Samford University Library will join libraries nationwide in celebrating the American Library Association’s National Library Week April 14-20. The university will highlight unique gifts to its collection each day of that week.

“Gifts to the University Library provide valuable opportunities for enhancements to existing library resources and services, said library dean Kim Herndon. “Developing and maintaining a scholarly library and center for learning now and in the future is a long-range enterprise that requires a wide base of support to ensure preservation of and access to key information resources for scholarship.”

All of the National Library Week events and displays described below are free-of-charge and open to the public. All will be found in the lobby of Samford University Library unless otherwise noted.

Monday, April 15 10:30 a.m.
The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition

The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition is a monumental work capturing the spirit, scale, materials and techniques of the great medieval European Bibles, while bringing them into the present with a New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) text. This exceptional new addition to Samford’s collection is the culmination of more than 40 years of research and artistic labor by Welsh artist Donald Jackson and a host of theological advisors and craftspeople.

Lori and Jeff Northrup recently presented Samford with the seven-volume, leather-bound Bible, which takes its name from project commissioner Saint John's Abbey and University. The couple made the gift in honor of their parents, Celia S. and David L. Adams, Sr. and Gertrude H. and James H. Northrup. “We are both blessed by the examples of our parents and what they sacrificed to make us what we are, and we are very happy to honor them and their Christian witness to us and their communities with this gift,” said Lori Northrup, collection management chair and associate dean of the library.

“Samford nurtures conversation at the intersection of faith and our modern world, and this Bible with its astounding modern illustrations and ancient techniques fits here,” said Jeff Northrup, assistant professor in Samford’s history department. “We like the idea of the general public, students and faculty from Samford and other institutions, members of religious communities in the area, and independent scholars, all having access to it on Samford's beautiful campus.”

Tuesday, April 16
“The Pilgrim's Choice”

This unassuming little collection of 266 hymns and spiritual songs is one of only four known extant copies of the first Baptist hymnal known to have been published in Alabama. David W. Andrews compiled the work and Jacksonville, Ala., printer J.F. Grant printed it in 1843. The only other known copies reside in the Alabama State Archives, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a private collection.

Samford music professor Paul Richardson, a noted hymnologist and past president of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, acquired the hymnal and donated it to the university in honor of Liz Wells, chair of the library’s Special Collection department. “She has been so helpful to me, I saw this as a way to add to the collection and honor her at the same time,” Richardson said.

“The Pilgrim’s Choice” joins an already sizeable collection of hymnals at Samford resulting from an earlier gift of materials to the university’s School of the Arts by the Lorenz publishing family of Chicago.

Wednesday, April 17
C.S. Lewis Collection

It’s hard to overestimate the influence of C.S. Lewis on multiple generations of readers. His science fiction, children's literature, and devotional writings persist in popularity, while his scholarly works continue to be studied and analyzed. Films and plays based on his work entice young audiences and lay the foundation of a generous and beautiful Christian theology.

Through the gift and direction of a generous local donor, Samford University Library has added 72 titles by and about C. S. Lewis in the last year. The enhanced collections provide a complete catalog of novels, poems, theological and philosophical monographs, literary criticism, children's books, essays and memoirs by this highly influential Christian scholar. The collection is growing to include audio books, DVDs and secondary works about Lewis.

Thursday April 18 10:00 a.m.
Alfa Presentation Room Open House

In February, Samford dedicated its new ALFA Practice Presentation in library room 214 . With funding from the ALFA Foundation, the facility was renovated and outfitted with the latest technology to help students practice and refine presentations for classes, seminars, conferences and thesis defense. In addition to dedicated recording software, the room features an electric screen, projector, video camera and confidence monitor.

Although the room is reserved for student use, this open house will introduce the facility to the entire university community and public.

Friday, April 19
Hellenic Scholars Library

In partnership with the Birmingham Philhellene Society, Samford University Library is developing a collection dedicated to Greek culture, thought, art and letters. “The Hellenic Scholars Library has been a wonderful resource for our faculty and students, providing many rare and unusual texts for our study and research,” said Samford Classics Department chair Randy Todd. He noted that the collection also has facilitated many positive connections to Birmingham’s Greek community.

Samford classics professor Doug Clapp noted that although pride in Greek culture was exaggerated for comedic effect in the film “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “it is no stretch to say that we can trace our ideas, our ways of thinking, back to their ancient Greek origins through the writings of, among others, Homer, Plato and Paul. “By preserving a multitude of Greek voices,” Clapp said, “the Hellenic Scholars Library can help a twenty-first century world maintain access to ancient wisdom that can help us thoughtfully consider our modern quandaries.”

The Hellenic Scholars' Library is located on the lower level of the library, adjacent to the Special Collection department. Its materials are accessible through the Samford Libraries Catalog.

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Samford University Library

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.