More than 90 years ago, Gordon College was given 7,000 rare books and artifacts by the family of Edward Payson Vining, a railroad executive and amateur Shakespearean. The collection included early parchments of the Greek New Testament, the first edition of Martin Luther’s German Bible, and copies of the first Bibles printed in the Americas in a Native American dialect.
Unable to properly care for the large donation (proper facilities and security would cost between $500,000 and $2 million), Gordon has decided to put about 500 books up for auction. Two of the items are first and second editions of a Bible printed in the Massachusett language in the mid-1600s, according to Gordon spokesperson Rick Sweeney. The news has drawn coverage from the Boston Business Journal and the Associated Press.
“The college has always lacked a proper facility to care for and protect many of these items. And since we are not a museum or a research institution, we also lacked the staffing and ...1