Waynai Bible

From 1928-1930 Louis Waynai of Los Angeles, California, crafted a thousand-pound Bible one letter at a time on a hand-made printing apparatus.   The Bible was purchased in 1947 by Rosen Heights Church of Christ in Ft. Worth, Texas. In 1956, the congregation donated it to Abilene Christian College, where it has since been on exhibit in the school’s  Library.

That 1956 donation remains the “largest” donation in this library’s history.  Louis Waynai devoted more than 8,700 hours replicating the King James Version on a massive scale.  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.  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.

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 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.  In December 2018 the Waynai Bible returned to ACU.  Visitors may see it on display on the lower level of Brown LIbrary inside Special Collections and Archives Exhibit Room.  A fuller online exhibit is forthcoming.