Bay Psalm Book
The Bay Psalm Book
was the first book
printed in North America
The book is a Psalter, first printed in 1640, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Psalms in it are metrical translations into English. The translations are not particularly polished or poetic, and none have remained in use. However its production, a mere 20 years after the Pilgrim Fathers arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, represents a considerable achievement. It went through several editions and remained in use for well over a century.
The title page of the book reads:
- The Whole Booke of Psalmes
- Faithfully Translated into English Meter.
- Whereunto is prefixed a discourse declaring not only the lawfullness, but also the necessity of the heavenly ordinance of singing Scripture psalmes in the churches of God.
- Cambridge, Mass. Stephen Day
- Imprinted 1640
Ten copies of the first edition of the Bay Psalm Book are known still to exist, one of them in the Library of Congress