Tiny, rare book donated to churchPublished 4:43pm Tuesday, July 10, 2012
BUCHANAN — Patricia Ramsden, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Buchanan, is very careful when flipping through the pages of the newest addition to the church’s archives.
The miniature book, “A History of the Bible,” is delicate, although in superb condition, considering it was printed in 1814 — almost 200 years ago.
“It’s incredible to be entrusted with something this precious; it is sacred,” Ramsden said.
The book is just 2 inches long, 1 inch wide and 1 inch thick. Despite its miniscule stature, the pages are filled with illustrations and some of the bible’s most well- known stories, including Adam and Eve, David and Goliath and the story of Jesus.
“It’s amazing they could do such detail in this little book,” Ramsden said.
Buchanan resident Marji Mollberg, a friend of the church, donated it a couple of weeks ago.
She found it while going through her grandmother’s things. Knowing the church was collecting old and rare books, Mollberg decided to donate it. It is still in its original leather binding, Ramsden said.
The book contains a handwritten forward suggesting it was a gift from a brother to his sister, although the names are too worn to make out. The book was published by Bedlington and Ball of Boston, Mass.
“We will be working with an archivist from Notre Dame … looking for the best way of preserving a record for it as well as just preserving the delicate paper and binding,” she said.
First Presbyterian Church of Buchanan began collecting rare books and materials for its archive about two years ago.
One of its rarest finds is an edition of the Michigan Independent, a newspaper printed in Buchanan, from Sept. 15, 1892. Ramsden said it is believed to be one of only two remaining copies of the Michigan Independent.