You don’t have to leave home to see some of the treasures inside the seminary’s Reformation Rare Book Room. A newly-created online web gallery, featuring books and images from the library’s rare book collection, gives the public access to some of the most interesting items in the collection, simply with the click of a mouse. The new website also provides information on the history of the Lutheran Church, with two new digital presentations on Martin Luther’s life and his writings.

Those who do visit the library in person can also use a new interactive tablet-based kiosk recently installed outside the entrance to the Reformation Rare Book Room. The tablet allows users to browse the image gallery and view the presentations before heading inside the rare book room. The tablet was funded in part by the Seminary Guild and by a grant from the Lutheran Historical Conference.

One of the digital presentations provides information on the different editions of Luther’s Works displayed in our rare book room.  The other is a visually-rich biographical narrative of Martin Luther’s life based on a unique book in the rare book collection entitled Illustrations of the Life of Martin Luther. With the recent recruitment of a senior Brock history student as a volunteer, we have plans to continue digitising significant texts and images to add to our online gallery and to create further educational presentations.

Here is the link to the rare book website:
https://concordia-seminary.ca/library/rare/
and a direct link to the image gallery:
https://concordia-seminary.ca/library/rare/rare-images/.

The Reformation Rare Book Room houses close to 300 volumes from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. It was opened in the fall of 2017 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Among the collection are several editions of Luther’s Works, including the oldest book owned by the library, a Jena edition volume dated 1562. The Reformation Rare Book Room has been a resource not only to faculty, students, and local Lutheran pastors, but also to the broader academic community and members of the public who are keen to learn about the history of Lutheranism and publishing from that era.

 

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