This digital exhibit expands on the current exhibit on display in Special Collections. It displays examples of American Catholicism expressed through (mostly) printed texts from 1783 through the early 1840s. They include the earliest Catholic bibles published by Mathew Carey, and editions of Thomas à Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ used and produced in the United States; polemical pamphlets with sexual and political subtexts that flew back and forth across the Atlantic; no-holds-barred dueling sectarian newspapers; books and pamphlets created in reaction to mob violence against the Ursuline convent school near Boston; and official reports that mapped the Church’s growth and growing pains.
Questions and comments may be directed to Rachel Bohlmann and Jean McManus. The physical exhibition continues to be open to the public through August 11, 2017.
Gregory XIII (birth name: Ugo Boncompagni) reigned from 1572-1585 and, in addition to his famous calendar revision, energetically continued the implementation of reforms articulated at the Council of Trent (1545-1563). These reforms included the insistence that bishops reside within their sees and the foundation of many new schools for the training of the clergy.
Francis J. Weber provides a glimpse into the life of John Carroll, the first Jesuit bishop and archbishop of the United States and father of Georgetown University, In John Carroll and the Vernacular Liturgy, also summarizes Carroll’s views about vernacular liturgy.
Weber’s book is a limited edition miniature book. Special Collections copy is number 20 in an edition of 135. The book is 5.6 x 5.5 cm and is bound in paper boards covered with gold foil and a black leather spine. Affixed to the frontispiece is a postage stamp issued in 1989 by the Vatican to commemorate the bicentennial of the establishment of the Catholic hierarchy of the United States. The text is printed on Neenah Classic paper using a Chandler and Price Pilot Press.
Hesburgh Libraries has just purchased a rare pre-Reformation pamphlet, Avisamentum de concubinariis non absolvendis (Strasbourg, 1507), that features a scathing attack on the practice of concubinage (consorting with prostitutes) among the clergy. Usually attributed to Jakob Wimpfeling, a humanist in the circle of Erasmus, this is an interesting example of the role print played in the disseminating works that detailed clerical abuses in the years leading up to the Reformation.
Hesburgh’s copy is rubricated throughout and contains marginal annotations in two different contemporary hands. There are only four other known North American holdings of this edition.
Hesburgh Libraries has just acquired the first (and only) edition of De laude monasticae religionis opusculum (Paris, 1513) by the Flemish theologian Josse Clichtove (1472?-1543). This prolific Catholic apologist of the Reformation era wrote a spirited defense of monasticism. In this work, he attacked the anti-monastic views of the famed Christian humanist, Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), although Erasmus is not mentioned by name in the text. This would be the first of numerous polemical exchanges between the two.
In addition to Notre Dame’s copy, there are only six other North American holdings of this title.
Manuscripts, incunabula, seals, maps, engravings, and printed books from the thirteenth century to the present highlight how the Holy Father has left his mark on society. These materials from RBSC, together with a great bull on loan from Saint Mary’s College, are featured in the new exhibit “Vestigia Vaticana.” The exhibit’s opening coincides with the conference The Promise of the Vatican Library, being held May 8–10, 2016, at the University of Notre Dame.
These materials are like the Vatican’s footprints. They provide a trail for us to follow to get a glimpse of the official acts of the Holy Father, of books that belonged to popes, of events the general public wasn’t privy to. Take a stroll through the exhibit to see these papal bulls, apostolic briefs, a papal conclave print, a ground plan of Rome, and various other pieces.
Hesburgh Libraries recently acquired the important Latin works of Saint Fulgentius (468-533) and Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584).
The 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.
In 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.
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.
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.
Although his reign took place during the period of the Council of Trent (1545-63) and thus the “first wave” of the Catholic Reformation, he did not call or preside over any of the council’s sessions; however, he did address the problem of clerical corruption in Rome. Born Gian Pietro Carafa, he is reputed to have had a rather harsh and unyielding disposition and is probably best known for strengthening the Roman Inquisition and introducing the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Index of Prohibited Books). This work is held by only two other North American libraries.
Also recently acquired is an interesting and rare incunable, Johannes Marchesinus’ Mamotrectus Super Bibliam, published in Venice by Johannes Rubeus in 1498. The work was originally written near the end of the 13th century and, as a guide to the Latin Vulgate consisting of nearly 1300 separate articles, was an extremely influential Franciscan school text in the education of clergy throughout the late Middle Ages.
The first printed edition was issued in Mainz (Germany) by Peter Schoffer in 1470; only three other North American institutions hold the version we have just acquired.