Digitising Aotearoa’s Wicked Bible

NZMS recently digitised the University of Canterbury’s 17th century King James Bible, dubbed the Wicked Bible because of an unfortunate publishing error that accidentally encourages adultery!

It is the first example of a Wicked Bible that has been fully digitised and it will soon be available online for the public to view. Very few copies of this bible have survived, there are only 20 remaining in circulation, and this is the only one in the southern hemisphere — digitisation helps ensure its preservation long into the future.

We are extremely proud to have this work featured in an article by The Guardian and on Radio New Zealand’s Nights programme!

On the 4th May, Associate Professor Dr Chris Jones presented a free public lecture, The Adulterer’s Guide: Aotearoa’s Wicked Bible, that discussed the Bible’s scandalous history. NZMS’s Southern Regional Manager, Dr Stephen Hardman, also spoke, describing the digitisation process and the challenges our team experienced. It was a fascinating presentation that offered an insight into this unique artefact, it’s surprising discovery in Christchurch, and the resulting urgency to ensure it is properly preserved for future generations.


Follow the link below to watch the recording!

Jump to 53:55 to watch Stephen’s presentation!