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A scrapbook containing personal memorabilia relating to the life and travels of the Christian evangelist John Nelson Darby (1800-82) has been digitised and placed online by the Library’s Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care. Digitisation was carried out to aid the preservation of this important collection of documents. The pages of the scrapbook are acidic and have deteriorated considerably over time; regular handling was contributing to its poor condition.

Front cover of John Nelson Darby's scrapbook.

Front cover of John Nelson Darby’s scrapbook, ref. JND/1/1.

Darby was a noted Biblical scholar, one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren, and later the leader of the ‘Exclusive Brethren’. He developed a distinctive reading of the Bible which focussed on the ‘end times’, the ‘ruin’ of the church, the prophetic importance of Israel, and the ‘rapture’ of the ‘saints’ or true believers at the point of Christ’s return.

The scrapbook contains letters, certificates, newspaper cuttings, tickets and other ephemera relating to the life of Darby, and is part of the extensive Papers of John Nelson Darby held by the Library. Darby’s papers also include his expansively annotated Greek New Testament, which is also viewable as digitised images thanks to kind donations made by Darby’s alma mater, Trinity College Dublin, and the Panacea Society.

The entire scrapbook can be viewed as a turning-the-pages Bookreader Object within Luna at http://enriqueta.man.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/q8z9r2.