On January 1, 2010, MOBIA became the steward for the Rare Bible Collection, an important part of the library of the American Bible Society. The Society started collecting Bibles in 1817, one year after its founding. By year’s end, it had acquired 64 Scriptures in 30 languages.
Today the Collection contains scriptures printed in more than 2,000 languages spanning six centuries, including 15 manuscripts and 42 incunables, or early printed books. This collection is one of the largest and finest of its kind in the United States, important primarily for documenting the history of the Bible text itself in the original languages (Greek and Hebrew) and the history of early translations into various languages. This collection, now known as the Rare Bible Collection @ MOBIA, is the focus of a series of exhibitions that explore the lasting role that the Bible has had in major aspects of Judeo-Christian culture and art.