The Treasure of His Word -
From The Hands of the People of Maine
Over the years, we have had the privilege to care for and display probably the largest hand-written Bible in the world.
In March 2017, we donated this treasure to the Maine Historical Society, located in Portland. We invite you to visit the Maine Historical Society and ask about viewing it.
History of the
Large Handwritten Bible
The project, initiated in 1923 by then Superintendent of the Bible Society, Edmund T Garland, involved distributing pages from an old Bible along with large (21’x28’) blank sheets. Individuals from across the State each copied a page using pen and ink.
The desire was for a broad cross-section of citizens to participate. The oldest was Aunt Mary, a 91-year-old Quaker from Brunswick; the youngest was a 6-year-old who wrote, "Jesus wept”. One page was written by a millionaire, one by a pauper. One copyist was a college president; another was a man whose whole school life consisted of only a few weeks. Another was written by then Gov. Percival Baxter, and yet another by a prisoner serving a life term. A Jewish Rabbi and a Greek Catholic Priest did their pages with equal grace, and the Book of Ruth was copied by girls named Ruth.
Many of the copyists were students at secondary schools or colleges, including a student from Cuba. Each signed their name at the bottom of the page. There are also beautifully ink-drawn, full-page illustrations.
We lend the Large Handwritten Bible, for periods of time, to responsible institutions and organizations that desire to display it to the public. This may include public libraries, Bible Schools and churches. For more information on this Lending Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We continue to be committed to goal of our founders, even as we re-evaluate how to best carry out that mission in a world so radically changed. We invite you to be a part of the ongoing work of the Bible Society of Maine.
To read a Memories of Maine article on the Large Handwritten Bible, published in the spring of 2011 by writer Bonnie Smith, click here.