For immediate release | August 15, 2011

ALA announces 40 libraries to host “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible”

Traveling exhibition explores literary and cultural impact of King James Bible

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, the Folger Shakespeare Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced that 40 public and academic libraries will host “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible,” a traveling exhibition to America’s libraries. To view the list of selected libraries, visit

The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the first printing of the King James Bible. “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible” tells the story of the origins, creation and impact of the book, including its influence on English and American literature and its multifaceted impact on culture and society to the present day. The fascinating history and influence of the King James Bible will interest many viewers of the traveling exhibit, resulting in a new understanding of the book’s social, cultural, literary and religious influence over four centuries.

The selected libraries will host the exhibit for a four-week period between fall of 2011 and summer of 2013 and will receive a $2,500 grant from NEH for attendance at an exhibit planning workshop and other exhibit-related expenses. Participating libraries will present at least two free public programs featuring a lecture or discussion by a qualified scholar on exhibition themes. All showings of the exhibition will be free and open to the public.

“Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible,”a traveling exhibition for libraries, was organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., and the ALA Public Programs Office. It is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, with assistance from the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas, to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. The traveling exhibition was made possible by a major grant from NEH.

The ALA Public Programs Office promotes cultural and community programming as an essential part of library service in all types and sizes of libraries. Successful library programming initiatives have included the “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion series, traveling exhibitions, film discussion programs, the Great Stories CLUB, LIVE @ your library and more. Recently, the ALA Public Programs Office developed, an online resource center bringing librarians timely and valuable information to support them in the creation of high-quality cultural programs for their communities. For more information about the ALA Public Programs Office, visit

Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-class center for scholarship, learning, culture and the arts. It is home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750). The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K-12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs - theater, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures, and family programs. A gift to the American people from industrialist Henry Clay Folger, the Folger- located one block east of the U.S. Capitol - opened in 1932. Learn more at

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports learning in history, literature, philosophy and other areas of the humanities. NEH grants enrich classroom learning, create and preserve knowledge and bring ideas to life through public television, radio, new technologies, exhibitions and programs in libraries, museums and other community places. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at


Angela Thullen