VSU students and faculty were given the chance to hold a page of history in their hands Wednesday night when a collector brought several antique papers into the University Center Theater to show anyone interested.
The papers included pages from the second edition of the King James Bible, dating from 1615, and are part of a collection that spans many parts of history.
The collector is Andrew Tatler-Burgess, an Honors student, psychology major and former gallery owner.
He has been collecting leaves, or pages, from printed documents of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries for years.
“It was this wonderful way of connecting with the past,” Tatler-Burgess said. “History is intangible, except for the artifacts that we have.”
He was joined by historian Dr. Sebastian Bartos and Dr. Claire Orenduff-Barots, an art historian, both of whom helped explain the time periods most of the documents were made during.
One of the Bibles was from the time of Martin Luther, a reformer who, according to Bartos, had an agenda for the use of the printing press in religion.
“I personally believe he wasn’t for giving the Bible to the crowd,” Bartos said. “It should be read by educated, well-prepared men. What mattered was the readership among the elite.”
According to all three participants in the round table, the main readership of the documents would have been clergymen, and most of the nobility would have had their books hand-written, which was more expensive than printing.
Students were given the chance to hold many of the leaves Tatler-Burgess brought with him, with strong cautions to be careful in handling them.
One document was exceptionally rare, since it was printed in Italian instead of the traditional Latin, which was the language of the Roman Catholic Church.
“Something that was printed in Italy, the papal seat, would normally have been in Latin, so this is unique,” Tatler-Burgess said.
The round table featured antiques, facts, and experts, providing VSU students with an opportunity to learn a lot about the past in a short amount of time.
Disclaimer:The byline has been updated from Karah-Leigh Hancock to Mikayla Beyer on Oct 27 at 7:50 p.m. Also, Karah-Leigh Hancock is not the Editor-in-Chief as was stated in the print copy of this article but a staff writer instead.