THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


46 Ephrata Cloister hymn book
Manuscript, 148 leaves, mid-eighteenth century?
Eighteenth century colonial Pennsylvania was a refuge for many Protestant dissenting sects, including the Solitary Brethren of the Community of Seventh Day Baptists, who founded the Ephrata Cloister in the 1730s near Lancaster. Their charismatic leader, Johann Conrad Beissel (1690-1768), who had been born in Eberbach, Germany, was a significant figure in the development of American hymnology, composing over one thousand hymns, many having appeared in Die Turteltaube, the hymnal of the Ephrata Cloister, and in the Paradisisches-Wunderspiel, a miracle play containing a large collection of religious poetry and music, both of which remain as proof of his native genius as a composer. The Berol Collection consists of twelve printed and manuscript volumes, dating from 1739, relating mainly to the above works, but also including this unidentified choral book, possibly unique, and three manuscripts of Beissel's mystical prose writings.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred C. Berol

Collections and Treasures