With works spanning three centuries and representing more than twenty languages, this collection is a resource for hymnologists, musicologists, historians of church music, and historians of American spiritual formation.
Overview of Collection
Housed in the Annie Gabriel Library of California Baptist University, the more than 2,100 volumes of the P. Boyd Smith Hymnology Collection make up one of the larger personal collections of hymnals and hymnological reference works available in the country.
The collection has many rare and unique items including several early Sacred Harp and shape-note hymnals, early editions of works of Isaac Watts, and a 1780 edition of A Select Collection of Hymns, the famous hymnal edited under the direction of the formidable Lady Huntington. The collection also includes multiple editions of the works of celebrated nineteenth- and twentieth-century hymnists, such as Gipsy Smith, Ira Sankey, Philip P. Bliss, George C. Stebbings, Fanny Crosby, and James McGranahan.
Strength of Collection
The strength of the collection is in its breadth, which reflects Dr. Smith's goal to collect hymnals from as many religious denominations and in as many languages as possible. Nearly fifty denominations and religious groups are represented in the collection. Among the twenty languages represented are Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Ethiopian, Greek, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, Navajo, and Tagalog.
There is also a rich sampling of revival hymnbooks and "souvenir" hymnbooks from the "crusades" of famous preachers, and the song-books and hymnals of such groups as the Women's Temperance Union, the Y.M.C.A., and various branches of the American Armed Services. There are a large number of mid-nineteenth century hymnals designed for children.
This is a closed collection, available to interested students and scholars by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, please contact Helen Xu, Curator of the P. Boyd Smith Hymnology Collection.
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