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Israel Library Puts Rare George Washington Thumb Bible Online

Image: Israel Library Puts Rare George Washington Thumb Bible Online

A miniature bible dedicated to George Washington, acquired by the National Library of Israel and published online on Sunday. (National Library of Israel)

By    |   Monday, 19 February 2018 10:46 AM

A rare George Washington "thumb Bible" has been made available online for the first time by the National Library of Israel.

Less than a dozen copies of the special edition Bible dedicated to Washington remain in the public domain, the Times of Israel reported on Monday. The miniature Bible is 2 inches by 1.375 inches and it paraphrases the Old and New Testaments.

"To his Excellency G. Washington, President of the United States of America. Most hopeful George, into thy hands we give, The sum of that which makes us ever live. And tho' the volume and the work be small, Yet it contains the sum of all in all," the Bible's dedication reads.

The National Library of Israel said the Bible, printed in Rutland, Vermont sometime between 1813 and 1915, includes a number of early American woodcuts depicting Biblical scenes and figures.

"The term 'thumb Bible' refers to abbreviated bibles like this, which were popular in early 19th century America, where they were used to educate children," said Aviad Stollman, head of collections at the National Library of Israel.

The text in the edition appearing online was written by poet John Taylor, well-known figure from 16th-17th century English literature, the library said.

The thumb Bible from the Valmadonna Trust Library was jointly purchased by the library and archaeology, books and Judaica collectors Dr. David and Jemima Jeselsohn through a private sale arranged by Sotheby's.

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A rare George Washington "thumb Bible" has been made available online for the first time by the National Library of Israel.
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2018-46-19
Monday, 19 February 2018 10:46 AM
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