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.