We congratulate the following scholars who won this award in 2023, and we hope they will enjoy, as well as benefit from, their time in the Hesburgh Libraries.
The Keough-Naughton Library Research Award in Irish Studies, a grant designed to assist scholars who travel to use the Irish collections at the Hesburgh Libraries, was inaugurated in 2018. The annual competitive award is sponsored by the Keough-Naughton Institute of Irish Studies and ND International.
Dr. Seán Doherty, a lecturer at the School of Theology, Philosophy and Music, Dublin City University, is a composer and musicologist.
His project is ‘Patterns in 1001 Gems: The O’Neill Collection of Traditional Irish Music.’
Seán expects to visit in the fall and will work closely with the O’Neill Collection, the personal library of Francis O’Neill, the Chicago Chief of Police whose published collections of Irish traditional dance music have played a large role in the music of Ireland.
Dr. Anne Jamison, Senior Lecturer in Literary Studies at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University, Australia.
Anne is a feminist literary critic with a research focus on nineteenth-century Ireland and also on Australian women’s literature. She has published widely on Somerville and Ross as well as on other Irish women writers.
Her project is ‘Irish Women’s Fairy Tale and Fantasy Writing for Children, 1800-1935.’
She expects to visit this summer, and to make great use of the Irish literature collections throughout the Hesburgh Library, focusing on works by Winifred Letts, Rosa Mulholland and Frances Browne in our Rare Books and Special Collections.
Annabel Barry is at the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is a PhD candidate.
Rare Books and Special Collections recently acquired a small archive that documents the Bonus Army—a Depression-era protest by World War veterans and their families. Lonore Kent (1907-1993), a journalist living in Washington DC at that time, created and assembled these sources.
In 1924, Congress had rewarded World War soldiers for their service with certificates of investment that would be payable by the government in 1945. By 1932, however, many veterans, like millions of Americans, were desperate after nearly three years of the nation’s disastrous economic depression. Former soldiers began to demand that President Herbert Hoover pay out the promised veteran bonus immediately, given the national (and global) crisis. The men’s plea caught the attention of people who thought the federal government should be doing more to address the economic depression and people’s real need. By the spring of 1932 legislation began moving through the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee.
Some veterans, in a determined effort to put the case directly to their Congressional representatives, embarked for Washington. In early May, 300 former soldiers left Portland, Oregon, bound for the capital. Quickly dubbed the Bonus Army, they were joined by a trickle and then a river of veterans and their families nationwide. By June 40,000 Bonus Army marchers were in Washington; some huddled in makeshift shelter amid construction sites downtown, but the largest concentration of marchers settled on a muddy stretch of the Anacostia River, in an encampment of thousands of men, women, and children.
On June 15, 1932, the House passed enabling legislation, but the Senate blocked the bill two days later. This spared Hoover the embarrassment of vetoing it, which he had promised to do, citing budgetary constraints. Most Bonus Army members stayed put, hoping for some form of government relief. By the end of July, as Hoover looked to his re-election prospects in November, the President ordered city officials to disperse the Bonus Army. When some squatters resisted, Hoover called in US Army General Douglas MacArthur to restore order. MacArthur exceeded his instructions, however, using armed troops, tanks, and cavalry to drive Bonus Army families out of their shacks and tents, and burning the Anacostia River encampment to the ground.
Lonore Kent’s collection offers a perspective on MacArthur’s violent overreach on the night of July 28 and the charred remains the next day. In a letter to her parents, Kent described how she used her press pass to get onto the Anacostia Bridge between Maryland and Washington, where a line of soldiers—bayonets drawn—fired tear gas at the evicted and homeless Bonus Army to keep them from crossing the bridge and entering the city. Beyond the soldiers, Kent saw the Bonus Army camp in flames.
Kent drew a map of where she was that night—in relation to the soldiers, the encampment, and what she saw. (She identifies the river as the Potomac, probably short for the “Eastern Branch of the Potomac,” commonly-used for the Anacostia River.) The next day she returned to the burned-out site and documented some of the destruction. Kent reflected on the Bonus Army, noting, “Probably the granting of the bonus is unsound economically, but you can’t expect people to be impressed with such arguments when they are starving.”
Hoover’s mistreatment of the Bonus Army and general mishandling of veterans’ requests for economic assistance fatally soured the nation on his administration. The brutal ousting of the Bonus Army came to symbolize Hoover’s callous indifference to Americans’ suffering and his inability to govern amidst a national economic disaster. In the fall, Franklin Delano Roosevelt decisively defeated Hoover and implemented federal-level economic and social reforms to address the magnitude of the Great Depression. The Bonus Army, although defeated in 1932, re-formed and continued to press for an early payout, which Congress granted in 1936.
Rare Books and Special Collections is closed today (May 29th) for Memorial Day and will be closed on July 4th for Independence Day. Otherwise, RBSC will be open regular hours this summer — 9:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.
During June and July the blog will shift to our summer posting schedule, with posts every other Monday rather than every week. We will resume weekly publication on August 7th.
“At the end of the 1520’s and especially in the course of the 1530s, the Italian market offered a wide range of anonymous books in the vernacular that were merely translations, often partial, of Lutheran texts disguised behind seemingly innocent titles… To the complete absence of reaction by controversialists … there had been one significant exception… Giovanni of Fano offered the uneducated reader a Luther skilled in controversy, a violently anti-Roman, systematic theologian and subverter of tradition, presenting, together with a ‘clearer notice’ of the fundamentals of Catholic doctrine, a fully detailed picture of Lutheran errors.”
The first chapter of the work treats the handling of all kinds of heretics. Fano subsequently introduces his lay reader to the usual anti-Lutheran responses found in Latin treatises of the time: on the unity of the Church; St. Peter and the Apostolic Succession; on faith, Confession, the Eucharist, indulgences, Purgatory, idolatry, prayer, and finally on the celibacy of the clergy.
We have located only one other North American institutional holding of this title.
Rare Books and Special Collections recently acquired limited runs of two American periodicals from the 1940s, New York’s View and The Texas Spectator. Each captures part of the zeitgeist of the 1940s, war-time to peace-time.
View, a quarterly magazine published in New York City, covered the avant-garde and surrealist art scene from 1940 through 1947. The publication drew American artists—like Georgia O’Keeffe, Man Ray, and Alexander Calder—and also featured European artists, many of whom were wartime refugees. These included Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, André Masson, and Marc Chagall, and writer André Breton.
As shaped by the editorial hands of artist and writer Charles Henri Ford and author and film critic Parker Tyler, View unabashedly popularized surrealism in the US while also challenging the European movement’s sexual conventionalism.
The Texas Spectator newspaper, published weekly in Austin, maintained a progressive, sardonic eye on Texas politics between 1945 and 1948. The paper featured reporting by liberal journalist and novelist Hart Stilwell, and western writer J. Frank Dobie.
The newspaper’s motto—from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline—conveyed its raison d’etre: “Fear no more the frown o’ the great . . . Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke.” It championed civil rights, education, and labor, and scrutinized the state’s powerful oil and gas companies and their political surrogates.
At first glance View and The Texas Spectator’s differences seem obvious. The former promoted a cultural movement propelled by elements of surprise and spontaneity, while the former engaged in a David vs. Goliath struggle over political power. Yet they share an optimism about the possibility of social and political change for a better future.
The Henry Grattan Pamphlet Collection, purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries some twenty years ago, deserves to be highlighted in a blogpost.
Henry Grattan (1746-1820), was a prominent Irish politician, closely associated with the Irish parliament so that from 1782 until the Act of Union of 1800, it was known as ‘Grattan’s Parliament.’
The collection of books and pamphlets, bound together in nine volumes, comprise part of his personal library. These nine volumes became separated from the rest of the Grattan Library which was sold at auction in 1888. These volumes were discovered some hundred years later in a country house in Ireland.
The thematically-arranged volumes are handsomely bound with a title on each spine and a list of contents inside, hand-written in ink by Henry Grattan and another person. Many of the publications also have marginal pencil marks and some have annotations.
The volumes are as follows:
1. Ireland. Free Trade & Independence 2. Ireland. 3. Ireland. 1798 4. Ireland. Catholics 5. Ireland. Catholics 6. Ireland. Catholics 7. Ireland. Union 8. Ireland. Union 9. Ireland. Union
The fourth volume shown here has the usual listing of contents written on the inside cover, and this volume also has Henry Grattan’s name inscribed in ink.
Grattan’s careful reading of some of the publications may be inferred from pencil marks in the margins. In this example, the penciled annotations appear to have been cut when the pamphlet was trimmed for binding.
While the individual pamphlets are rare in libraries, digitized copies of various editions are available. Therefore, it is the provenance and the selection and grouping together of these publications that makes them so interesting, as part of the working library of an Irish politician.
The current spotlight exhibits are Language and Materiality in Late Medieval England (February – early May 2023) and Hagadah shel Pesaḥ le-zekher ha-Shoʼah – Pessach Haggadah in memory of the Holocaust (April – May 2023).
Rare Books and Special Collections is open regular hours during the summer — 9:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.
RBSC will be closed Monday, May 29th, for Memorial Day and Tuesday, July 4th, for Independence Day.
This week Special Collections highlights an online exhibition created by Notre Dame students in their fall 2022 class, Stories of Power and Diversity: Inside Museums, Archives and Collecting. The exhibition, Hidden Depths: Resurfacing the Overlooked and Underrepresented, brings together materials from the University of Notre Dame’s campus repositories–Rare Books and Special Collections, the Snite Museum of Art, and University Archives–selected and interpreted by the students.
The items displayed here vary in format, time period, medium, style, and content–abstract painting, sculpture, installation art, photographs, and collections of historic documents–and are created by people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. Their selection reflects the themes of the class, which were to explore the history of collecting in Europe and North America and some of the field’s major questions, including, what has been left out? Where are there gaps and silences in collections and archives?
Eight students applied a curatorial gaze to these materials, to examine how they do and do not intersect with themes of diversity. While these curators recognize the diverse identities of the creators of these objects, the showcases comprising this exhibition point viewers to hidden depths. They ask that we consider how identities are nuanced through regional conditions, educational background, economic forces, and personal trauma. And just as importantly, the curators of the show consider how identity and diversity are not always directly linked in one’s art or expression. They also demand that consumers of these pieces of art and historical sources work to apprehend the complexities behind their creation. By extension, they suggest that we take a careful second look in other contexts, beyond the online gallery or the museum.
This exhibition offers interpretation, but it also asks questions, and challenges viewers even as it invites them to connect with holdings in the University of Notre Dame’s campus repositories. Information about the student curators and their experiences in this course can be found in the personal statements at the end of each showcase.
Hidden Depths showcases ways in which students engaged with special collections materials over a semester-long project. The result is a display that uncovers, refocuses and takes an imperative second look.
Hesburgh Libraries has just acquired a copy of an important and rare early modern title in Catholic theology with an interesting provenance. Jean Garet (d. 1571) wrote a number of works aimed mainly at exposing the doctrinal errors of Protestantism and illustrating the truth of Catholic teachings; his works were highly esteemed during his lifetime and he was read widely throughout the seventeenth century. This work, De sanctorum invocatione liber (S. Manilius, 1570), deals with the efficacy of the intercession of the saints.
This copy is of particular interest as it was owned by the English Benedictine Priory of St. Edmund King and Martyr in Paris during the seventeenth century and is recorded in their library catalogue of 1702. Benedictine monasticism in England effectively ended when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries between 1536 and 1540; however, it lived on through the various colleges and religious houses which were established on the continent. St. Edmund’s priory was founded in 1615 when monks from the English Benedictine priory in Lorraine arrived in Paris to establish a house of studies; in 1619, the community joined the revived English Benedictine Congregation which was formally established that year.
After a number of moves, the community settled in the Rue Saint Jacques (1632) where the monks were to remain until the French Revolution. Their library grew in size and importance from that date, given that the monastery was a house of studies. The first complete catalogue of the library is that of Dom Benet Weldon (1674-1713); it was finished in 1702. The catalogue is important for bibliographical research today because the library of St. Edmund’s priory was dispersed during the French Revolution; this work is recorded in Weldon’s catalogue with shelfmark 7 E 7. The entry is written in Weldon’s hand, indicating that it was present in the library in 1702 and was not a later addition.
Only 117 books—out of a total of approximately 5,800—from the library at St. Edmund’s priory have been traced, and until now all of the identified copies are in institutional libraries in Europe or the United Kingdom. Thus, this is the first book from St. Edmund’s (and the first copy of the work itself) to be held by a North American institution.
The exhibition displays materials from Rare Book and Special Collections that place Mike Curato’s novel into social and historical context. The show includes sources about the Boy Scouts, Catholic pamphlets on contemporary devotional practices—including images of the sacred heart, which figure prominently in Flamer—Catholic pamphlets about pastoral care of LGBTQ people, and a selection of LGBTQ documents on sports and humor. Each section explores themes in the novel that may resonate with readers. We hope the show will encourage discussion of this award-winning book.