This July, Raynor Memorial Libraries acquired the seventh and final volume of the Heritage Edition of The Saint Johnís Bible. The Libraries have been in the process of acquiring the Bible for the past two and a half years. The Bible was a substantial investment that required support from many areas of the Marquette community, and as such the accomplishment of this goal is certainly cause for celebration.
The Saint Johnís Bible was a longtime idea by Donald Jackson, the Bibleís calligraphic artist and creative director, as a way to bring old traditions of religion into the future, thereby inspiring a rejuvenated passion for the liturgy. His idea was presented to Saint John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota in 1995 and later brought to life when commissioned by Saint John's in 1998. The project was completed December 2011, producing seven volumes.
Within the Librariesí Special Collections and University Archives we now have access to our own copy of the Heritage Edition, a high quality and limited edition replica of The Saint Johnís Bible. Only three-hundred reproductions were created and as members of the Marquette community, we are privileged to possess such an exquisite work of art. Contained within are one hundred and sixty illuminations representing both Eastern and Western religious traditions. The script was produced by six calligraphers using quills made from the feathers of geese, turkeys and swans which allowed for various weighted letterforms. Natural inks and pigments were applied to calfskin vellum generously throughout, creating beautiful imagery and illustrations.
The Heritage Edition is used frequently at Marquette, both as a display and in instructional settings. The pages of The Saint Johnís Bible volume on display are turned regularly so that visitors may see as much of the work as possible. During holidays, specific passages are displayed, representing the liturgy of the season. Anyone wishing to view The Saint Johnís Bible may visit Special Collections and University Archives on the third floor of Raynor Library on weekdays, from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m.