Upcoming Events: May and through the summer

Currently there are no events scheduled to be hosted this summer in Rare Books and Special Collections.

The exhibit In a Civilized Nation: Newspapers, Magazines and the Print Revolution in Nineteenth-Century Peru will run through the summer and close on August 10, 2018.

The current spotlight exhibits are Chaste, Choice and Chatty: Irish‑American Periodicals of the Nineteenth Century (April – August 2018) and Jesuit Science in 17th and 18th Century China (May 2018).

Rare Books and Special Collections is open
regular hours during the summer —
9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

RBSC will be closed Monday, May 28th, for Memorial Day and Wednesday, July 4th, for Independence Day.

Color Our Collections – End of Semester Stress-Relief

Today’s coloring sheet comes from Principio Fabricii’s Delle allusioni, imprese, et emblemi del. sig. Principio Fabricii da Teramo sopra la vita,opere, et attioni di Gregorio XIII pontefice massimo libri VI (Rome, 1588). Featured are the illustrations from pages 75 (ALPHA ET OMEGA) and 178 (INDIES LABORE VIRET). If you’d like to see more of the illustrations from this book, come visit us and ask to see the book in person — the call number is on the coloring page.

Good luck with the end of the semester, folks!

Recent Acquisition: Constitutions of the Augustinian Order

by Alan Krieger, Theology and Philosophy Librarian

Hesbugh Libraries has just acquired the first edition of the “constitutions” of the Order of St. Augustine (sometimes called the Hermits of St. Augustine), Constitutiones Ordinis Fratrum Eremitarum Sancti Augustini nuper recognitae et non nulla alia (Romae, 1551).

image of liturgical calendarThis fine volume contains not only the 53 guidelines comprising the Constitutions, but also the Rule of the Order with the commentary of Hugh of St. Victor (d. 1141). Following the Rule is a liturgical calendar, which has important feast days highlighted in red and enclosed by woodcut border strips.

image of musicClosing the volume are instructions for celebrating Mass, the Ordinary (5 everyday prayers: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei), 36 pages of music, and Onofrio Panvinio’s chronicle of the Order.

This volume is bound in 18th-century vellum over boards and is printed in Italic type. It is decorated with historiated initials and black and red woodcut borders.

 

According to the WorldCat database, there is only one other North American holding of this edition.


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Recent Acquisition: Defending Tycho Brahe’s cosmology

by Alan Krieger, Theology and Philosophy Librarian

Hesburgh Libraries have just acquired the first edition of an important work on astronomy by the early modern Jesuit polymath, Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), entitled Itinerarium exstaticum quo mundi opificium (Rome, 1656). The work generally defends the theories of Tycho Brahe, who combined elements of both the Ptolemaic and Copernican views of our solar system. Although the Jesuits had officially adopted Brahe’s cosmology by this time, the work apparently ran afoul of sixty-five theses listed in their own Ordinatio pro studiis superioribus, issued in 1651.

These difficulties led to a second edition being published in 1660 (Iter extaticum coeleste). This revision accomplished by Kircher’s friend, Gaspar Schott, contained twenty-seven pages of apologetics. Our Medieval Institute Library holds a 2004 facsimile of the Iter, so that now—with both editions available here at Notre Dame—scholarly comparisons of both works are possible.

 


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Recent Acquisition: Letter Collection from the Italian Renaissance

by Julie Tanaka, Curator of Rare Books

Bound in modern calf decorated with blind stamped ornaments is a collection of letters written by the sixteenth-century Italian writer, Paolo Giovio. Known as a historian, Giovio became one of the foremost and innovative letter writers of his time. He drew upon his historical knowledge of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries to recount in vivid detail contemporary events including the sack of Rome, the election of Pope Hadrian VI, and the Marquis of Pescara’s troops plundering his native home, Como. He made his biting political commentary about these events all too clear in the letters contained in this volume. Giovio practically turned the art of letter writing into a new genre; his letters in many ways were a precursor to journalism.

Giovio, Paolo. Lettere volgari di mons. Paolo Giovio da Como, vescovo di Nocera. Raccolte per messer Lodovico Domenichi. Et nuouamente stampate con la tauola. Venice: Giovanni Battista et Melchior Sessa, 1560.

 

This collection of letters, titled Lettere volgari di mons, is the first edition published by Lodovico Domenichi. It bears the publisher’s dedication to Matteo Montenegro, a Genoese nobleman, dated April 1, 1560. There are annotations in two hands throughout and also a printed bookplate bearing the name of William Wickham.

