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.
2015 marks many anniversaries of Vatican II, including the upcoming 50th anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council in December of 1965. The Vatican II collection and Catholic Pamphlets collection in Rare Books & Special Collections provide a window into the Council. The Vatican II collection includes schemata, the outlines and drafts of the key documents of Vatican II, along with news service reports and other documents circulated during the Council. These primary sources contrast with the popular Catholic pamphlets produced during and after the Council. Our holdings include the Address delivered by His Holiness Pope John XXIII at the solemn opening of the Second Vatican Council October 11, 1962 and the Closing speeches: Vatican Council II, December 7-8, 1965. Between these sessions and even later, Vatican II provided the subject matter for many a popular Catholic pamphlet, bringing the Council to the people. Some examples: You and the ecumenical council (1962); Decree on Eastern Catholic churches (1966); Vatican II and youth (1967); What is the lay apostolate?: taken from Vatican II’s Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity – Apostolicam Actuositatem (1979).
In addition to exploring our library holdings, please visit the fascinating exhibit, Outsider at the Vatican: Frederick Franck’s Drawings from the Second Vatican Council. Curated by Catherine Osborne, postdoctoral fellow at the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, the exhibit displays rarely seen drawings by Franck that he produced during his visits to all the sessions of the Second Vatican Council. The exhibit runs through September 30, 2015 at the Notre Dame Center for Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture, 1045 West Washington Street, South Bend. Hours are Sunday 12:00-4:00 p.m. and Tuesday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
A curious hieroglyphick Bible, or, Select passages in the Old and New Testaments, represented with emblematical figures, for the amusement of youth: designed chiefly to familiarize tender age, in a pleasing and diverting manner, with early ideas of the Holy Scriptures: to which are subjoined, a short account of the lives of the Evangelists, and other pieces: illustrated with nearly five hundred cuts. Worcester, Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas, 1788.
Isaiah Thomas’s hieroglyphic Bible of 1788 is both a landmark piece of American children’s literature and a newly ambitious use of woodcut illustration in an American printed book. The idea of a hieroglyphic Bible, in which select scriptural passages were presented in a combination of words and images, was consistent with Thomas’s interest in works for children that simultaneously instructed and amused. He based his book on an English edition first published in 1783. In his preface—dedicated to the “parents, guardians, and governesses of the [newly constituted] United States of America”—Thomas notes the “considerable expense” involved in commissioning the hundreds of woodcuts that fill the book. Some of these, to the modern eye at least, seem a bit opaque; fortunately, Thomas printed the full text of each passage at the foot of the page. The present copy is a first edition, with all of its pages intact. It was acquired by the Libraries in January 2015.
This exhibition highlights the variety of medieval liturgical manuscripts and fragments housed in the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Library which contain music. The manuscripts featured date from the eleventh through fifteenth century, and originate from various regions in France, Germany, Austria, and Italy. Some examples represent specific uses such as Carthusian monks or Dominican nuns. Other manuscripts in this exhibit were recovered from book bindings and serve as examples of older practices which may no longer exist in complete manuscripts.