exhibitPitts Theology Library’s winter exhibit “Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs” showcases gems from its more than 15,000-item collection of rare musical materials. On January 22 at 7 p.m., exhibit curator Stephen A. Crist, associate professor of music history in Emory’s department of music, will present a talk highlighting the library’s collection as a rich resource for hymnological teaching, research and performance. Guided tours of the exhibit will begin at 6 p.m.

“Pitts Theology Library at Candler School of Theology is home to the largest collection of hymns in North America outside of the Library of Congress,” says Pitts Reference Librarian Rebekah Bedard. “All are welcome to join us for this event to hear from our curator about this remarkable collection and its place in highlighting music as one of the most central components of Christian worship throughout the ages.”

On display in the library’s new exhibit gallery are English, German, Italian, and American musical items from the past 500 years, including the Ainsworth Psalter (1612), hymns by John and Charles Wesley, shape note hymnody, and early African-American spirituals and hymns. Other artifacts include a paraphrasing of the Psalms written in Charles Wesley’s own hand, writings of Martin Luther and Isaac Watts, a first-edition printing of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” and a book of Roman Catholic chants dating back to 1497.

“Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs” runs through February 15. The exhibit catalog and enhanced features such as videos and interactive quizzes are available at http://pitts.emory.edu/exhibits/hymnody2015. Free guided tours are scheduled for Jan. 23, 30, and Feb. 13 at 2:00 p.m. No registration required; tour groups meet at the library entrance on the second floor of the Rita Anne Rollins Building.

Dr. Crist’s lecture on Jan. 22 will take place in the third floor lecture hall of Pitts Theology Library at 1531 Dickey Drive. The lecture is free; contact rebekah.bedard@emory.edu to register.