'Hymnals Through The Ages' On Display At Moody Library

News Photo 2238
Oct. 5, 2004

An exhibit of hymns spanning languages, denominations and time are on display through Oct. 29 in "Let the People Sing!: Hymnals Through the Ages" in the Allbritton Foyer of Baylor University's Moody Memorial Library.

The songbooks are from the collection of world-renowned hymnologist Harry Eskew, acquired recently by the Baylor Libraries. The Eskew Hymnological Collection consists of 2,200 volumes of hymnals, hymnology books and journals, and related works on worship and church music.

"This collection, woven into Baylor's existing hymnological holdings, makes the university an increasingly important site for the study of congregational song," said Dr. Terry W. York, associate professor of Christian ministry and church music. The gift was a powerful affirmation of the School of Music's reputation, he added.

Items in the exhibit are divided into four sections: the introduction, hymnals across the world, hymnals through denominations and hymnals through time. The display includes songs in Arabric, Hebrew, German, French, Latin, Japanese and other languages and church music books used by Lutherans, Mennonites, Catholics and other congregations. The "hymnals through time" include rare and historical volumes, including The Battle Cry: A Hymnal of Temperance and Prohibition Songs (1887) and the collection's oldest volume, Royal Melody Compleat: The New Harmony of Sion (1764).

Eskew, who lives in Macon, Ga., is professor emeritus at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he served for 36 years as a professor of music history and hymnology. He has served on hymnal committees and has authored books and articles on Baptist and gospel hymnology. An American music scholar and student of noted musicologist Gilbert Chase, Eskew is one of the preeminent scholars on old-time, shape-note hymnody. He helped establish the South Carolina State Singing, and in 2002, was designated a fellow by the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.

Nicky Stokes and Pam Belser of the acquisitions unit and Sha Towers of the Crouch Fine Arts Library arranged the library exhibit.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?