Seeing the Salzburgers in their Books

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Timothy Scott Reeves


The “Salzburger Collection” that once belonged to the group of pietist Lutherans who emigrated from Salzburg, Austria to Ebenezer, Georgia in 1734 and is now preserved at the Crumley Archives in Columbia, SC, contains 160 books printed 1615-1824. After a brief history and record of provenance of the collection, this essay focuses on books that demonstrate the connection to the pietist center of Halle (Germany) and devotion to the pietist forerunner Johann Arndt, as well as a prayer book believed to contain the “London Liturgy” passed on to the emigrant community by the Lutheran chaplain of their English patron, King George II. The collection was evaluated in light of reports and letters from earliest members of the community and their supporters as well as inscriptions and other unique identifiers, giving preferences to those volumes in the collection most closely tied to earliest members of the community. In so doing, it becomes clear that while sweeping assumption about a community based upon the presence of a book in such a collection are ill-advised, when proper attention is given to matters of provenance, the contents of a library do reflect the values of a community.



Article Details

Author Biography

Timothy Scott Reeves, James R Crumley Jr Archives

Assistant Archivist

Adjunct Instrctor Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina