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This collection of Biblical Literature serves as a memorial to Susan Dunleavy, who passed away suddenly, and her family, who were loyal supporters of LaSalle University for many years. Established in 1978, the original purpose of the collection was to document the history of early Bible illustration, with special emphasis on the 16th century woodcut Bibles. However, in order to appeal to the interests of a wider range of disciplines, including English and History, the Collection has been broadened to develop materials for the history of English translations of the Bible and of the lively controversies that took place before the present period of ecumenical agreement about the text and the meaning of the Scripture.

Detail from the Coverdale Bible, 1535
In addition to several of the basic illustrated Bibles of the 16th century, the collection has acquired a rare copy of the first Bible printed in English (Coverdale, 1535) and first editions of the so-called “Breeches” or Geneva Bible (with which Shakespeare was so familiar), of the Rheims (1582), Douai (1609), and King James (1611) versions – and their later revisions. Among items of very special interest is the Book of Psalms used by St. John Fisher (1459-1535), friend of St. Thomas More and companion with him in martyrdom under King Henry VIII. Modern editions already include Eric Gill’s Four Gospels and the Doves Press Bible, often spoken of as the most beautifully printed Bible of the century.

With this collection we have attempted to showcase man’s reverence and love for God’s Word, demonstrated in the beautifully printed editions which have appeared over the last five centuries, as well as pay homage to the memory of a former member of the La Salle community.

Our bible collection is being digitized by Villanova University's Falvey Library. View the collection here.

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