature: It was sized at just 0.7 by 0.4 inches. Within, the text is printed in “fly’s eye type,” which is so small that when the Salmin Brothers first used it, for Dante’s Divine Comedy, it reportedly damaged the eyesight of the typesetter. This time, it was used in a title about one-third the size of the previous example—the smallest book ever printed with hand-set, movable type.

Galileo’s tiny tome is just one of some 4,000 miniature books held at the University of Iowa, most of which were gifted to the institution from a single collection. The donor, Charlotte M. Smith, was an avid collector of rare books, but as volumes began to overwhelm her bookshelves, she turned to miniatures. Her first purchase was a 3.75-inch-tall edition of Clement Clarke Moore’s A Visit From St. Nicholas (more commonly known by its opening line, “‘Twas the the night before Christmas … ”).

Source: Beautiful Miniature Books That Are Worth Sacrificing Your Eyesight For – Atlas Obscura

Published in: on June 2, 2017 at 6:28 AM  Leave a Comment  

A London Library of Books and Bombs

This is a well written story of the origin of an amazing library and of its survival in the heart of London during WWII. And with that, a lesson in the important and surprising roles that libraries play in the history of a nation and city.

The article appeared in The Paris Review last week (May 18, 2017) and was penned by Though lengthier than other articles, it is worth your reading on this Friday.

This quotation begins about halfway through the article.

For a few years, the Bethnal Green Library seemed to be safe, but in 1938 an ominous note entered the library report. George Vale, borough librarian, wrote, “The estimated daily average attendance in the Newsroom was 554 and this department undoubtedly fills an urgent need in these troublesome times.” By 1939, Vale explicitly included solace in the library’s remit: “If amidst the threats and rumours of war and universal destruction we can bring, in some small measure, a sense of beauty and a general desire for truth into the homes of the people of Bethnal Green, the work of our public libraries will not be in vain.” The 1940 report reflected country’s move to war. Gone were the thick white sheets, replaced by translucent brown onionskin. Our librarian reported on his fractured clientele, “Some were exhilarated, but not a few suffered from depression, ‘nerves,’ bewilderment, restlessness, or ill health.”Then on September 7, 1940, the library was bombed. Vale described it like this:

The enemy raiders had fired on the Docks, and as darkness approached the night became an inferno. It was on that day at 5.55pm that our Central Public Library received a direct hit … The bomb went clean through the Adult Lending Library.

That year, Vale’s annual reports to the borough council stopped altogether. As London was battered and blitzed, librarians were trying to keep books safe. Bethnal Green asked for one hundred pounds to construct shelves inside the local bomb shelter. Though the London Civil Defense Region did not think this was the most pressing issue in time of war, they agreed that fifty pounds could be put toward the provisions of bookcases or cupboards, and the librarians carried four thousand books down into the tube.

This was how, during the Blitz, the Bethnal Green library became the first, and possibly only, bomb-shelter library in all of Britain. As bombs and fires cratered the city, Londoners hunkered underground, and librarians handed out poetry, plays, novels, nonfiction, and children’s books. Presumably, the readers discovered the library’s new location as they clattered down the steps away from air sirens, caught their breath, and looked around. It was open from 5:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. every weekday.

What courage all this must have taken. When he resumed his borough report, Vale wrote that “there were no Press photographs showing library assistants working on the edge of a crater and certainly no films or gay posters advertising the attraction of the library service.” And yet throughout the war, this little library offered a respite from fear, an education, and beauty.

Can you imagine celebrating our libraries as we do our battalions? What if world leaders put their egos in the number of libraries their countries boasted? Perhaps we should start by being grateful for those libraries we do have. There was almost no bomb-shelter library. If the war government had decided that books were too frivolous, if Carnegie had not found the money, if the residents of Tower Hamlets had refused to pay their taxes, if a few Victorians hadn’t wanted to shunt the poor from the pubs, then the residents of Bethnal Green would’ve had no books to unfold as they crouched underground.

Source: How a London Borough Turned an Asylum into a Library

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Published in: on May 26, 2017 at 8:24 AM  Leave a Comment  

The Internet Is Not a Library

As a librarian in an academic institution (PRC Seminary), I appreciated these brief but pointed thoughts of pastor Kevin DeYoung yesterday about the fact that the Internet is not to be viewed or treated as a library.

He takes his starting point in a new book by Tom Nichols, which is one I would like to pursue.

Below are a few paragraphs from his post. I encourage you to read the rest, especially the next paragraphs, because there he states rather bluntly how the Internet is to be viewed and used.

I’ll have more to say about Tom Nichols’s excellent new book The Death of Expertise in the days ahead, but for now I want to underline one important observation he makes.

Namely: “The Internet . . . is nothing like a library” (110).

In the recent conversation about who’s in charge of the Christian blogosphere, I saw in at least one place that the blogosphere was likened to a great big library—a place where diverse viewpoints are housed, a place where people come to seek truth, a place where ideas are not censored and readers need discernment. Without wanting to deny these general points as they relate to Christians in the blogosphere, I believe it is a necessary part of discernment that we realize the internet (of which the Christian blogosphere is a part) is nothing like a library.

Yes, a library has many different volumes. And yes, we can go there to search for answers and acquire knowledge. But a library is a highly curated collection of knowledge. We have a Michigan State University librarian in our church. She has a master’s degree in library science. She oversees a section of materials related to European history. She is constantly reading through journals and periodicals to find the most important new books to purchase. She also gets rid of old stuff that has proven to be relatively worthless. She is also a wealth of information when people have questions about where to find the best, most important stuff. She doesn’t have an ideological grid when it comes to what goes in the library, but she does have an expertise grid. Almost all the books that get into a library like MSU’s are by people with credentials, with academic positions, or with institutional legitimacy.

Source: The Internet Is Not a Library | TGC

His comments reminded me of the coffee cup I keep on my library desk. I believe I showed you this once before, but this post gives me opportunity to do so again. 🙂