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Archivist creates web site of "Martyrs Mirror" illustrations

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -Bethel College archivist John D. Thiesen has created a web site containing scanned versions of all 104 of the Jan Luiken illustrations from the 1685 edition of the "Martyrs Mirror." The site is available at "The ‘Martyrs Mirror’ is one of the classics of Mennonite literature," says Thiesen who is director of the Mennonite Library and Archives and co-director of libraries at Bethel College. "The 104 illustrations in the 1685 Dutch edition are well known. One of the most familiar is the image of Dirk Willems rescuing his pursuer from an icy waterway. The Dirk Willems image (see book 2, p. 387) has become a Mennonite icon in the last several decades."

Thiesen explains that until now, in the midst of rapidly growing collections of on-line reference information, there has not been a web site showing all of the illustrations together. This new site includes a full-screen view of each illustration with a brief caption.

The site is intended as a reference and as a way to get an overview of the whole set of illustrations together. The scans were made from an original 1685 edition and show some of the variations and anomalies found in 17th century printing. So far, however, no one has made available the full text of the "Martyrs Mirror" on line, either in English or the original Dutch.

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