Upcoming Events: January and early February

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

Thursday, Jan. 26 at 5:00pm | The Italian Research Seminar: “John Paul II’s canonization policy: the Italian case” — Valentina Ciciliot (Notre Dame). Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

A new exhibit opens January 16: “Preserving the Steadfastness of your Faith”: Catholics in the Early American Republic. This exhibition displays examples of American Catholicism expressed through (mostly) printed texts from 1783 through the early 1840s. They include the earliest Catholic bibles published by Mathew Carey, and editions of Thomas à Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ used and produced in the United States; polemical pamphlets with sexual and political subtexts that flew back and forth across the Atlantic; no-holds-barred dueling sectarian newspapers; books and pamphlets created in reaction to mob violence against the Ursuline convent school near Boston; and official reports that mapped the Church’s growth and growing pains. The exhibition is curated by Rachel Bohlmann and Jean McManus.

Continuing on display during the month are the two spotlight exhibits: Birds! Winged Wonders in Naturalists’ Eyes and The Nathaniel Rogers Sermon Notebook, ca. 1634-1645

Spotlight Exhibit: Birds! Winged Wonders in Naturalists’ Eyes

Buffon falcon pl13
Buffon, Histoire naturelle, pl. 13

Revolutions in politics, thought, science, society, and art swept through Western Europe during the century and a half that stretched from the 1680s to the early 1800s, the period often referred to as the Enlightenment. Significant advances were made in the natural sciences. Previously investigated within the presuppositions and methods of theology, the study of nature was now guided by new methods of scientific inquiry. Examining specimens and observing plants and wildlife in their native environments allowed a new generation of natural scientists to compose scientifically verifiable accounts of the natural world exemplified by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon’s Histoire naturelle and Mark Catesby’s Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands.

Image of Lesser Redpole of Thomas Bewick
Bewick, History of British Birds, 200

Emerging from this work was ornithology, the study of birds. Birds captured the interest of eighteenth century society; they were an important food source, used as symbols in armorial designs, and were a source of amusement for hunters, artists, and onlookers. This new discipline brought more accuracy and realism to descriptions of birds. Personality traits such as a goose keeping careful watch and having the power to understand wisdom as the Roman naturalist, Pliny the Elder, records yield to physical characteristics such as Mark Catesby’s description of the white-bill woodpecker’s bill being “white as ivory, three inches long, and channelled from the basis to the point.” Books about birds now brought empirical knowledge and life-like illustrations to a new audience. Notable in this effort are Thomas Bewick and his early field guide, A History of Birds, compact and written for the general bird enthusiast.

The exhibit is open to the public.

On Display
December 2, 2016 – January 31, 2017
9am-5pm, Monday-Friday

Location
Special Collections
Hesburgh Library, room 102
University of Notre Dame

Come see other natural histories and books on ornithology in Special Collections including:

Alexander Wilson, American Ornithology (1870)

Dumont de Sainte-Croix, Ornithologie (1816)

Katy Dwyer and Jody Arthur, A Field Guide to Irregular Birds (2009)

Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor of Ireland, The Natural History of Remarkable Birds (1821)

Jacob Henry, Studer Studer’s Popular Ornithology (1881)

 

For more information about the exhibit, please contact Julie Tanaka, Curator of Rare Books.


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Spotlight Exhibit: Plumb Crazy—Dante and Music

October 2016

1516i-DanteThis small exhibit highlights selections from the Hesburgh Libraries’ collections of musical adaptations of Dante’s works. On view are historical examples of compositions relating to Dante’s Divina Commedia and Vita Nuova. While Dante witnessed musical adaptations of his texts composed already in his own lifetime, they hit a high point in the mid-19th century when the author’s popularity surged in both Italian and translation readership.

This spotlight exhibit will be visible from October 3-28 in Rare Books & Special Collections on the ground floor of Hesburgh Library. The exhibit is presented in conjunction with Journeying La Divina Commedia: Desert, Discovery, Song, an interdisciplinary musical project, which will be performed at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Notre Dame on October 8-9, 2016.

For more information about the exhibit or collections in this area, please contact Tracy Bergstrom, Curator of the Zahm Dante and Early Italian Imprints Collection.

Spotlight Exhibit: Constructing Shakespeare

January 2016

The posthumous First Folio printing of William Shakespeare’s plays in 1623 represents a landmark development in the history of English drama, rescuing some of the bard’s works that would have been lost forever. The earlier editions that do exist, however, differ markedly from the First Folio, and there is little evidence that Shakespeare oversaw their publication. What, then, is the “real” text?

The Shakespeare we know emerges from hundreds of years of this debate. Current holdings and recent acquisitions in Rare Books and Special Collections shed light on the discussion as it developed into the nineteenth century. Selections from the Second and Third Folio accompany printings by some of Shakespeare’s earliest critical editors, including the famous poet Alexander Pope and the moral censor Thomas Bowdler.

This month’s spotlight exhibit is curated by Daniel Johnson, English Literature and Digital Humanities Librarian, and accompanies the special traveling exhibit “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library.” The exhibit is open to the public 9:00am to 7:00pm Monday through Friday and noon to 5:00pm on weekends, through January 29, 2016 (extended hours due to the “First Folio!” exhibit).

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.

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.

Spotlight Exhibit: The Sixth Centenary Festival of Dante

Fall 2015

1516i-DanteHappy Birthday, Dante! In May of 1865, the city of Florence honored the 600th birthday of Dante Alighieri with a lavish three-day festival that included public celebrations of the author’s works, concerts, and exhibitions.

Our current spotlight exhibit displays some of the literary and commemorative publications released in conjunction with this important festival. The exhibit runs concurrently to the special lecture series “Dante’s Other Works” 2015: A Celebration of the 750th Anniversary of Dante’s Birth sponsored by the William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

The exhibit is curated by Tracy Bergstrom, Curator, Zahm Dante and Early Italian Imprints Collection, and is open to the public 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, through December 18, 2015.

Spotlight Exhibit: Photograph Albums of Travel to Cuba, ca. 1900

August-September 2015

Come visit the current spotlight exhibit curated by David Dressing, Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies Librarian.

Photograph Albums of Travel to Cuba, ca. 1900Maintain that summer travel state of mind with a visit to our August Spotlight Exhibit, “Photograph Albums of Travel to Cuba, ca. 1900.” The recently acquired collection features two albums, the Liebee Family Cuba Photo Album and the Gómez Souvenir Album. The two albums illustrate the manner in which late nineteenth-century travelers memorialized their journeys through photography.

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