NY Public Library Receives Rare Hymnal

On Monday, April 14, 2014, Dr. Jeff Dailey, the executor of Dr. Ronald Cross’ estate, presented the New York Public Library with a copy of Cantiones Ecclesiasticae, fulfilling Cross’ wishes as set forth in his will. This Lutheran hymnal from 1545 was one of Dr. Cross’ prized possessions. He kept this treasure locked up in a strongbox and rarely took it out. It is a rare and wonderful volume, created shortly after the creation of both the Lutheran Church and printing.

Wagner College alumni and friends will perform excerpts from the hymnal at the library in the fall in the building’s new performance space on the first floor. Details will be forthcoming.

Also, as set forth in Cross’ will, Dailey presented the library with a check from the estate to help the Music Division fulfill its mission. Cross did much of his musicological research at the New York Public Library and wanted to acknowledge his affinity for the institution with a bequest.

Dailey also donated all of Cross’ materials relating to the composer Matheus Pipelare to the library.  Cross was the world’s leading authority on this Renaissance composer, and his personal library contained microfilms and photographs of all the manuscripts where his music is preserved. These, along with transcriptions, notes, correspondence, and articles, are now in the New York Public Library’s collection.

Once they are catalogued, the hymnal and all the Pipelare materials will be available for the public to examine at the library’s Lincoln Center campus.