Paolo Giovio (1483-1552), a native of Como, began studying Greek language and literature in Milan but moved to Pavia within a year to pursue medical science and philosophy, earning his degree from the University of Padua in 1511. Fleeing an outbreak of plague, Giovio settled in Rome around 1516, where he wrote the work for which he is best known, Historiarum sui temporis (History of His Time). Among his other notable works are De Romanis piscibvs (On Roman Fish) and Descriptio Britanniae, Scotiae, Hyberniae, et Orchadum (Description of Britain, Scotland, Ireland, and the Orkneys).

Recent Acquisition: Northern Ireland — A Collection on Peace and Reconciliation

by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian

Ronald Wells, emeritus professor at Calvin College, Michigan, is author of a number of books and articles on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. In the course of over two decades of research, he gathered together a collection of material on the work of groups, particularly religious groups, working towards peace and reconciliation. Many of the materials are ephemeral—newsletters and communications on the activities of those groups—and the collection is a valuable source for understanding the work of those groups, the environment in which they worked, and the obstacles they faced.

In 2017, Dr. Wells donated his research materials to the Hesburgh Libraries. The collection is arranged mainly according to organization and accompanied by Dr. Wells’ notes on each group, and it extends to five boxes of papers, mainly print ephemera, and a number of pamphlets and books.

The materials on the Clonard-Fitzroy Fellowship, one of the groups represented, provide insight into the relationship between a Catholic monastery and a Presbyterian congregation, which came about because of the friendship between the Rev. Dr. Ken Newell of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church and Fr. Gerry Reynolds of Clonard Monastery. Included are sermon texts, press releases, programs, newsletters, letters, and newspaper clippings.

Copies of four typed transcripts of sermons, displayed overlapping against a black background.

The Wells Collection includes also materials from The Gospel in Conflict Program of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, The Hard Gospel Project of the Church of Ireland, the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation, Healing Through Remembering, the Evangelical Contribution on Northern Ireland (ECONI), and The Consultative Group on the Past.

The print materials of these groups provide a documentary glimpse into their work and the issues they faced. The well-produced publications of the Healing Through Remembering project trace the ideas and work of this organization from the initial event that led to its founding, the 1999 visit to Northern Ireland of Dr. Alex Boraine, Deputy Chairman of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Committee.

Included in the collection are pamphlets and reports.  Many are on peace and reconciliation, and some are publications of a more propagandistic nature, such as Ian Paisley’s address, ‘The Ulster Problem’,  delivered at Bob Jones University in South Carolina in 1972.

Ian R. K. Paisley. The Ulster Problem. Spring 1972. A Discussion of the True Situation in Northern Ireland. Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 1972. 10 p.

Books in the collection include books on Northern Ireland and also on peacebuilding in general, as in the example shown here.

Tristan Anne Borer, John Darby and Siobhán McEvoy-Levy. Peacebuilding After Peace Accords: The Challenges of Violence, Truth, and Youth.  University of Notre Dame Press, 2006. 105 p.

In this book’s preface Dr. Scott Appleby describes the project directed by John Darby, professor at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies until his death in 2012, to study peace accords and their implementation. The project mentioned in the book, the Peace Accords Matrix database, is now available online at https://peaceaccords.nd.edu.

To learn more about the collection, please consult the online finding aid. Books and pamphlets which are cataloged separately may be identified by searching in the library catalog for ‘Ronald Wells Collection on Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland’.

Recent Acquisition: A Christian Archaeologist’s work on Medieval Mosaics in Churches of Rome

Rossi, Giovanni Battista de. Musaici cristiani e saggi dei pavimenti delle chiese di Roma anteriori al secolo XV: Tavole cromo-litografiche con cenni storici. Roma: Libreria Spithöver de Guglielmo Haass, 1899.

by Marsha Stevenson, Visual Arts Librarian

Giovanni Battista de Rossi (1822-1894) was a distinguished scholar of early Christian archaeology. Born in Rome, he attended the Collegio Romano and La Sapienza, earning a doctorate. After finishing his studies he was appointed scriptor at the Vatican Library, where he cataloged manuscripts. In addition to his expertise in archaeology, de Rossi was skilled in epigraphy and was an authority on the topography of ancient and medieval Rome. His studies of the apse mosaics in Roman churches continue those of the seventeenth-century scholars Jean l’Heureux and Giovanni Giustino Ciampi. He travelled widely, and was acquainted with the foremost European scholars of his day.

De Rossi was a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Antiquarian Society. A devout Catholic, he heard Mass every day. As his health failed, Leo XIII gave him use of an apartment at Castel Gandolfo, where de Rossi died in 1894.

Detail from Plate 10 showing the winged lion of St Mark.

