Spotlight Exhibit: Constructing Shakespeare

January 2016

The posthumous First Folio printing of William Shakespeare’s plays in 1623 represents a landmark development in the history of English drama, rescuing some of the bard’s works that would have been lost forever. The earlier editions that do exist, however, differ markedly from the First Folio, and there is little evidence that Shakespeare oversaw their publication. What, then, is the “real” text?

The Shakespeare we know emerges from hundreds of years of this debate. Current holdings and recent acquisitions in Rare Books and Special Collections shed light on the discussion as it developed into the nineteenth century. Selections from the Second and Third Folio accompany printings by some of Shakespeare’s earliest critical editors, including the famous poet Alexander Pope and the moral censor Thomas Bowdler.

This month’s spotlight exhibit is curated by Daniel Johnson, English Literature and Digital Humanities Librarian, and accompanies the special traveling exhibit “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library.” The exhibit is open to the public 9:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday and noon to 5:00pm on weekends, through January 29, 2016 (extended hours due to the “First Folio!” exhibit).

Upcoming Events: January

“First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library will arrive at Rare Books and Special Collections in the Hesburgh Library during the first days of 2016 as one of the first stops of the exhibit’s yearlong nationwide tour. The exhibit will open on Wednesday, January 6 with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony (read more below).

On-Going Exhibits

First Folio Exhibit

January 6th – January 29th
Rare Books & Special Collections (102 Hesburgh Library)

9:00am – 7:00pm  Mondays through Fridays
noon – 5:00pm  Saturdays and Sundays

Guided tours of the First Folio exhibit will be offered daily by Hesburgh librarians and curators — Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3:30pm; Tuesday and Thursday at NOON; and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm.

Tours will meet by the entrance to Rare Books and Special Collections (102 Hesburgh Library, first floor). Reservations are not necessary. If you are planning to bring a group, please feel free to alert Rare Books and Special Collections directly about your visit: rarebook@nd.edu or 574-631-0290. Times are subject to change.

First Folio Banner, Costume Display and “Selfie Station”

January 3rd – end of January
1st Floor North Entrance Gallery, Hesburgh Library

View this self-guided exhibit whenever the library is open.

“Constructing Shakespeare” — a Spotlight Exhibit of RBSC Shakespeare Books

January 6th – January 29th
Rare Books & Special Collections (102 Hesburgh Library)

9:00am – 7:00pm  Mondays through Fridays
noon – 5:00pm  Saturdays and Sundays

Special Events

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Wednesday, January 6 at 4:16pm
1st Floor North Entrance Gallery, Hesburgh Library

In January, Shakespeare at Notre Dame kicks off “SHAKESPEARE: 1616-2016,” a yearlong series of performances, conferences and special events commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and his legacy. The First Folio exhibit and Notre Dame’s year-long celebration officially launch at 16:16 (4:16 p.m.) Jan. 6 with the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Hesburgh Library’s new North Entrance Gallery.

Formal remarks will precede the official ribbon cutting beginning with Scott Jackson (Executive Director of Shakespeare at Notre Dame), followed by Diane Walker (Edward H. Arnold University Librarian), Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. (President of the University of Notre Dame), Pete Buttigieg (Mayor of South Bend), and John T. McGreevy (I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters).

“Folio Fridays” Lecture Series

January 8 at 4:00pmPrinted Shakespeare: Quartos, Folios, and the History of Books by Jesse Lander (Chair, Department of English)
Rare Books & Special Collections, Hesburgh Library

January 15 at 4:00pm | Mobile Shakespeare by Elliott Visconsi (Chief Academic Digital Officer)
Rare Books & Special Collections, Hesburgh Library

January 22 at 4:00pmMr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies by Peter Holland (McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies)
Rare Books & Special Collections, Hesburgh Library

January 29 at 4:00pm |Centuries of Shakespeare by Michael Witmore (Director, Folger Shakespeare Library)
Carey Auditorium, Hesburgh Library

All four 90-minute lectures are free, open to the public, and located within the Hesburgh Library.

Shakespeare Week: January 18–22

During the third week of the First Folio exhibit – Monday, January 18 through Friday, January 22 – there will be increased traffic from 9am–3pm. Shakespeare at Notre Dame will be leading 90-minute encounters with over 1000 students from throughout Indiana and Southern Michigan.

Please be aware that access to the First Folio exhibit and to Rare Books and Special Collections resources will be limited during this time.

