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Sir John & Mary Craig Scriptures Collection: Home

One of USM De Paul Library Special Collections' major collections.

Scriptures Images

Craig Codex—manuscripts of the Gospels, the Acts of Apostles, and the Epistles of Saint Paul scribed upon 70 vellum leaves in handmade ink, featuring 64 red and blue illuminated capitals, created at the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Bertin in Saint Omer, France in 1228.

About Craig Scriptures Collection

The Sir John and Mary Craig Scripture Collection consists of more than 2,000 cataloged items, including a collection of Bibles (Old and New Testament) and religious texts from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions, which date from the 12th Century. Also included are original illuminated manuscripts from the 12th Century up to the 16th century, several original leaves from early printing processes (particularly scripture from the bible), and original oversized illuminated manuscript scores on parchment dating from the 16th century. 

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The Sir John and Mary Craig Scripture Collection

The Sir John and Mary Craig Scripture Collection consists of more than 2,000 cataloged items. Notable among them are the following objects which are unique to our collection:

  • Thomas Aquinas, Sententia libri peyermenias (Venice: Johannes de Colonia and Johannes Menthen, 1477). Significance: Perhaps held by no other American library.
  • Ambrosius de Spiera, Incipit quadragesimale de floribus sapie[n]tiae (Venice: de Stanchis and Britannicus, 1481). Lenten sermons by a fifteenth century Italian scholar and preacher of the Servite Order, edited by Marcus Venetus. Significance: Includes marginalia from more than one hand and a manuscript page on verso of final leaf. Holding libraries in America include UIUC and Huntington.
  • Biblie iampridem renouate pars prima[-sexta] ... (Basel: Froben, 1502). Folio, many woodcut illustrations, presents the biblical text with the glosses of Anselm of Laon, Walafridus Strabo, and others, as well as the compositions of others. Significance: This edition is held in the US by the Folger, Penn, Smith College, Princeton University, and others.
  • Sermones sancti Augustini ad heremitas (Paris: Jean Petit, 1513). Bound in modern ¾ leather. Significance: In the US the edition is also held by the General Theological Seminary, NY.
  • Johannes Antonius de Nicolinis de Sabio, Epistolae divi Pauli apostoli cum triplici editione ad veritatem græcam ... (Venice: Sabio, 1533). Bound in limp vellum and with the bookplate of the Biblioteca Valperga di Masino e di Caluso (Torino, Italy) with ms. shelfmark: "X.266". Significance: Not held by another American library.
  • Favii Josephi antiquitatum iudaicarum libri XX (Basel: Froben, 1548); edited by D. Erasmus and S. Gelen. Folio in contemporary binding with marginalia. Significance: Perhaps held by no other American library.
  • Bernard Picart, Kaaukeurige beschryving der uitwendige godts-dienstplichten, kerk-zeden en gewoontens van alle volkeren der waereldt (Amsterdam: Hermanus Uytwerf, 1727-1738), six folio volumes bound in four; vellum. Originally issued in French, this is Picart’s most famous work, and its many large and detailed etchings related to the world’s religious customs are splendid testimony to the author’s artistic ability. Significance: This is likely the most elaborately illustrated set of books in the Craig Collection, and it is also held in America by the Newberry and BYU.
  • The first American edition of the Doway-Rheims Bible published by Matthew Carey in Philadelphia in 1790. The De Paul Library holds the first edition, as well as the second edition (1600) and the two-volume Old Testament (1609-1610). Significance: Although the first edition is held by many American libraries, it is an important piece for a Catholic academic library, showing the Catholic response to Protestantism and having potential use in many classes and exhibits.
  • Biblia sacra, Hebraicae, Chaldaice, Graece & Latine... (Antwerp: Plantin, 1569-1572), vol. 1; blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards. Significance: The second of the four Great Polyglot Bibles was important testimony to the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
  • Twenty-five Bibles from the sixteenth century. Significance: comprise a remarkable collection issued from the leading centers of printing (Venice, Paris, Lyons, Basel, Nuremberg, Antwerp, and London) and representing versions in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, and English (and some of the more obscure ancient languages in the case of polyglots).