Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Gutenberg Bible Facsimile

Visitors to the lower level of the Dick Smith Library will notice the beautiful facsimile of the Gutenberg Bible in the display case on the wall by Special Collections. The Bible was a gift to the library from former faculty member, Miss Roberta Clay, in February 1962. She was director of public information, and taught journalism, sociology, and economics at Tarleton from 1931-1936.

The beautifully bound two volume Bible was given in memory of Miss Clay's parents, Mr. & Mrs. William James Clay, former residents of Stephenville and Dublin. They were prominent in educational and religious activities in Erath County. Her mother, the former Lucy Ann Higginbotham, taught elocution in the Dublin public schools. Mr. Clay was superintendent of Stephenville public schools and served on the first textbook committee. He was also well known for his work in the Methodist Church.

The original Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed by moveable type. Johannes Gutenberg was responsible for the rapid growth of printing in the 15th century. Printing of the original Gutenberg Bible was begun in 1450 and finished in 1455, and is a classic example of printing with finely colored initials and handpainted illuminations. Miss Clay felt that the gift was appropriate because Tarleton meant so much to Erath County, and the Bible represented both the goodness and intellectual curiosity which characterized her parents so well.

Grassburr, 1935.
J-TAC, February 6, 1962.
J-TAC, February 18, 1964.

1 comment:

Cathy W. said...

Thank you for the info. Had wondered about the history behind the library's Gutenberg Bible, but hadn't ever asked.