Manifold Greatness: Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible

The year 2011 marks the four hundredth anniversary of the first printing of the King James Bible. “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible,” a traveling exhibition for libraries, 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.

Three copies of the traveling exhibit will travel to 40 libraries from fall of 2011 through winter of 2013. Selected libraries will receive a $2,500 grant from NEH for attendance at an exhibit planning workshop and other exhibit-related expenses. Participating libraries are expected to present at least two free public programs featuring a lecture or discussion by a qualified scholar on exhibition themes. All showings of the exhibition must be free and open to the public. The exhibition consists of 14 graphic panels printed onto seven double-sided banners and requires approximately 600 square feet of display space.

“Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible” was organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C., and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. It is based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the Folger Shakespeare Library and The Bodleian Library, Oxford University, to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. The traveling exhibition was made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.