Who’s Who in RBSC: Dan Johnson

Dan JohnsonWith his excitement barely contained, Dan Johnson reveled in what a great addition this would be for RBSC—a map of Middle Earth annotated by J. R. R. Tolkien himself! Dan went on to explain that this map was recently discovered stuck in the renowned illustrator, Pauline Baynes’ personal copy of The Lord of the Rings and that it promises to be an important piece of Tolkien ephemera. “If only we had a Tolkien collection to justify pursuing this,” he lamented.

Dan’s enthusiasm and appreciation for the Inklings is among his many literary interests. He studied English literature, earning his BA from Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN, and then went on to earn an MA from Wake Forest University. He is currently researching the supernatural in the 18th century. Part of this research examines the work of Charles Brockden Brown, the first major American novelist and Gothic fiction pioneer. He is finishing his dissertation, “Visible Plots, Invisible Realms,” en route to earning his PhD in English literature at Princeton University. All the while he is learning the ropes of the library world as the new English Literature and Digital Humanities librarian for Hesburgh Libraries.

Having come to Notre Dame in August, Dan quickly immersed himself in getting to know the collections, faculty, and students. Within the first couple of weeks, he was meeting with English students and faculty, and preparing classes that featured rare materials, including the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He pulled out multiple editions of The Ancient Mariner and along with Professor Yasmin Solomonescu guided the students through Coleridge’s marginal glosses, talking about the book as artifact.

Tightly integrated with Dan’s interests in American and British literature from the 18th and 19th centuries is his fascination with how technology can enhance research in the Humanities. Dan founded and manages a digital archive of texts and digital humanities projects related to 18th- and 19th-century British and American literature called Scholar’s Grotto. This includes his own project, a scholarly edition of The Relief; or, Day Thoughts (1754), a parody and critique of graveyard poetry by Henry Jones, the “bricklayer poet.”

Dan is quite excited about enhancing RBSC’s literary collections. He has acquired two significant additions: a 1725 edition of Shakespeare’s works edited by Alexander Pope and the 1818 second edition of The Family Shakespeare in Ten Volumes edited by Thomas Bowdler. Both of these will be featured in his upcoming Shakespeare spotlight exhibit in RBSC—this will be the first exhibit Dan has ever curated. It will coincide with RBSC’s hosting of First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, the Folger Shakespeare Library’s touring exhibit that will bring a First Folio of the bard’s plays to each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Dan will also lead guided tours of both exhibits and invites everyone to brave the snow and come out to learn about Shakespeare.

 


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Recent Acquisition: Loome Catholic Modernism Collection

by Jean McManus, Catholic Studies Librarian

The Hesburgh Libraries recently acquired the Thomas M. Loome Collection in Catholic Modernism, which comprehensively covers books on Modernism in Catholic thought, with over 1500 volumes. The modernist movement, from the late 19th into the 20th century, concerned theological, philosophical, and methodological insights applied to the Church’s engagement with the modern world. The controversies generated by this debate by many European and American Catholics led to censure, papal encyclicals, and excommunications. The themes resonated and were in many ways resolved in the course of Vatican II, and can certainly be said to be relevant to the global church today.

The printed works cover output from Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, but also include primary works for Modernism in the Netherlands, U.S., Switzerland, and Austria. Most of these printed works were published during the years 1895-1912, but also include subsequent studies and monographs on Modernism and individual Modernists.

LoomeColl-004-cropped
1893 manuscript (MSE-MD 3824-063) and 1928 letter to Gwen Green (MSE-MD 3824-104), both written by Friedrich von Hügel.

In addition to books, the collection includes manuscript material from several principal thinkers, including George Tyrrell (letters) and Friedrich von Hügel (correspondence with other thinkers and relatives). Thomas Loome, the compiler of the collection (and former owner/bookseller of Loome Theological Books, Stillwater, MN), has written widely on modernism, and the collection includes his extensive research notes, reprints, copies of archival sources, and correspondence concerning his research and the debates.

The Loome Catholic Modernism Collection monographs are housed in Rare Books and Special Collections, and can be found in the ND Catalog with the keywords “Loome Catholic Modernism Collection.” The manuscript and archival materials are being processed, and are accessible for use in the Special Collections reading room. Contact the department for more information about using the collection.

 


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“After Gutenberg” Exhibit Opens

On Friday, September 11, 2015, the Fall exhibit, After Gutenberg: Print, Books, and Knowledge in Germany through the Long Sixteenth Century opened. Thomas A. Brady, Jr., a historian of sixteenth-century Germany and Professor Emeritus of History at the University of California, Berkeley, delivered the keynote address. Also marking the opening was a two-day conference, Beyond Tradition: Rethinking Early Modern Europe, which contextualized the exhibit and highlighted institutions, religious practices, and knowledge in Europe during the long sixteenth century.

Schedel, Liber cronicarum, XIIv - XIIIr
Schedel, Liber cronicarum, XIIv – XIIIr

After Gutenberg: Print, Books, and Knowledge in Germany through the Long Sixteenth Century features materials from Notre Dame’s rare books collection that represent an array of knowledge that circulated widely in Germany in the two centuries following Gutenberg’s breakthrough. Between the mid-fifteenth century and the end of the Thirty Years War in 1648, the printing press made it possible for Germans to learn about their own history as well as about peoples in distant lands; to read previously inaccessible texts in the original languages and in German translations; to explore artistic techniques and scientific principles; and to harness natural resources from untapped sources.

An expanded online exhibit will be released later in Fall that will feature additional images and explanations of the materials on display as well as other objects not in the physical exhibit. Watch for a blog announcement when this is released.

Digging for Revolutionary Traces in the Rare Books Room

by Julia Douthwaite, Professor of French, University of Notre Dame

This summer I am spending my days in the Department of Special Collections at Notre Dame’s library, systematically making my way through 60-some of the most controversial-sounding titles of French books published during the French Revolution (of the 266 total). I am looking for clues about who read these books, what they liked, and when, as based on underlinings, marginalia, and any clues I can find on provenance; it is also interesting to learn about historical facets of book binding and illustration. The closest thing to being in a European library is being in a Rare Books room in the USA.

I am doing so in anticipation of the colloquium, Collecting the French Revolution, in Greoble and Vizille France, 23-25 September 2015. It will be fun to show how the collection of such materials ended up here, in the hinterlands of north-central Indiana!

So far, I have found some intriguing books. Two are interesting because of their ties to the university’s history: a 1794 book of revolutionary legislation is stamped “Treasure Room”–the former name of Special Collections–and a history of the Church dated 1791 is a living testimony to the ravages of fire and water damage which swept through the library in 1879. It was saved from the fire by a student, from whom it was returned years later.

Title page from a 1795 copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Du Contrat social.
Title page from a 1795 copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Du Contrat social.

The most intellectually vibrant example of marginalia has to be the 1795 copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s incendiary work of political theory, Du Contrat socialwhich contains notions such as general will and popular sovereignty–once owned by a certain Elizabeth Ann Seton. Inside the front cover one finds this inscription: “This copy is curious as an example of the new and foolish computation of time that the Revolutionists, out of hatred for everything Christian, wished to force upon the people. My grandmother (afterwards known as Mother Seton) used this volume at a period of her early married life when she was so unfortunate as to become somewhat enamored of the French infidel literature.” It is signed Robert Seton (a monsignor in the Roman Catholic Church and titular archbishop of Heliopolis, who donated it to Notre Dame). Better than any work by the philosopher Theodor Adorno or the intellectual historian Jonathan Israel, this one book holds within it a cautionary tale on the dialectics of modern thought, and the errors of Enlightenment philosophy , considered as a cause of the French Revolution. It also shines some light on the evolution in Mother Seton’s thinking from a youthful age; she would have been 21 years old in 1795, living the life of a wealthy New Yorker after marrying a successful merchant in the import trade two years earlier. Perhaps he imported new ideas along with the other stock from Europe!

Inscription by Robert Seton in the 1795 copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Du Contrat social house at Rare Books and Special Collections, Hesburgh Library, University of Notre Dame.
Inscription by Robert Seton in the 1795 copy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Du Contrat social house at Rare Books and Special Collections, Hesburgh Library, University of Notre Dame.

The closest connection between Indiana and the French Revolution has to be the memoirs of Simon Bruté, born in Rennes in 1779, died in Vincennes, IN, in 1839 after serving as the first bishop of Vincennes. Its subtitle promises: “sketches describing his recollections of scenes connected with the French revolution.” I was initially wondering if the anti-revolutionary views of the clergy would be reflected in the collection and they are. But there are also an abundance of sources representing other political views. Along with several works by the infamous conspiracy theorist Abbé Barruel, there is a gorgeous edition of the Enlightenment’s most radical work of information sharing—the first Wikipedia one might say—L’Encyclopédie (the entire 17 volume set, dated 1765, with the supplement and the plates from later editions). Some say that L’Encyclopédie did more to promote a revolutionary consciousness than any other book of the time, by making trade secrets on industrial processes and artisanal practices accessible to all. This makes Notre Dame a great teaching library: students have a rich archive to explore in the search of learning how people thought long ago, why revolution broke out in 1789, and what it meant to diverse observers after the fact.

I could write more, but this will doubtless suffice to show you how interesting it can be connect a scholarly interest in revolutionary France with the history of the university and the Holy Cross order.

 


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