Installation ceremony brings 414-year-old Durant Bible out of vault

On University Day, Saturday, Carol L. Folt will take the oath of office as the 11th chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill with her left hand placed on the oldest Bible associated with a North Carolina family in the state, the George Durant Bible. She will be the first woman to lead the University as she takes an oath on the more than 400-year-old volume.

When not used for special occasions, the Bible is stored in a vault in UNC’s North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library.

Take a look at the Bible’s journey as described in the graphic below.

Graphic: Chancellor Carol L. Folt begins a new era for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an oath and one really old book. THE DURANT BIBLE On Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, Carol Folt will take the oath of office as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with her left hand placed on the oldest Bible associated with a North Carolina family in the state, the George Durant Bible. She will be the first woman to lead the University as she takes an oath on the more than 400-year-old volume. THE HISTORY 1658: Year Englishman George Durant came to America with the Durant Bible, settling in Virginia then the Albemarle region (present-day Perquimans County) in 1661 25: Age of George Durant when he came to America THE JOURNEY OF THE DURANT BIBLE 1658: Brought to America by the Durant family Mid 1700s: Passed on to the Reed (Reid) family through marriage of Mary Durant Between 1844 and 1857: Obtained by Rev. Charles Force Deems for the North Carolina Historical Society 1929: Durant Bible moved into North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library SPECS 1599: Year Bible was printed in London 8.5”x6”x3”: Size of Bible 1,020: Number of pages in the volume OFFICIAL USAGE 3: Number of times the Durant Bible has been used for an official function in the past 25 years. Other oaths of office taken: Chancellor Paul Hardin III 1988 Chancellor Michael Hooker 1995 Governor Pat McCrory 2013 PRESERVATION 1995: Year Durant Bible underwent preservation treatment 190: Number of hours Jan Paris, Wilson Library’s conservator, spent cleaning and repairing the Bible prior to Chancellor Hooker’s installation 70 degrees: Temperature at which the climate-controlled vault in UNC’s Wilson Library is kept to preserve special collections 50%: Relative humidity at which the climate-controlled vault in Wilson Library is kept to preserve special collections 12: Number of materials used in the repair of the Bible, the primary ones being: handmade Western paper, Japanese paper, wheat starch paste, calfskin, and linen thread, cord, and cloth

 

Published October 8, 2013.