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KU items to be shown in Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit

A page from the "Vosper Hours," a book of prayers from the 15th century.

A trio of items from the Department of Special Collections in the Kenneth Spencer Research Library will be featured in the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at Union Station in Kansas City, Mo., beginning Feb. 8. The exhibit, developed in conjunction with the Israel Antiquities Authority, will feature 10 scrolls, some of which have never been seen before in the United States.

The Dead Sea Scrolls date back to before biblical times and include some of the earliest surviving texts that went on to form the books of the Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament.

The KU pieces in the exhibit will include a manuscript of the "Aurora" by Peter Riga, circa 1205. Riga's masterwork, the "Aurora" was a versification of the principle books of the Bible. Verses added by Egidius of Paris of after Riga's death are visible in the manuscript.

Also joining the exhibit is "Vosper Hours" from Langres, France, circa 1450-1475. A Book of Hours is a compendium of prayers and devotional texts. It is strictly a work of private devotion owned by a layperson and was not a part of the public liturgy. The identity of the individual who commissioned the book is unknown.

A leaf from the Gutenberg Bible from Mainz, Germany, dated to 1455 is KU's third contribution to the exhibit. The piece came from a fragmentary copy that was broken up and offered for sale in 1953. It was originally from a copy that resided in the abbey of St. Maximin in Trier, Germany.

Tickets for the exhibit are on sale now. Call (816) 460-2020. The exhibit runs through May 13.

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