Inside take on a Folger, Bodleian, and Ransom Center exhibition on the creation and afterlife of the King James Bible on the 400th anniversary of its publication.

Posts tagged “Sumter County Library

Looking Back on the King James Bible

Members of the King James Choir perform as part of the “Manifold Greatness” programming at Sumter County Library. Photo courtesy Sumter County Library.

After an educational and entertaining series of programs at the Sumter County Library, the traveling exhibition for Manifold Greatness has moved to the next destination. During its display at the library patrons attended scholarly lectures, a King James Bible Quiz, a documentary film presentation, an art show and a King James Choir concert.

Seven local artists submitted works for the “Expressions” Art Show. Each piece drew inspiration from a passage in the King James Bible. Four local artists judged the gallery displayed in our Main Meeting Room. A Grand Prize overall winner and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners were announced for those 18 and older and 17 and younger. Linda Hogon and Josie Holler won the grand prize, an Amazon Kindle, for their quilt inspired by the Book of Isaiah.

Submissions to the “Expressions” Art Show at Sumter County Library. Photo courtesy of Sumter County Library.

Soulful selections of music inspired by the King James Bible were sung by a King James Choir at Patriot Hall, a local concert hall in the historic neighborhoods of downtown Sumter. Led by Jacquetta Boone, the choir consisted of local talent ages 7 and up who inspired the audience with their performance. Tiger Productions Choir from Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina opened the concert.

On Thursday, August 9th, the Sumter County Library wrapped up the Manifold Greatness exhibit with a lecture by Dr. Patrick Scott of the University of South Carolina – Columbia. For many years, Dr. Scott oversaw the Rare Books collection at the University. Luckily for everyone in attendance that evening, Dr. Scott brought a 1611 King James Bible for display. Patrons were thrilled to experience such a historical text in person. In addition to the 1611 Bible, Dr. Scott distributed reproductions of pages from a historic King James Bible for everyone in attendance. These keepsakes provided material to ponder as Dr. Scott lectured on the formation and development of the King James Bible.

We thank Ms. Deloris Pringle for submitting the grant application on behalf of the Sumter County Library as well as our local partners the Sumter County Cultural Commission and the Sumter County Museum, which loaned historic family Bibles for display.

Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible traveling exhibition was an intellectually stimulating and thought provoking presentation, affording Sumter County the ability to think and speak in a new light about such a historic text.

To see our pictures and videos from the event, please visit our Photobucket and YouTube accounts.

Ford Simmons is the Reference and Information Services Coordinator/Webmaster at Sumter County Library.

A Scintillating Start to Manifold Greatness at the Sumter County Library

After a great deal of  planning, the traveling exhibition for Manifold Greatness is currently on view at the Sumter County Library in Sumter, SC. On Friday, July 13th, the Library presented an opening reception with remarks by Dr. Harry Singleton of Benedict College and Dr. Larry Watson of South Carolina State University.  The two scholars led a discussion focusing on the religious and political aspects involved in the creation and afterlife of the King James Bible. Dozens attended the event, including State Representative David Weeks and Sumter Mayor Joe McElveen. The Friends of the Sumter County Library graciously provided the funds for a wonderful spread of refreshments.

Dr. Larry Watson returned on Monday, July 16th to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King’s use of the King James Bible in his speeches and sermons, including the “I Have a Dream Speech” and his allusion to Amos 5:24 and Isaiah 40:4-5. (More on Dr. Martin Luther King and other examples of the King James Bible’ influence on contemporary culture can be seen on the Manifold Greatness website’s “Modern Life” timeline). During and after the discussion, Dr. Watson fielded numerous questions from an attentive audience. In addition to these events the Sumter County Library created a display of Family Bibles. These Bibles, which include a Greek New Testament Pocket Bible from 1822, were loaned courtesy of the Sumter County Museum.

On left, a 1852 Bible printed in London by the G.E. Eyre Company. On the right, a Bible printed in 1963 by the South Carolina Tract Society. Both items on loan from the Sumter County Museum. Image courtesy of the Sumter County Library.

In addition to the both the Manifold Greatness exhibit and Family Bible display, the Sumter County Library will put on a variety of events until the Closing Reception on Thursday, August 9th. These events include lectures by Dr. Valinda Littlefield and Dr. Harry Singleton, a King James Bible Quiz Bowl, King James Choir concert and an “Expressions” Art Show.

We look forward to these upcoming events and will send an update soon. In the meantime, please see our Photobucket account for pictures and YouTube channel for videos from this project:


Ford Simmons is the Reference and Information Services Coordinator/Webmaster at Sumter County Library.