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WCU to host Exhibit Celebrating 400th Anniversary of King James Bible

Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible, a traveling exhibition opening at the Sarah Gillespie Museum on William Carey University’s Hattiesburg campus on January 19, 2012, celebrates the 400th anniversary of the first printing of the King James Bible in 1611 and examines its fascinating and complex history.

The story behind the King James Bible remains surprisingly little known, despite the book’s enormous fame. Translated over several years by six committees of England’s top scholars, the King James Bible became the most influential English translation of the Bible and one of the most widely read books in the world. For many years, it was the predominant English-language Bible in the United States, where it is still widely read today. Even many of those whose lives have been affected by the King James Bible may not realize that less than a century before it was produced, the very idea of the Bible translated into English was considered dangerous and even criminal.

The traveling exhibit was organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. It is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford, with assistance from the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas. The exhibit was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council. It consists of high-quality reproductions of rare and historic books, manuscripts, and works of art from the Folger and Bodleian collections, combined with interpretive text and related images.

The library is sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibition. For more information, visit http://library.wmcarey.edu, or contact Sherry Laughlin at (601) 318-6170 or slaughlin@wmcarey.edu. The exhibit will be available for viewing Monday-Thursday, from 9 a.m.-7p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m.-5p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m.-5p.m.; and Sundays,1-5 p.m. Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible will be on display on the Carey campus until February 16.