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If Books Could Talk

New Testament Title Page

New Testament Title Page

Yesterday marked the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. According to tradition, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg. Luther’s translation of the Bible into German did not appear until eighteen years later in 1534. It was an instant best seller, and four hundred and thirty editions appeared during Luther’s lifetime. Our earliest copy of Das Biblia, das ist, Die ganze Heilige Schrift, Alten und Neuen Testaments was printed in 1740 but it is essentially the same as the revised edition of 1545. In the top image, it is open to the New Testament Title Page. The image on the bottom left shows the engraved frontispiece.

Our copy is still in contemporary blind-tooled pigskin binding of blind-tooled pigskin (bottom right). It belonged to Lotte Stringer, an Austrian who escaped to New York after Hitler came to power. She donated the book to TCU in 1997. In her letter that accompanied the donation, she remarks on its centuries of wandering through branches of her father’s family in Central Europe and its “having survived two World Wars and, while in my possession, fire and flood. I am happy to think that this fine old book will now be in a place of knowledge.” If only it could talk to us!

Biblia, das ist, Die ganze Heilige Schrift, Alten und Neuen Testaments. Altdorf: Verlegts Ernst Friderich Zobel, und gedruckt bey Johann Adam Hessel, 1740. BS239 1740

Engraved FrontispieceFront Cover


Featured Collections

The Love Family Letters

The Love brothers - Cyrus, Samuel, James, John, and, eventually, Robert - fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War as part Terry's Texas Rangers and the 6th Texas Cavalry. They came from Tehuacana, Limestone County, Texas. The collection contains letters written by several sons in the Love family during the Civil War, offering a glimpse into life on the battlefield and at home. Many famous people and battles are referenced.
The Love Family Letters have been digitized and are available in our digital repository.

Tom B. Saunders Family Papers

The Saunders Family came to Fort Worth in 1902 and formed one of the strongest livestock businesses on Exchange Street. Administrative records, correspondence, and memorabilia document the Tom B. Saunders Company from 1899 to 1974. The collection includes material on other notable Texas trail drivers collected by the family. The family's Fort Worth Stock Show planning material is also included.
The Tom B. Saunders Family Papers have been digitized and are available in our digital repository.

Joseph Warren Hays Papers

Joseph Warren Hays was a pilot in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He served from January 1943 through November 1945. Hays flew missions over Europe in 1945 as a co-pilot of a B-24 Liberator with the 446th Bombardment Group. After the war, he returned to TCU to complete his degree in Economics. The collection includes a complete set of letters written by Joseph Warren Hays to his family while serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Music/Media Collections

Cliburn Competition Archive

By an agreement concluded in 1991, the Van Cliburn Foundation transferred to Texas Christian University materials relating to the activities of the Foundation, together with the archives of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The professional Competition, first held in 1962, was created to commemorate Van Cliburn's sensational 1958 victory at the first Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. Held at four-year intervals, the Competition offers a means by which the finest young concert pianists can perform before a global audience. The International Competition for Outstanding Amateurs now offers other accomplished pianists a worldwide stage.