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My efforts last week were focused on completing the catalog records for a section of Hymn Books. A large part of the collection is comprised mainly of hymn books from the 19th century with a few 17th and 18th century editions included. The books range from miniature books that make you wonder how good the eyesight was of the person using this book to the large and heavy that cause you to wonder about arm strength. Hymnals capture the history of worship, popularity of verses, and family histories. May of the hymnals I handled last week had inscriptions from mothers and fathers to daughter or son, uncles and aunts to nieces and nephews and between cousins. Some of these held further inscriptions to others from the original recipient and a few named churches. Marbled end papers and gilt edges created beautiful books often with leather bindings stamped with the owner's name. The process makes me want to learn more about these old books. In many of these hymn books, I noted a book plate "New England Psalm. Hymn and Tune Books -- Collection of Rev. Collins G. Burnham". Since these were the hymnals without music, I'm looking forward to the wonderful books I may catalog in the section of hymnals with music.

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