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Church to sell 1640 hymnal that may be worth $20 million

BOSTON – Congregants of one of the nation’s oldest churches have voted to auction off a 372-year-old hymn book that’s expect to fetch $10 million to $20 million at auction.

Members of the Old South Church in Boston authorized the sale of one of its two copies of the Bay Psalm Book, which was published in 1640. It is among the first books ever published in North America, and only 11 copies remain.

Board of Trustees Chairman Phil Stern said the church wants to continue growing its endowment and take care of some “critical capital needs.”

He said although there was loud opposition to the sale, the vote wasn’t close, with 271 votes cast in favor and 34 against.

Members also authorized the sale of 19 pieces of Colonial-era silver.


 

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