De Rossi published a number of works in the second half of the nineteenth century, among which is this recent acquisition by the Hesburgh Libraries. The Musaici cristiani e saggi dei pavimenti delle chiese di Roma anteriori al secolo XV [“Christian Mosaics and Specimens of the Floors of the Churches of Rome Prior to the 16th Century”] originally was published in 27 fascicles between 1872 and 1896. The Libraries’ set is bound into two folio volumes, the first being the text and the second featuring 53 plates of illustrations. William Jackson of Aberdeen, Scotland was responsible for its binding. This set was presented to a monastery library by Lady Cecil Kerr (1883-1941), a Catholic author who wrote historical and devotional works.

Plate 10: Abside di Sta Pudenziana

The illustrations in the second volume are fine examples of chromolithography, which was a technique developed in the nineteenth century for the mass production of color images. The process of chromolithography used multiple blocks or stones, each of a different color, which were printed successively to develop each image. The Libraries’ copy includes some highlights in gold.

Plate 13: Arco di Placidia nella Basilica di S. Paolo e Frammenti della Medesima Basilica
Plate 18: Abside di Sta. Agnese fuori le mura

 


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Recent Acquisition: Executing Justice in England

Hesburgh Libraries has recently acquired an interesting work from the Reformation period, De iustitia Britannica, siue Anglica, quae contra Christi martyres continenter exercetur (Ingolstadii, 1584).

This title has been variously attributed to Cardinal William Allen, Robert Parsons and Nicholas Sander, but seems to actually be the work of an unidentified author who explicitly states that it is intended as a supplement to Allen’s A briefe historie of the martyrdom of xii priests (Rheims, 1582). The title clearly references—and is a response to—Iustitia Britannica (Londini,1584), the Latin translation of William Cecil Burghley’s The execution of justice in England, which defended the execution of Edmund Campion and other Catholics in 1581.

This acquisition is the first and only edition of the work; we have identified only six other North American holdings.

A spooky story for Halloween: The Goblin Spider

Ancient Japan, samurai warriors, and your casual spider—casual, that is, until nightfall. According to ancient Japanese legend, these ordinary spiders would morph as dark night enveloped the landscape. Menacing pincers, bulging eyes, and even taking on human form to deceive unsuspecting victims—like the samurai in the tale below—these goblin spiders wreaked terror.

Lafcadio Hearn brings this ancient tale, one of many in the Japanese tradition of ghost stories known as kaidan, to English readers. The Goblin Spider is lavishly illustrated in Takejiro Hasegawa’s five-volume set of crepe-paper books. These brightly colored illustrations are hand-printed using wood blocks on textured pages.

Hearn, Lafcadio. The Goblin Spider. Kobunsha’s Japanese Fairy Tale Series. Second series. No. 1. Tokyo: T. Hasegawa, 1899.

Happy Halloween to you and yours from all of us in Notre Dame’s Special Collections!

Halloween 2016 RBSC post: Ghosts in the Stacks

Wisdom of Ancient Japan: A Mountain of Skulls

. . . “I cannot,” cried the pilgrim, trembling and clinging;—”I dare not look beneath! Before me and about me there is nothing but skulls of men.”

“And yet, my son,” said the Bodhisattva, laughing softly,—”and yet you do not know of what this mountain is made. . . .”

“A mountain of skulls it is,” responded the Bodhisattva. “But know, my son, that all of them ARE YOUR OWN! Each has at some time been the nest of your dreams and delusions and desires. Not every one of them is the skull of any other being. All,—all without exception,—have been yours, in the billions of your former lives.”

“Fragment,” In Ghostly Japan, 6

***

This image and warning drawn from mythical Japan resonated all too well with the author, who himself had lived many lives.

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), born in western Greece on the island of Lefkada, was the son of an Irish military surgeon and a mother native to the Greek island of Kythira. Raised and educated in Ireland, Britain, and France, Hearn emigrated to the United States when he was nineteen, where he held menial jobs before becoming a translator and journalist.

In 1890, Harper’s offered Hearn the opportunity to go to Japan to write about the country’s efforts to modernize. Shortly after arriving, Hearn became enthralled with Japan—the atmosphere, the cities and towns, the magical-looking trees, the temples, the people. He recorded his first impressions in series of essays and, after marrying the daughter of a samurai family, Hearn took the Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo, and immersed himself in the culture of old Japan, looking for the “roots” of his beloved new home.

A newspaper reporter suddenly made professor, Hearn was appointed in 1895 as Chair of English literature at the Imperial University of Tokyo. During the next eight years, Hearn authored four works that reveal his deep understanding of and immersion in Japanese culture, religion, and literature. These works included Exotics and Retrospectives (1898), Shadowings (1900), A Japanese Miscellany (1901), and the book featured here, In Ghostly Japan (1899).