Translation... openeth the window, to let in the light:

The Prehistory and Abiding Impact of the King James Bible

King James portrait

An exhibition celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible

Hosted by
The Rare Books & Manuscripts Library

May 4 - August 28, 2011
Thompson Library Gallery



King James arms 

This year the King James Bible (KJB) celebrates its 400th anniversary. Printed in 1611 after a seven-year translation effort undertaken by six teams of scholars and divines working at Oxford, Cambridge and Westminster, the KJB in the succeeding centuries has become one of the major monuments of English language and literature. The Rare Books and Manuscripts Library is hosting a major exhibition exploring the KJB, its medieval and early-English precursors, and its lasting influence on literary and cultural production from the date of its publication to the present day. This exhibition should feature something to suit everyone's tastes, including medieval manuscripts, original copies of the many different English Bible translations produced during the sixteenth century, literature and art inspired by the style, language and content of the Bible (such as works by John Milton, William Blake, Herman Melville, Cormac McCarthy, Barry Moser, Jim Dine, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and more), comic art and, of course, the KJB itself—from the seventeenth century to more recent editions. The exhibition will be on display in the Thompson Library gallery from 4 May - 28 August 2011. For further information, please contact the exhibit curator, Eric J. Johnson (