The Curious Case of a "Mayflower Bible"

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Carolyn K. Coates


A library at a small liberal arts university receives from a donor an old book, which has long been assumed to be a Mayflower Bible. A staff librarian who is not accustomed to dealing with rare books reflects on the process of determining the true identity of the volume, its provenance, and the story behind it, with particular interest in the value of this experience to a library whose special collections are limited. Attention to the history of the book and of print culture demonstrate that even the most unlikely library gifts can serve the liberal arts institution through their value both as text and as artifact.

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