Editor’s Note: This is the first of three posts on a new digital exhibit: ‘Translation… openeth the window to let in the light’: The Pre-History and Abiding Impact of the King James Bible. The second and third posts will explore the technical and strategic aspects of the project, which was a pilot for an ongoing digital exhibits program.
Today marks the public launch of the digital version of a traditional (read: physical, or analog) exhibition I curated from May-August 2011. “‘Translation… openeth the window to let in the light’: The Pre-History and Abiding Impact of the King James Bible” celebrated the 400th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of the King James Bible in 1611, tracing in broad lines the history of biblical translation and textual packaging from the Middle Ages through the “golden age” of English Bibles in the sixteenth century and on through to the early-twenty first century. Among the many items included in the exhibition were medieval manuscripts, early printed books, fine-press publications, modern Bibles, steel engravings, comic books and strips, and original artwork. From a curatorial standpoint, the diversity of materials on display afforded me a great deal of flexibility and creativity in terms of what types of items I chose to use in order to tell the story of the King James Bible and its centuries-long impact on religious practice, language, literature, art, and culture. This is not to say, however, that this diversity did not come with its own set of frustrations.