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Bay Psalm Book

The Bay Psalm Book (BPB), or—to use its actual title—The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre ([Boston], 1640), is one of the most famous books ever printed in what is now the United States. Its press run was only 1700 copies. The dozen or so that still survive are almost beyond price today. Their value rests chiefly on the BPB’s standing as the first book written and printed in English-speaking North America, and as a symbol of the country’s beginnings. Much research has been devoted to its physical characteristics, the identity of its authors and compilers (still a matter of dispute), the ownership sequence of surviving copies and minor differences between them,...

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