Commemorating Civil War Veterans

by Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian

Americans celebrate November 11th as Veterans’ Day. It commemorates Armistice Day—November 11, 1918—when, at the eleventh hour that day, France, Great Britain, and the United States (the Allied powers) and Germany signed an armistice that ended hostilities of the Great War (1914 – 1918). After World War II the United States officially designated November 11th as a day to remember veterans of all wars. However, its WWI origins remain in the Arlington National Cemetery ceremony, which includes a wreath placed on the Tomb of the Unknowns at 11 am.

Letter, Thomas Francis McGrath to his mother, January 20, 1863 and Veteran’s Badge, Dedication of NY State Monument, Antietam, September 17, 1920.
Letter, Thomas Francis McGrath to his mother, January 20, 1863 (MSN/CW 1001-16), and Veteran’s Badge, Dedication of NY State Monument, Antietam, September 17, 1920 (MSN/CW 1001-44).

Hesburgh Libraries’ Rare Book and Special Collections department holds many unique or rare items by soldiers about war remembrance. The Civil War (1861-1865) created a lot of soldiers who, even as they fought, reflected and recorded. Thomas Francis McGrath (1839 – 1922) traveled from Ireland to enlist in the 69th New York Infantry, a part of the Irish Brigade. In an 1863 letter to his mother, he contrasted Irish and Irish-American soldiers who died fighting for the United States, “that land, which gives a home . . . to the . . . oppressed of all nations,” with Irish men who lost their lives in the British army, fighting “under a Foreign Flag . . . for a government that robs his country and banishes her sons to a distant land.”

Carte-de-visite Portrait of Lt. James C. Woodworth, 1865, and 25th Massachusetts Infantry annual reunion ribbon, October 17, 1899.
Carte-de-visite portrait of Lt. James C. Woodworth, 1865 (MSN/CW 1014-16), and 25th Massachusetts Infantry annual reunion ribbon, October 17, 1899 (MSN/CW 1014-31).

James C. Woodworth (1839 – 1900) served in the 25th Massachusetts Infantry. He kept an 800-page diary of his wartime experience and collected miniature tintype portraits of soldiers in his company (an opening of which is this blog post’s lead image, MSN/CW 1014-15). After the war both McGrath and Woodworth attended soldiers’ reunions until the end of their lives; McGrath appeared at a monument dedication at Antietam in 1920, when he was in his early eighties, and two years after the end of World War I.

 


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Spotlight Exhibit: The Evgeniia Ginzburg and Antonina Axenova Collection

November 2015

This month’s spotlight exhibit features materials from the recently acquired archive of Evgeniia Ginzburg, the most famous woman prisoner of Stalin’s GULAG, and Antonina Axenova (Ginzburg’s adopted daughter).

MSE-REE_0021-109_1969a-cropped
Evgeniia Ginzburg in her Moscow apartment, 1968.

Evgeniia Solomonovna Ginzburg (1904-1977) was a journalist and teacher who wrote an acclaimed autobiographical account of her 18-year journey through the Stalin GULAG. Ginzbrug’s epic story, which has been translated into many languages, was published in English in two volumes: Journey into the Whirlwind (1967) and Within the Whirlwind (1981). To this day her work remains one of the most significant and widely-read women’s memoirs about life and death in the Stalin camps.

Born in the Kolyma camps in 1946, Antonina Pavlovna Axenova was adopted by Ginzburg in 1949. Axenova later became a theater and movie actress. She has also worked tirelessly collecting materials to preserve the memory and legacy of her mother.

The exhibit is timed to coincide with a visit to Notre Dame by Antonina Axenova and the filmmaker, Mario Damolin, who premiered his new documentary film about Evgeniia Ginzburg entitled Tightrope Walk on November 5 at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

More than 7 boxes constitute the archive which consists of documents, letters, photographs, and some manuscripts relating to Ginzburg’s arrest and her life in the camps as well as materials about Axenova’s professional life. The finding aid is near completion and will be accessible to researchers in the near future.

The exhibit is curated by Ken Kinslow, Manuscripts Processing Librarian, and is open to the public 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, through December 11, 2015.

Upcoming Events: November and December

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

Thursday, November 5th at 3:00pm | “The Meaning of the Troubles” – Ian McBride (King’s Cross London)
Thursday, November 5th at 4:30pm | “The Long War” – Ruán O’Donnell (University of Limerick)

Both of the November 5th events are co-sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Brian J. Logue Fund for Northern Ireland.

Thursday, November 12th at 4:30pm | “Dante’s Other Works” 2015: Eclogues – Jonathan Combs-Schilling (Ohio State) and Fiore andDetto d’Amore – Christopher Kleinhenz (Wisconsin-Madison)

Co-sponsored by the William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

 

Rare Books and Special Collections will be closed for Thanksgiving Break (November 26-27) and for Christmas and New Year’s Break (December 24, 2015, through January 3, 2016). We remain open for our regular hours during Reading Days and Exams, and welcome those looking for a quiet place to study.

Recent Acquisition: Rare Biography of Pope Paul IV

by Alan Krieger, Theology and Philosophy Librarian

BOO_003873354-000ad_eWe’ve recently acquired Antonio Caraccioli’s De vita Pauli Quarti Pont. Max.: collectanea historica (Coloniae Ubiorum, 1612), a rare biography of Pope Paul IV, whose pontificate spanned May 1555-August 1559.

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.

BOO_004173426-002Also 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.

