Sotheby's has just auctioned to a private collector a copy of the very first book printed in America.
London-born Stephen Day(e), was sent to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to assume management of British North America's first printing press in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After first printing a pamphlet, The Freeman's Oath
, and an almanac, in 1640 Day printed his first book, The Psalms in Metre
, more commonly known now as the Bay Book of Psalms
. Only a few of the original 1,700 print run have survived, including copies at the Library of Congress, Yale University, and Harvard. For information on Sotheby's sale: The Bay Psalm Book
. The University of Minnesota's Wilson Rare Books has a facsimile reprint of this famous work, printed in 1905, that is available upon request at the James Ford Bell Library, call # 223.5 B47a.
The James Ford Bell Library has a wide array of manuscripts, maps, books, and pamphlets relating to the discovery, exploration, and settlement of the Americas, from its famous 1507 globe gores by Martin Waldseemüller, the first to use the name America, to publications by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. Significant holdings in English-language materials make this a great resource for History Day and other students.