Beeghly Library

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Karl Shreiner Gift

Juniata College and its Special Collections have recently been the recipient of yet another significant donation of rare books, on the heels of the tremendous Mutual Benefit Gift of summer 1999. This addition to the collection was generously given by Mr. Karl A. Shreiner, '61. His brother Phil was class of '57. Mr. Shreiner and his family have had a long and mutually rewarding relationship with the college, including the time when his mother helped out as a volunteer nurse during the college's major flu epidemic of 1957. Mr. Shreiner visits and stays in touch with Juniata from his home in Chambersburg, Pa., and is a valued friend of the college, a place for which he feels a great gratitude for opening many opportunities to him.

The gift includes 19 works, many of which seem to belong with Juniata's collection of Pennsylvania German imprints. Thus the gift as well as being generous is quite appropriate and relative to the college's collections.

Of major interest is an Ephrata Hymnal printed in 1739 by Christopher Sauer in Germantown. Known as the Weyrauchs - Hügel, or Incense Hill, the title reflects the mystic background of the Anabaptist/Pietist movement in Ephrata. The hymn book is 800 pages and 1,500 copies were made. The hymns are primarily the work of Conrad Beissel and other Ephrata Brethren. Sauer, Sr., was thought to have not been impressed by the theological content of these hymns he was printing.

Another work of great interest is the Billmeyer Primer, "Hoch-Deutsches Reformites A B C und Namen Büchlein," (Germantown: Michael Billmeyer, 1800). Michael Billmeyer printed in the tradition of the Sauers and produced much in the way of devotional literature, as well as calendars and almanacs.

Part of the gift also contains a small, beautiful Schwenkfelder Fraktur. Other items include Pennsylvania German rare books, religious works, historical works, school books, and family histories. This donation is a valued addition to the collection. Juniata's treasure trove of materials continues to be an important historical resource for students, scholars, and anyone interested in history.