Oldest Printed Book in America Sells at Auction

The very first book printed entirely in “British North America”, the Bay Psalm Book has just sold at auction for $14.2 million. Printed in Cambridge, MA in 1640, there were only 1700 copies of the book printed, and a mere 11 copies have survived history.

“According to information from the Old South Church in Boston; being the first printed book in the colonies is only part of it’s value. It is important because it is the first book published on this soil. So much more than a book, in this treasure is wrapped an act of defiant independence from England, entrepreneurial fortitude, scholarly achievement and religious imagination. The 1640 edition was immediately adopted by nearly every congregation in Massachusetts Bay. The divines who, according to the preface of the work, had “attended Conscience rather than Elegance, fidelity rather than poetry, in translating the Hebrew words into English language,” created a work that would literally shape the religious and social life of the Colonies. In the process they also established a publishing house and a center of publishing. Remarkably, as early as 1700, Boston had surpassed both Oxford and Cambridge to become the second most prestigious printer of English-language books, behind only London.”

The winning bid was placed by David Rubenstein, who is an avid antiquities buyer and donator. According to Sotheby’s David Redden, Mr. Rubenstein plans to loan the book to libraries and offer it for long-term display.

Since most of us don’t have millions to bid for such remarkable pieces of history, the Psalms has been digitized. If you would like to read the digital version follow this link.



Similar Articles




Recent Book Trailers



Don't Miss


Every Last Secret by A.R. Torre Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back. Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to...

Book Lights gets Spooky with Comic Book Author Laura Marks

Laura Marks is a PEN Award-winning playwright, television writer, and comic book writer.  Her plays Bethany and Mine have garnered acclaim from critics and been published and produced...

Sourcebooks Celebrates Historic Election of Madam Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris with 2021 Calendar

Sourcebooks, the largest woman-owned publisher in North America, is celebrating the historic election of Madam Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris with a new calendar. The...

What I Love Most About 2020 – Lisa Harris

SPECIAL FEATURE WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT 2020 WITH AUTHOR LISA HARRIS  Like most of you, I’m sure, I’ve been feeling as if I’ve been living...

Thankful Thanksgiving Wishes

Reader’s Entertainment Magazine and Radio started over a decade ago. We have won awards both for the magazine and the radio podcast. We’ve featured...

Rescue pups, a new release, & grilled cheese talk with author Kaylie Newell

Kaylie Newell was born in the great state of Oregon, where she was raised alongside rivers and lakes and scruffy dogs that chased their...

Allen County Public Library’s Storytime

It's "Storytime" at the Allen County Public Library! And even though we're quarantined, that doesn't mean we have to miss out on storytime! The Allen...

Cookbook Companion to Hit Netflix Show “Somebody Feed Phil”

Simon & Schuster announced that it will publish “SOMEBODY FEED PHIL: The People, Stories, and Recipes” by Phil Rosenthal, a companion cookbook to his hit Netflix show...

Book Lights Dives into the World of Ryuujin with Fantasy Author Marc Watson

LISTEN HERE!! Marc Watson is an author of genre fiction of all lengths and styles. He began writing at the age of 15 and continues...

You Can Vote! Goodreads Choice Awards Final Days

Some votes are still being counted! Of course, we mean for the Goodreads Choice Awards! You can still cast your vote for "Best Books of...