From January 24 through February 22, 2013, the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University will be host to the traveling exhibition Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible.
The exhibition, which was created to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the first printing of the King James Bible in 1611, tells the story of the origins, creation, and impact of one of the most influential books in history. Manifold Greatness not only highlights the dramatic history behind the making of this great book, but also includes its influence on English and American literature, and its multifaceted impact on culture and society to the present day. 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. Many may also be unaware of the meticulous work of some four dozen of England's top scholars, who labored for years to complete the translation, now named "the King James Bible" after its royal sponsor, James I.
Equally compelling is the story of the book’s afterlife—its reception in the years, decades, and centuries that followed its first printing, and how it came to be so ubiquitous. This breathtaking panel exhibition focuses on the human side of this major cultural landmark and explores the book’s social, cultural, literary, and religious influence over four centuries, from Pilgrim's Progress to Handel's Messiah to the Apollo 8 astronauts as they read from Genesis—in the King James Bible translation—while they orbited the Moon.
The traveling exhibition will be on display in the level three atrium at the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University from January 24 through February 22, 2013. A complementary rare books exhibition called Singular Wisdom: The King James Bible and Early Printed Bibles, with treasures from LMU and on loan from the William Andrews Clark Library at UCLA, will be on display in the adjacent Archives & Special Collections gallery from January 14 through May 12, 2013.
Admission to the exhibitions and all related programming is free and open to the public.
Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible 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, University of Oxford, with assistance from the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas. The traveling exhibition was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The William H. Hannon Library is grateful to the following program sponsors for their support: