Upcoming Events: April and early May

Please join us for the following events being hosted in Rare Books and Special Collections:

Wednesday, April 6th at 6:00pmOne Book, One Michiana: “Spirits of Another Sort: Imagining Faeries in A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – Jesse Lander (Notre Dame).

Thursday, April 7th at 5:00pm |”Lev Loseff: Poet, Son and Exile” – Barry P. Scherr (Dartmouth) — Sponsored by the Program in Russian and East European Studies and Hesburgh Libraries.

Thursday, April 14th at 4:30pmThe Italian Research Seminar: “Boccaccio and Petrarch on Poetry: Genealogy of the Pagan Gods and Invectives against the Physician” by David Lummus (Stanford) — Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

The monthly spotlight exhibit for April is:

Ryosuke Cohen’s Brain Cell 261: Mail Art from the Vagrich and Irene Bakhchanyan Collections

Two exhibits that opened during the month of February continue through April:

Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion

Native American Literature Before 1924 (Spring Semester Spotlight Exhibit)

Recent Acquisition: Three Works of Battista Piranesi

by Marsha Stevenson, Visual Arts Librarian

BOO_004334827-bk1-00gAn important new acquisition is Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s Antichità d’Albano e di Castel Gandolfo (Antiquities of Albano and Castel Gandolfo), published in Rome in 1764. This volume is dedicated to Pope Clement XIII, who was an important patron of Piranesi’s. It is bound with two related works from 1762:  Descrizione e disegno dell’emissario del Lago Albano (Description and Design of the Emissarium of Lake Albano) and Di due spelonche ornate dagli antichi alla riva del Lago Albano (Concerning Two Caves Embellished by the Ancients on the Bank of Lake Albano). All three focus on the environs of Castel Gandolfo, which is just outside of Rome, overlooking Lake Albano, and is the summer residence of the popes.

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Piranesi (1720-1778), best known as an etcher and engraver, was an influential figure in eighteenth-century neoclassicism. His Vedute di Roma (Views of Rome) were informed by his personal architectural and archaeological research and are especially celebrated. Also of significance are his Carceri, which are imaginative views of early Roman prisons.

The volume acquired by the library was produced soon after Piranesi opened his own printing studio in 1761. It is a very early edition, issued without several of the illustrations that appeared in later versions. Two of the plates in Di due spelonche have lettering and drawing in pen and brown ink which are believed to be in Piranesi’s hand. Only eight other copies of this kind are known to be in existence.

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Who’s Who in RBSC: Aedín Clements

Aedin Clements, Irish Studies LibrarianStanding beside oversized reproductions of two issues of The Cork Examiner from May 8-9, 1916, Aedín Clements commented how delighted she is that Rare Books and Special Collections (RBSC) has such an extensive collection of historical newspapers from Ireland. She explained that these newspapers are important sources for understanding Irish society and, thus, must be preserved and made discoverable and freely accessible to researchers here and worldwide. This has become one of her many projects as Irish Studies librarian.

Aedín, a native of Dublin, studied Irish literature, language, and folklore at University College Dublin from which she earned her bachelor’s and library degrees. She also earned a master’s degree in English literature from Western Michigan University. In 2005, Aedin joined the Library as Irish Studies librarian. She was attracted to this job because of Hesburgh Library’s extensive 20th-century Irish language collection, one that covers a broad range of disciplines and includes children’s literature, Irish language and literature, traditional songs and ballads, and more. She admits a special place in her heart for the O’Neill Collection, which has a little something for everyone. In December 2015, Aedin also became Interim Head of the Area Studies and Global Affairs unit within the Hesburgh Libraries. Her expertise and work in Irish Studies are evident in many ways including invitations to speak at conferences and events and the multiple exhibits she has curated for RBSC. Her scholarship and service to the profession have been recognized by Notre Dame: Aedín was awarded the 2013 Rev. Paul J. Foik, C.S.C., Award by Hesburgh Libraries and was elected in September 2015 as a Faculty Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

Aedín has a list of to-dos that is perpetually growing because she is always on the lookout for enhancing existing areas of collecting strengths—18th- and 19th-century literature and history—and keeping up with all of the new or evolving research interests of faculty and students on campus. She is always thinking about how to make Hesburgh’s collections more accessible and, equally important, how to educate people about these collections. Recently, she partnered with a newly established network of librarians, the Libraries and Archives Group of the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS), to develop innovative ways for better developing collections. The network will take up this very issue at the upcoming roundtable discussion during the ACIS conference at Notre Dame, March 30-April 3, 2016.

After discovering that Hesburgh Libraries holds a wealth of sources documenting the Irish American perspective, Aedín developed an interest in Irish American history. When asked if there was a particular item that caught her attention, she smiled and said, “Yes, McGee’s Illustrated Weekly!” This was a newspaper founded by an American, James Redpath, who gave Americans a glimpse into Irish life, spattered with a bit of Irish and American humor, the latest fashion trends, and portraits of prominent Irishmen. Yet, Aedín’s love of the Irish language always draws her back. She is currently immersed in reading Visions of Ireland: Gael Linn’s Amharc Éireann Film Series, 1956-1964 by B. Mairéad Pratschke.

Aedín can often be found digging through the Irish collections in RBSC. None of her colleagues is ever surprised when she comes skipping down the hall with the biggest smile you can imagine, as she did when she discovered that we have a large collection of yet-to-be processed historical Irish newspapers. It turned out that this is where she unearthed the copies of the Cork Examiner. Aedín’s wide-ranging knowledge of and curiosity about all things Irish can be seen in her current exhibit, Easter, 1916: The Irish Rebellion, which is on display in Rare Books Special Collections through April 28, 2016.

“Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion” Exhibit Opens

This year marks the centenary of the Easter Rising, the rebellion that led to the eventual establishment of an Irish Free State. The University of Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute is at the forefront of the impetus to re-examine the events of 1916, with Professor Bríona Nic Dhiarmada’s three-part documentary, 1916 The Irish Rebellion which will be shown on public television in Ireland, the U.S. and at screenings throughout the world.

Notre Dame will also be the center of Irish studies for five days this spring as host to ACIS (the American Conference for Irish Studies). Over a thousand visitors are expected at this conference.

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In Hesburgh Libraries Rare Books and Special Collections, a special exhibit to mark this centenary is on display from February 12th until April 28th.

The exhibit draws from the Hesburgh Special Collections and includes books written by people involved in the events as well as contemporary accounts of the rebellion. Letters on display include one from Roger Casement. An extremely rare first edition of W. B. Yeats’s poem Easter, 1916 is part of the exhibit.

From the University Archives, a book recording the subscriptions of South Bend residents to an Irish government bond will be on display.

The exhibit is open to the public from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.

Upcoming Events: March and early April

Please join us for the following events being hosted in Rare Books and Special Collections:

Thursday, March 17th at 4:30pmThe Italian Research Seminar: “Toxic Tales: Narrating Dioxin in Contemporary Italy” by Monica Seger (William and Mary) — Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

Thursday, April 14th at 4:30pmThe Italian Research Seminar: “Boccaccio and Petrarch on Poetry: Genealogy of the Pagan Gods and Invectives against the Physician” by David Lummus (Stanford) — Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

The monthly spotlight exhibit for March is:

Hoops and Herstory: Early Women’s Basketball History in the Joyce Sports Research Collection

Two exhibits that opened during the month of February continue:

Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion

Native American Literature Before 1924 (Spring Semester Spotlight Exhibit)

Rare Books and Special Collections will be open regular 9-5 hours during Notre Dame’s Spring Break (March 7-11).

Leap Day

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII reformed the Julian calendar in order to bring the date for celebrating Easter closer in line with the date the early Church had celebrated it. He removed 10 days, skipping from October 4 to October 15, 1582, established February 29 as the official day to be added during a leap year, revised how leap years were determined, and also set January 1 as the first day of the year.

Although most Catholic countries adopted these reforms after they were enacted in 1582 by the papal bull Inter gravissimas, Protestant and Orthodox countries resisted. England and her colonies did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until almost two centuries later as this excerpt from the 1752 edition of Poor Richard Improved, an almanac published by Benjamin Franklin, explains.

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Recent Acquisition: St. Fulgentius’ Works and the Homilies of St. Charles Borromeo

by Alan Krieger, Theology and Philosophy Librarian

Hesburgh Libraries recently acquired the important Latin works of Saint Fulgentius (468-533) and Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584).

BOO_004278527_pt1-001rThe first is a printed edition of the Latin works of St. Fulgentius, a North African bishop who, in the tradition of St. Augustine, vigorously defended orthodox doctrines on the Trinity and original sin against Arianism and Pelagianism. The volume (Opera B. Fvlgentii Aphri, episcopi Rvspensis . . . item opera Maxentii Iohannis) also includes the works of his lesser known contemporary, Joannes Maxentius, and was printed by the famed German publisher Anton Koberger in 1520. Koberger is best known for publishing the Liber cronicarum (Nuremberg Chronicle), a landmark incunable.

BOO_004300389-t1-00f_gIn addition, Hesburgh Libraries acquired volumes 1-5 of the first complete critical edition of Saint Charles Borromeo’s homilies, entitled Homiliae (Mediolani, 1747-48) and published as a 6-volume set. Saint Charles Borromeo’s was one of the giants of the Catholic Reformation. As Archbishop of Milan (1564-1584), Saint Charles was a leader in implementing the reforms enacted at the Council of Trent (1545-1563), contributing to the creation of the new Catechism commissioned by the Council (published in 1566) and establishing numerous seminaries, colleges, and communities for the education of those preparing for the priesthood.

 


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Bram Stoker’s Manuscript of His Lecture on Abraham Lincoln

Bram Stoker (1847-1912), when he was manager of the renowned English actor Henry Irving, made many trips to the United States. Over the course of these visits and perhaps after meeting the poet Walt Whitman in 1884, he became intrigued by Abraham Lincoln. In the late 1880s and 1890s, Stoker lectured on Lincoln at numerous venues in both the United States and Europe.

In composing his lecture, Stoker drew on many of the standard sources of the day and also quotes Whitman. Stoker emphasizes slavery throughout and Lincoln’s role as emancipator. A long prelude provides background on the “peculiar institution” in the United States and the sectional crisis of the 1850s. Then follows the life of Lincoln proper. Stoker’s attitude toward his subject is reverent in the extreme. Explaining that “the hour had come for the final struggle . . . between slavery and freedom,” Stoker reiterates to the audience in introducing his subject, “The hour had come—and with it . . . came the man—Abraham Lincoln.”

Notre Dame holds the original, working copy of Bram Stoker’s 152-page, unbound manuscript. Approximately half of the Notre Dame manuscript is a single, essentially sustained narrative though deletions, additions, and corrections abound. The rest consists of variations on portions of that narrative inserted, perhaps, to suit a particular audience.

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Folio 19r, showing the first example of the beginning of the lecture (MSE/IR 5304-1B).
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Folio 98r, showing a variation on the beginning of the lecture (MSE/IR 5304-1B).
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Folio 99r, showing another version of the beginning of the lecture (MSE/IR 5304-1B).
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Folio 160r, showing a third version of the beginning of the lecture (MSE/IR 5304-1B).

Recent Acquisition: Buddhist Art

by Hye-jin Juhn, East Asian Studies Librarian

The Hesburgh Libraries recently acquired two resources that serve as important scholarly sources for those who study Chinese/Tibetan Buddhism and Buddhist art. These resources are the highly-regarded 1970s reprints of original publications from the 1920s:

BOO_004176802-04The Thousand Buddhas: Ancient Buddhist Paintings from the Cave-temples of Tun-huang on the Western Frontier of China. Recovered and described by Sir Aurel Stein, with an introductory essay by Laurence Binyon

This Tokyo reprint (1978) was praised by Dr. W. Pachow, a Chinese Buddhist scholar, as a “extraordinary” and “very valuable.” His review that appeared on The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies in 1981 is a worthy introduction to the resource that includes a detailed description of the size and composition of the folio and its contents. Also important to note is Dr. Pachow’s point about a few unintended misinterpretations by Sir Aurel Stein who did not understand Chinese.

BOO_004176786-v1-pl_01Die buddhistische Spätantike in Mittelasien: Ergebnisse der Kgl. preussischen Turfan-Expeditionen (Postancient Buddhist Culture in Central Asia: Results of the Royal Prussian Turfan-Expedition). Records of items recovered and described by Albert von Le Coq.

This 1973-1975 print of the original Berlin edition (1922-1933) consists of seven volumes. Detailed descriptions about the first five volumes are available online.

The publications symbolically represent the early 20th century history of the Silk Road where long-lost cultural relics were discovered and then disappeared again, some of them permanently. Peter Hopkirk’s Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia is a classic that tells of of the brave expeditions the above authors are credited with (or the blatant exploitation that they are accused of).

 


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Upcoming Events: February and early March

Please join us for the following events being hosted in Rare Books and Special Collections:

Thursday, February 25th at 4:30pm |The Italian Research Seminar: Graduate Student Presentations —Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

Thursday, March 17th at 4:30pmThe Italian Research Seminar: “Toxic Tales: Narrating Dioxin in Contemporary Italy” by Monica Seger (William and Mary) — Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

There will be three new exhibits opening during the month of February:

Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion | 2016 marks the centenary of the Easter Rising, the rebellion that led to the eventual establishment of an Irish Free State. At the Hesburgh Libraries Rare Books and Special Collections Department, a special exhibit to mark this centenary will be on display from February 12th until April 28th.

Native American Literature Before 1924 | Spring Semester Spotlight Exhibit

Coronelli’s Nouvelle France, 1688 | Febuary Spotlight Exhibit

Please note also that Rare Books and Special Collections will be closing early at 2:00pm on Friday, February 5th, for a departmental event.