University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

Rare Books


Bible Collection

Images of the Bible Collection

A subject-based collection of bibles of all dates and languages, developed by the Library during the present century from existing stock, with additional purchases from time to time. It contains c. 1600 volumes including biblical texts in many languages, with the emphasis on historical items; over half are pre-1851 and around 300 are pre-1701.

Includes outstanding historic editions such as the Geneva New Testament of 1557, 1611 King James version, Bassandyne Bible, and very important bindings; Lorimer, Plantin Polyglot, Icelandic Bible, Slovanic Bible, Scottish wheel bindings, Wardlaw Bible, St Leonards Bible, etc.

Finding aids

Records for some of the 16th century editions are available via the online catalogue, as well as, supported by Revelation, the 19th and 20th century editions. The rest of the collection has to be found through the guard-book catalogue. Retrospective conversion of the collection is proceeding. Classmarks for books in this collection have the prefix Bib, and all books from this collection currently on the online catalogue can be found here.


On the 1581 Ostrog Bible and the 1627 Psaltir's vossledovaniem in this collection, see R F Christian, J Sullivan and J S G Simmonds, 'Early printed Russian books at St Andrews and their background', The Bibliothek, 5 (1967-70), p215-231.


Find out how you can get copies of books, manuscripts or photographs held within Special Collections.

Collection development policy

Discover how the Special Collections Division makes decisions on the development of its rare book collections.

Current projects

Read about the exciting collection projects the Rare Books team is currently working on, and those that have recently been completed.