#minibookmonday Te Deum

Today’s edition of #minibookmonday showcases one of the smallest books in our collection: Te Deum laudamus: solemn tone from the Sarum Psalter.

Measuring less than 3 inches by 3 inches, the small, fine press book was printed by Claire Bolton at The Alembic Press, Hyde Farm House, Marcham, Oxford, England in 1995. The Alembic Press produced a limited and numbered edition of 110 copies of Te Deum, of which the Monroe Library has number 40.

The Te Deum is an early Christian hymn of praise. The colophon of the book notes:

The music type used for printing this book came from St. Mary’s Press (the private press of the Community of St. Mary the Virgin). The type is for setting plainsong on a four-line stave: an ancient form of liturgical music with its origins party in Jewish practice of the apostolic period and partly in Early Christianity.

St. Mary’s Press began in 1854 and in 1890 was visited by Rev. GH Palmer. Together with the Sisters he set up the use and printing of plainchant and translated the texts from Latin to English. The music followed the medieval Sarum rite which had originated at Salisbury cathedral and been adopted by many cathedrals and churches throughout the British Isles.

Come in to Special Collections and Archives to view the tiny Te Deum for yourself!

Bonus video: Te Deum laudamus sung

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

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