The Study Collections are for serious collectors. That being said, one need not have a degree in theology or bibliography in order to do scholarly research. You don't have to be a librarian, archivist, professor or even a pastor to be a scholar. All you need is some patience and a willing heart to learn.
What is exciting about the Study Collections is the collector is working with the original authentic historical documents and not just facsimiles or online digital copies. Nothing replaces hands on experience. Years ago a postal worker in the United States acquired a fragment of a Copitic manuscript from the Archives. After some deligent research he discovered it matched a manuscript in the Vatican Library. He didn't know Coptic. He had never been to Rome. He didn't recieve any help from the world of accademia but just on his own careful initiative made this remarkable discovery. The Study Collections are for serious collectors who want to learn and share what they have discovered.
Study Collections are great projects for seminarians, Sunday school classes and even homeshoolers. A Study Collection gives the student the opportunity, using original authentic historical documents, to deveople critical analytical skills which are useful in many other technical and scientific disciplines. Imagine the impact this can have on the future of a student who has become an expert on a particular biblcal text as result of his own personal studies.
Some time ago, the president of one of the largest bible colleges in the world visited our museum in London, Museum of The Book, and to his amazment he saw for the first time in his life a first printed editon of Ersamus' 1516 Greek New Testament. He asked if it were possible to touch the book and as his wife digitised the moment on her phone and with tears streaming down his face he explained the impact Erasmus' Greek New Testament had on the world. Do you even know what affect Erasmus' Greek New Testament has on your own personal life today? The humbled president exclained, "Few people, few books, few moments in time are as world changing as this Bible." He had been teching students for over 35 years and this was his first personal encounter with Desiderius Erasmus. And for your information, our most comprehensive Study Collections contain a single leaf sometimes two leaves from this life changing Bible.
STUDY COLLECTIONS INFORMATION
There are many different kinds of Study Collections. The most popular is the one that traces the orgins of the 1611 King James' Bible and all its subsequent revisions, incuding the unitentional ones. Which translation of the Bible do you personally read from? If it is a King James' Bible is it the same as the 1611 first edition. But which 1611 edition?
Did you know there were at least two different folio (large pulpit Bible) editions both bearing the date 1611 on at least one of its two title pages? Oh! I see!! You didn't know early Bibles have two title pages. That's okay. So how do you know which one of the two original issues more closely aligns with your modern edition? With a Study Collection you can make a detailed examination of the words, puncutation, spelling, spacing, type sizes, ink and paper. Sounds simple? Lets see! To add to the confusion one of the two first issues contain a number of leaves that have been reprinted. It appears something must have happened during the printing process, i.e. perhaps a fire or a flood, that neccesitated reprinting a certain number of leaves in one of the issues. Then you have the problem of binding. Seldom does one find a textually pure complete 1611 Bible. Why is that you might ask? Sometimes, even often, the 17th century binder wasn't too partcular which leaves from which issues he bound together as it made no differnece to him as the leaves from each issue read page for page the same. Then there is a third folio printing of the KJV Bible bearing the date 1613 on both title pages. Does this Bible attempt to correct printing errors from the earlier two editions? So which text of the first three folio KJV Bibles most closely aligns with your modern KJV edition?
All our King James' Bible Study Collections contain the same text leaf from those first three folio editions. At first sight they appear pretty much the same. But on close examination... well you get the point.