The Waynai Bible was hand printed by Louis Waynai of Los Angeles, California, using rubber letters. He began in 1928, one letter at a time, and completed printing in 1930. The Bible was purchased in 1947 by Rosen Heights Church of Christ in Ft. Worth, Texas. In 1956, the congregation donated it to ACU, where it has been on exhibit in the Library for 57 years.
In 1956, the ACU Library (then ACC) received a gift from the Rosen Heights church of Christ in Fort Worth that still remains the “largest” donation in this library’s history. This copy of the entire King James Bible was completed by Louis Waynai in Los Angeles, CA, in 1930, two years after he had begun the project. Devoting more than 8,700 hours to the book, Mr. Waynai printed the text using a large home-made rubber stamp press.
When laid open, the Waynai Bible measures 43.5 inches tall and 98 inches wide. Closed, the spine is 34 inches thick. The book has 8,048 pages and weighs in at 1,094 pounds. It now rests in an oak and glass case donated by Willa B Patterson (’34) and built by Jim Mitchell (’69) in 1989. The book was constructed so that it can be disassembled into 31 sections for moving purposes. Since its arrival at ACU in 1956, it has moved several times — always with great difficulty. In September of 2006, it was moved to the Gaines B. Stanley Sr. Theological Reading Room.
Many hail the 1800 Macklin Bible as the largest English Bible in the world. It was printed in seven volumes each almost two feet tall and weighing a total of 130 pounds. The Macklin is probably the largest Bible mass produced on a printing press, but in sheer size it does not come close to the Waynai. Although this massive Bible is too fragile for reading use, it is a moving focal point of Brown Library’s Bible collection.
In 1989, Willa B Patterson (’34) funded and Jim Mitchell (’69) constructed a custom oak case for the Bible.
In April of 2013, the Library agreed to loan the Bible to the Green Collection of Oklahoma City to be displayed as part of its touring exhibit of rare Biblical texts called “Passages,” currently showing in Colorado Springs, Colorado. As part of the loan agreement, the Waynai Bible will also be exhibited at the Museum of the Bible, to be opened by the Green Collection in Washington, DC, in 2017. The Library is grateful to the Green Collection for providing much-needed expert repair and conservation for the Bible.
Click here to view the poster we created with this information on it. It includes a map and is currently located in the Gaines B. Stanley, Sr. Theological Reading Room.