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The Pilgrim's Choice and Hymnal Collection

National Library Week, April 2013

This year National Library Week is all about how Communities matter @ your library. Gifts to the University Library provide valuable opportunities for enhancements to existing library resources and services. Developing and maintaining a scholarly library and center for learning now and in the future is a long-range enterprise that requires a wide base of support to ensure preservation of and access to key information resources for scholarship. The Samford University Library has been the beneficiary of many generous gifts through the years that have enabled it to provide additional key resources that significantly enhance our offerings that nurture persons learning and knowledge in direct support of the mission of the institution.

The Pilgrim's Choice and Hymnal Collection

This unassuming little collection of 266 hymns and spiritual songs is one of only four known extant copies of the first Baptist hymnal known to have been published in Alabama. David W. Andrews compiled the work and Jacksonville, Ala., printer J.F. Grant printed it in 1843. The only other known copies reside in the Alabama State Archives, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a private collection.

Samford music professor Paul Richardson, a noted hymnologist and past president of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, acquired the hymnal and donated it to the university in honor of Liz Wells, chair of the library's Special Collection department. "She has been so helpful to me, I saw this as a way to add to the collection and honor her at the same time," Richardson said.

"The Pilgrim's Choice" joins an already sizeable collection of hymnals at Samford resulting from an earlier gift of materials to the university's School of the Arts by the Lorenz publishing family of Chicago.

Text provided by Kim Herndon, University Library Dean; Lori Northrup, Collection Management Librarian / Associate Dean; and Marliese Thomas, User Services Engagement Librarian; Sean Flynt, University Communications, Samford University

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