The Van Kampen reference collection is a continually evolving entity. Its goal is the acquisition of relevant reference materials necessary for research on the Collection's original source holdings, and for the study and understanding of the biblical text. The Nestle Library itself (see below) contains a comprehensive core of reference works dating to the early twentieth century, and in recent years this invaluable resource has been significantly augmented by secondary resource holdings in books, microform, CD-ROM, and over 45 periodicals.

Decorative Bindings from the Van Kampen Collection

The diligent search for both modern and classical reference texts is done with the aim of developing a truly comprehensive biblical reference library. Today the reference holdings include the standard bibliographical tools for manuscripts and printed books, as well as a strong representation of modern biblical exegesis, works on the book arts, historical and lexicographical references, and the entire Greek and Latin Loeb Classical Library. The reference collection also includes nearly complete sets of rare book catalogues from Sotheby's and Christie's of New York and London, spanning the years 1980 to the present. Resources in microform and CD-ROM include the Patrologiae Graeco-Latina and Graeca, the Dead Sea Scrolls Archive, the Thesaurus Lingua Graecae, and American Book Prices Current.

Complementing its reference collection, The Scriptorium houses the working library of renowned German Biblical scholar Eberhard Nestle (1851-1913), an accomplished linguist and author of several grammars of ancient Eastern languages. Primarily specializing in biblical textual criticism, Nestle published several critical editions of the Book of Psalms and edited two editions of the Septuagint. Later, he turned his energies to the New Testament and published a celebrated critical text of the Greek New Testament in 1898. The British and Foreign Bible Society adopted Nestle's Greek text in 1904, overturning a tradition that tenaciously held to an uncritical and inferior edition known as the textus receptus (an expression borrowed from the preface of the second Elsevier edition of the New Testament, Leiden, 1633). Nestle's text was re-edited by his son, Erwin, and is currently in its 27th edition. It is the working text of scholars and students of the Greek New Testament.

Items from the Nestle Library

During his lifetime, Nestle built an extensive library which contains both rare, early editions and contemporary reference tools pertaining to his work. The library consists of over 4,500 books, pamphlets, journals, and offprints as well as personal papers. Through arrangements made by scholars Agnes Lewis and Margaret Gibson, Nestle's library was given to Westminster College, Cambridge, in 1914. It was purchased for the Van Kampen Collection in early 1996.

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