 


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Spotlight Exhibit: Building the Yeats Collection

October 2015

This month’s spotlight exhibit is curated by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian, and features 6 volumes from 32 recently acquired books written by W. B. Yeats or associated with the Yeats family.

Spotlight-Oct-YeatsW. B. Yeats (1865-1939) was a leading figure in the Irish Literary Revival. One of the greatest poets of his time, he was also a major force behind Ireland’s national Theatre, the Abbey, and had a great and lasting impact on Irish culture and literature. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

Visiting professor John Kelly alerted the Library to the availability of the Yeats collection of American scholar and bibliographer Milton McClintock Gatch. In all, 32 volumes from the Gatch Collection have been added to the Hesburgh Library.

This adds significantly to the already rich Yeats Collection at the Hesburgh Library. Besides editions of books by W. B. Yeats, the Library holds a collection of Abbey Theatre Programmes, a Cuala Press collection (the printing press of the Yeats sisters) and a considerable collection of books illustrated by Jack B. Yeats.

The exhibit is open to the public 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, through October 30, 2015.

Making the Most of Your Visit to Special Collections

by James Cachey, Stacks Maintenance and Patron Services

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections is a public research facility that houses over 175,000 volumes of printed books and periodicals, manuscript holdings that range from medieval codices to contemporary collections, and a variety of other formats including printed ephemera, maps, newspapers, and numismatic and philatelic items. All of these materials are available for use upon request. In order to expedite access to using these materials, this post offers some guidelines to our potential patrons.

The majority of our collections are located in our basement storage stacks and need to be retrieved when a patron requests to use them. Because of this, it is helpful for both you and the department if you email your requests at least 24 hours before you plan to visit. However, if you are unable to email in advance, please expect up to a 20 minute wait for us to retrieve your materials. When you email your requests for materials, please include the full location for books found in the Location tab of the catalog record or the manuscript number for manuscripts from our website. This is important because our stacks are separated by type of material (Rare Books, Medium Rare, Manuscripts, and Ephemera) and by size (Jumbo, Oversize, Extra Large, Large, Small and Extra Small).

For example:
Special Collections, Special Coll. Rare Books Small – PT 2473 .G4 R4 1831
Special Collections (MR), Special Coll. – PQ 7797 .B635 A23 1964
Lat. b. 2
MSN/MN 8004
MSSP 2002-1-B

When you arrive at the department and if it’s your first time visiting, you will be asked to read our policy and procedures and to fill out some paperwork. Once you have registered, you will be asked to check your bags and jackets in our locker room. During this time, we will enter your information into our database and set up the items you requested in our reading room.

We hope this information will help you become familiar with how to use our collections and expedite the process of retrieving materials for you in order to maximize your time in our department.

 


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Recent Acquisition: A Calendar Leaf for May

by Dr. David T. Gura, Curator, Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts

MSS_Frag_I_33-1r
Notre Dame (Ind.), Univ. of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Library, Frag. I. 33

A newly acquired fragment (Frag. I. 33) provides a representative specimen of a historiated calendar from a fifteenth-century book of hours from France. The leaf contains the feast days of saints and other liturgical celebrations for the month of May. The entries are written in French using a double-graded system which invokes a deluxe presentation with a utilitarian element. Feasts written in gold are celebrated at a higher grade (e.g. as a solemnity) than the others. Those written in red and blue inks are celebrated at the same level, and the colors alternate purely for aesthetic purposes.

MSS_Frag_I_33-1r-inital
Dentelle initial KL marking the Kalends of May (first of the month). Frag. I. 33 (detail)

The outer border is decorated with black and gold rinceaux and contains acanthus leaves and other floral motifs. A similar piece border sprays from the initials KL in the upper inner margin (for Kalends, Latin for the first day of a month—hence our term ‘Calendar’).

The labors for the month of May are those of the nobility: courtly love and falconry. The lower margin features a miniature (below) which depicts both activities. The two lovers on horseback are engaged in courtship while on the hunt. The man holds a green branch, a symbol of fertility. A white hunting dog follows the couple closely on the ground, and the man’s falcon is perched on his left hand.

MSS_Frag_I_33-1r-illust

Though a product of biblioclasty from a period unknown, Frag. I. 33 still retains aspects which provide clues to its place of origin and location of use. For example, the Translation of the relics of St. Ouen celebrated on May 5 points towards the diocese of Rouen, which is located in the region of Upper Normandy. St. Ouen—also known as Audoin, Audoenus, or Dado—became bishop of Rouen in 641, and died in the last decades of the seventh century. A Gothic church bearing his name (the Basilica of St. Ouen) still stands in the city of Rouen.

 

Bibliography: David T. Gura, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College. Forthcoming 2016.

 


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Upcoming Events: October and early November

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

October 8th at 4:30pm | “Dante’s Other Works” 2015: Questio de aqua et terra – Theodore J. Cachey, Jr. (Notre Dame), and Authenticity and the other works – Albert R. Ascoli (Berkeley) — Co-sponsored by the William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

October 29 at 4:30pm | Research Seminar: “Italian Cinemas/Italian Histories” – Alan O’Leary (University of Leeds) — Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

November 5 at 3:00pm | “The Meaning of the Troubles” – Ian McBride (King’s Cross London)
November 5 at 4:30pm | “The Long War” – Ruán O’Donnell (University of Limerick)
Co-sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the Brian J. Logue Fund for Northern Ireland.

Vatican II Collection

by Jean McManus, Catholic Studies Librarian

Vatican_II_00032015 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.

Franck-Handout_v4

 


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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.