Monday, July 22, 2019

Eldon Epp’s Library Goes to Baylor University

Thanks to Jim Leonard and Stephen Carlson for alerting us to the fact that Eldon J. Epp’s personal library has a new home at Baylor University. Notably, it includes his research library and papers. That would be a fascinating collection to see once it’s cataloged.

Of course, there is some sadness in seeing this library in boxes and realizing what that means. Epp has been a pillar, with so much of his writing setting the agenda for NT textual criticism. I still have vivid memories of reading his summaries of the history of our discipline in seminary. Those essays sparked so much curiosity and interest for me.

Here is the full press release from Baylor.
WACO, Texas – The research library and papers of prominent New Testament scholar Eldon Jay Epp have been acquired by the Baylor University Libraries as part of the Central Libraries Special Collections. The collection is expected to significantly enhance the libraries’ ability to support Biblical and religious scholarship for researchers here at Baylor and across the globe.

The materials represent decades of Dr. Epp’s research and scholarship and are a major acquisition for the field of religious studies. Baylor religion faculty members Mikeal C. Parsons (professor and Macon Chair in Religion) and Carey C. Newman (director of the University Press) were instrumental in encouraging the Libraries to pursue the collection.

“For more than fifty years Eldon Epp has been one of the world’s premier textual critics of the New Testament, said Parsons. “Over his career he has collected New Testament Greek manuscript facsimiles, Latin, Syriac and Coptic versions of the New Testament, first edition text-critical studies, and scholarly monographs into a library that is arguably the finest private collection of New Testament text-critical holdings in the world. Baylor’s acquisition of Epp’s library ensures that this treasure trove of materials will now be accessible in perpetuity to scholars and students of the text of the New Testament.”

“His considered opinions on the New Testament are studied, and respected, like those of the Justices of the Supreme Court,” said Newman. “Baylor University Libraries are to be congratulated for bringing the treasure that is Professor Epp’s library to Baylor’s existing distinguished collection.”

Beth Farwell, director of the central libraries’ special collections, notes, “Acquiring this rich research collection is possible due to Baylor’s reputation for excellence in research, and the continuing collaboration between Baylor faculty and the Libraries. It will take a little time to process the volumes and prepare them for researchers. As the materials are ready for research, we will make those announcements as soon as possible.”

A second shipment of Epp materials will arrive in May, and the process of cataloging and preparing the materials for access by researchers is underway. To learn more about the collection or to schedule an opportunity to access them, please contact Beth Farwell at or call (254) 710-3679.
I have now updated my previous post on the locations of New Testament text-critics’ libraries with this info. 

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