The first book ever printed and written in America will be on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, for two days only. The Whole Booke of Psalms – universally known as The Bay Psalm Book – was produced in the virtual wilderness of Massachusetts Bay Colony by the Puritans who left England in search of religious freedom. A poetic translation of the Psalms, translated from the original Hebrew in a form the congregations could all sing together, was made by the leading scholars and ministers of colonial New England. The book was printed on a press for that purpose by Stephen Daye, an indentured locksmith.
Out of the original 1700 copies, just eleven survive. Of inestimable significance, The Bay Psalm Book is simply one of the great icons of book history and one of the greatest artifacts of American history.
The Bay Psalm Book Exhibit will be on display October 5-6, 2013.