The University of Dayton welcomed MVS students, the first touring school group, to its library exhibit, Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible. The exhibit, which celebrates the 401st anniversary of the completion of the King James Bible, began on August 24 and continues to September 19. The university is one of 40 universities and colleges in the nation that received exhibit materials through a national grant. On display in UD’s traveling exhibit is the nearly 400 year-old King James Bible, on loan from Dennison University. The University of Dayton has incorporated some originally owned pieces to the collection, such as Bibles illustrated by Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali and Russian-French early modernist artist Marc Chagall.
More than 1,500 visitors have entered the gallery space since its opening. “We have been preparing for this exhibit for more than a year,” said Communications and Outreach Librarian Katy Kelly. “I hope guests view this experience as a concise history lesson that has influenced our everyday lives.”
The panels on display describe the translation of the King James Bible from the Vulgate, printing process, and influence of the King James Bible on American culture. In addition to showcasing ancient texts, the exhibit highlights everyday expressions, colloquial language, literature, and music that were impacted by and originated from the King James Bible.
Upper school classical English literature and American authors students toured the library gallery on Wednesday and Thursday for a hands-on experience of ancient texts that have influenced their summer reading literature and current works of study. “The exhibit helped us understand the context for the reading that we’re doing in classical English literature,” said Patrick Doran ’13.
After time in the gallery, a UD representative guided MVS students through the university’s Marian collection, the largest dedicated collection of texts related to the study of St. Mary in the world, and passed around centuries-old manuscripts. “It was humbling to hold something of such significance in my own hands,” said Sam Yellin ’13.
MVS teachers and current University of Dayton students Lin Jenkins and Blair Munhofen led the student groups, along with upper school English teacher Barb Cleary. “I firmly believe that learning is a life-long process and this field trip gave me the opportunity to show that to my students,” said Munhofen.
Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible is free of charge and open to the public. “This exhibit is a celebration of a huge undertaking that was done by a committee of translators and scholars so long ago,” said Kelly. “I hope the Dayton community takes advantage of this rare opportunity.”
Expressions from the King James Bible:
“to pour out one’s heart”
“the skin of my teeth”
“rise and shine”
“from time to time”
“to fall flat on his face”