Rare Religious Texts on Display at Maag Library

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A new exhibit at Youngstown State University’s Maag Library features religious texts from around the world, including a copy of the Lorsch Gospel that was printed between 778 and 820 in Germany.

The exhibit, Sacred Words, is on display through the end of the spring semester on Maag’s fifth floor.

The Lorsch Gospels were printed at the Lorsch Abbey in Germany, considered one of the foremost libraries in the world during the 10th and 11th centuries, after the book was printed. The book was stolen during the Thirty Years War and broken into three sections. The three segments have permanent homes in Romania, London and the Vatican.

Other items in the exhibit include the 1963 English-Hebrew book Hagadah shel Pesah donated by Nathan Monus, the 1681 Psalms book La Scala Santa, a reproduction of the French Bible moralisee and The Bhagvat Geeta or: Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon, a 1785 translation of a classical Hindu text.

“Books in this exhibit showcase many different religions and feature different languages, eye-catching fonts, decorations and illustration,” said Cassie Nespor, curator of university archives, in a release. “Once I started researching some of the religious titles, I found some pretty interesting stories for almost all of them.”

The rare books collection at YSU dates back to the 1960s, when the library was in Tod Hall. In 1965, B.F. Wirt donated 1,500 books to significantly increase the size of the collection. Benjamin Thomases “added significantly” to the collection in 1980 and the collection continues to expand today.

Pictured: A page from a Lorsch Gospel. One of the books is now on display at Maag Library.

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