Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A visit to the Scriptorium

On a visit to Orlando, Florida, last week, I had the privilege of seeing the display of manuscripts and printed Bibles belonging to The Van Kampen Collection and housed at The Scriptorium within The Holy Land Experience. The collection is truly impressive by North American standards (not intended patronisingly!) and I was able to pick up for $2.95 the useful brochure with 23 colour photos of manuscripts and printed books entitled The Van Kampen Collection. It contains some photos not available on their website, but, alas, it lacks an ISBN and therefore may be hard to come by. Anyway, there is now a copy in Tyndale House Library. I enjoyed seeing the Mississippi Coptic Codex II of Lamentations (pictured) as well as the Yonan Codex, and a great collection of printed Bibles.

Scholarly visitors should be warned that the visit to The Scriptorium is a 50 minute tour and lights and opening doors usher you from room to room on a fixed schedule. It is not therefore possible to spend the time you might wish with every artefact. However, the collection, which also houses the library of Eberhard Nestle, is apparently also available for scholarly consultation.
Only two days earlier I had visited the Bible Museum at Houston Baptist University. The collection there has fewer original holdings, though it does contain some items such as 'The Wicked Bible' (the 1631 KJV without 'not' in 'thou shalt not commit adultery') of which I was told there are only 11 known extant copies.

TW: Read also our earlier report on the Van Kampen collection, and the recent efforts by CSNTM to photograph it, here.

1 comment

  1. I attempted to vew the Van Kampen collection back when it was still housed in Michigan, by appointment only. A friend of mine had worked there and was quite free in giving tours, so I though that if I just called ahead I could surely secure permission to enter.

    Alas, a new curator had arisen who knew not Joseph, and I was informed that they held strictly to at least a one-day-in-advance notice. Alas, I had already traveled all but the last few miles the night before calling. With nothing else to do, I drove up to the massive gate, guarded by a security camera 20 feet up a pine tree (as I recall the name of the estate was something like "Stonegate"), pleaded for entry into a faceless microphone one last time, and drove the long way home when it was denied.