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The Bible in English: Before and After the Hampton Court Conference, 1604

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Princeton University Library | 2004

On May 1, 2004, the Princeton University Library opened an exhibition marking the 400th anniversary of an important event in the history of the English Bible. In 1604, English bishops, Puritan leaders and other churchmen convened by James I gathered at Hampton Court Palace for the purpose of determining "things pretended to be amiss in the church." One result was the renowned King James Bible, first published seven years later. For more than two and a half centuries following no other authorized translation was made. The millions of copies printed over the years witness to its standing not only as generally acceptable to English readers of whatever denomination but also as a monument of the English language. 

To celebrate this special date, the Princeton University Library exhibited more than sixty early English Bibles, and the exhibition handlist is availabe online. The text of the book labels was prepared by Paul Needham, Scheide Librarian. Stephen Ferguson, Curator of Rare Books, Princeton University Library, prepared the labels for the maps, prints, and other items.