Armenian manuscript the oldest book at Toledo-Lucas County Public Library



A manuscript handwritten by Armenian monks in 1351 containing the Gospels of Luke and John is the oldest book in the Rare Book Room of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, according to The Blade.

“It is not a complete Bible. Little holes in its leather cover probably once held stones or jewels,” says Edward Hill, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library special collections librarian.

On the third floor of the main Toledo-Lucas County Public Library is one of the building’s coziest rooms and one of its best-kept secrets.

Yet, the most important thing about The Blade Rare Book Room isn’t its decor but what’s inside.

And there are some beauties, not just because they’re old or valuable.

“Some of these books go beyond books and are works of art,” Edward Hill, says.

The oldest item in the collection isn’t a book; it is a Babylon clay tablet believed to be 4,000 years old. It has a cuneiform inscription, one with wedge-shaped characters used in ancient writing systems.

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