'Iconic' Colonial Era Hymnal Up for Auction

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A tiny hymnal that could be the first book ever printed in America is going up for auction.

The Old South Church in Boston owns two of 11 remaining copies of the Bay Psalm Book. One of them will be put on the auction block in November.

Mark Dimunation, chief of rare books and special collections at the Library of Congress, called the book "an iconic piece."

"it's the beginning of literate America," said Dimunation. "American poetry, American spirituality and the printed page all kind of combine and find themselves located in a single volume."

"But there's also something much more modest and humble about this piece, which makes its survival all the most extraordinary," he said.
The book was published by leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1640, just 20 years after the pilgrims landed at Plymouth. It could bring in up to $30 million.

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