Recent Acquisition: Mini Book about John Carroll

Francis J. Weber provides a glimpse into the life of John Carroll, the first Jesuit bishop and archbishop of the United States and father of Georgetown University, In John Carroll and the Vernacular Liturgy, also summarizes Carroll’s views about vernacular liturgy.

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Weber’s book is a limited edition miniature book. Special Collections copy is number 20 in an edition of 135. The book is 5.6 x 5.5 cm and is bound in paper boards covered with gold foil and a black leather spine. Affixed to the frontispiece is a postage stamp issued in 1989 by the Vatican to commemorate the bicentennial of the establishment of the Catholic hierarchy of the United States. The text is printed on Neenah Classic paper using a Chandler and Price Pilot Press.

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.


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Upcoming Events: December and early January

Rare Books and Special Collections will be closed for Christmas and New Year’s Break (December 23, 2016, through January 2, 2017). In addition, RBSC will be closed December 6, 11:00am to 2:00pm, and December 12, 2:30-5:00pm, due to Christmas celebrations.

We otherwise remain open for our regular hours during Reading Days and Exams, and welcome those looking for a quiet place to study.

The exhibits during December are:

Ingenious Exercises: Sports and the Printed Book in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 | What was the nature of sports in the early modern era, before the widespread preoccupation with rules, records, and Reeboks? And what kinds of books did people write about them? “Ingenious Exercises: Sports and the Printed Book in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800,” addresses precisely these questions. This exhibit of volumes from the Joyce Sports Collection is open to visitors 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday.

Spotlight Exhibits: Birds! Winged Wonders in Naturalists’ Eyes and The Nathaniel Rogers Sermon Notebook, ca. 1634-1645

Recent Acquisition: Cultural Revolution novel

by Hye-jin Juhn, East Asian Studies Librarian

Zhu Jian’s Qing shi bao, a Cultural Revolution novel published in 1976, includes illustrations by Chen Danqing that are examples of Cultural Revolution art, and also of the artist’s works in that time period as an “educated youth” in rural areas. Approximately one year later, Chen completed his famous painting “Writing a Letter to Chairman Mao,” and traveled to Tibet where he got inspired for his Tibet series.

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Thanksgiving Humor by Mark Twain

Recalling his youth growing up in Hannibal, Missouri, Clemens recounts hunting with his uncle and cousins. A lousy shot, the young Clemens wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of deceitful mamma-turkey. Read on to find out what happened.

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Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910), better known as Mark Twain, authorized Harper’s Magazine to print his “Hunting the Deceitful Turkey.” This short piece was an excerpt from the manuscript he had been working on, “My Autobiography (Random Extracts of It).”

Recent Acquisition: Pre-Reformation pamphlet attacking concubinage

by Alan Krieger, Theology and Philosophy Librarian

boo_004465051-01rHesburgh Libraries has just purchased a rare pre-Reformation pamphlet, Avisamentum de concubinariis non absolvendis (Strasbourg, 1507), that features a scathing attack on the practice of concubinage (consorting with prostitutes) among the clergy. Usually attributed to Jakob Wimpfeling, a humanist in the circle of Erasmus, this is an interesting example of the role print played in the disseminating works that detailed clerical abuses in the years leading up to the Reformation.

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Hesburgh’s copy is rubricated throughout and contains marginal annotations in two different contemporary hands. There are only four other known North American holdings of this edition.

 


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Upcoming Events: November and early December

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

Thursday, Nov. 10 at 5:00pm | The Italian Research Seminar: “The Dynamic Psyche: Italian Pragmatism and Fascism” — Francesca Bordogna (Notre Dame). Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

The current exhibits during November are:

Ingenious Exercises: Sports and the Printed Book in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800 | What was the nature of sports in the early modern era, before the widespread preoccupation with rules, records, and Reeboks? And what kinds of books did people write about them? “Ingenious Exercises: Sports and the Printed Book in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800,” addresses precisely these questions. This exhibit of volumes from the Joyce Sports Collection is open to visitors 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday.

Spotlight Exhibits: Two Irish Bibles and The Nathaniel Rogers Sermon Notebook, ca. 1634-1645

 

Rare Books and Special Collections will be closed for Thanksgiving Break (November 24-27) and for Christmas and New Year’s Break (December 23, 2016, through January 2, 2017). We remain open for our regular hours during Reading Days and Exams, and welcome those looking for a quiet place to study.

Ghosts in the Stacks

by Sara Weber, Special Collections Digital Project Specialist

From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Traditional Scottish Prayer

“What do you have in Special Collections?” is a question we are asked quite regularly. While we don’t have any ghosts (that we know of), we do have books that contain ghost stories. Whether a central character intended to frighten the reader or a convenient plot device, ghosts appear in a variety of works of fiction. Listed here are a selection of such stories to be found in our rare books.

One of the earliest recorded ghost stories is that told by Pliny the Younger in his Letters, written in the early 2nd century AD. He repeats a story he has heard told of an Athenian phantom “in the form of an old man . . . with a long beard and bristling hair” [Book 7, Letter 27]. boo_000525765-178_179 boo_000525765-180_181

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” from The sketch book of Geoffrey Crayon, gent, by Washington Irving (London: J. Murray, 1821).

“The Ghost and the Bonesetter” by Sheridan Le Fanu, first published in 1838 in the Dublin University Magazine (Dublin, Ireland: William Curry, Jun., and Co.; and London: Simpkin and Marshall).

A Christmas Carol (London: Chapman & Hall, 1843) and The haunted man and the ghost’s bargain (London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848), both by Charles Dickens. Although a tradition that has nearly disappeared, telling ghost stories on Christmas Eve was popular during the Victorian era.

A night in a haunted house: a tale of facts, by Edward Tracy Turnerelli (London: Ward & Lock, 1859).

“The Phantom Coach” by Amelia Edwards, first published December 1864 in the Extra Christmas Number “Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy” issue of All the year Round, a Victorian periodical edited by Charles Dickens (London: Chapman and Hall, 1859-1895). Many 19th century ghost stories were initially published in magazines.boo_000809099-v12-18641201-34_35 boo_000809099-v12-18641201-36_37 boo_000809099-v12-18641201-38_39 boo_000809099-v12-18641201-40_41

Irish wonders: the ghosts, giants, pookas, demons, leprechauns, banshees, fairies, witches, widows, old maids, and other marvels of the Emerald Isle, by David Rice McAnally (London: Ward, Lock, 1888).

Some Chinese ghosts (Boston: Roberts brothers, 1887) and In ghostly Japan (Boston: Little, Brown and Co. 1899), both by Lafcadio Hearn.l_hearn-covers

“Tom Daly and the nut-eating ghost” from Tales of the fairies and of the ghost world, collected from the oral tradition in South-west Munster, by Jeremiah Curtin (London: D. Nutt, 1895). boo_001924558-054_055 boo_001924558-056_057

M. R. James’s Ghost stories of an antiquary (London: Penguin Books, 1937) and More ghost stories (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1959). James’s first and second collections of ghost stories, these were originally published in 1904 and 1911, respectively. penguins-mrjames

Gods, goblins and ghosts; the weird legends of the Far East, by Bertha Lum (Philadelphia and London: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1922). 

Madam Crowl’s ghost: and other tales of mystery, by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, edited by M. R James (London: G. Bell and sons, ltd., 1923). 

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

P.S. If you’re curious about ghost stories here on campus, check out Notre Dame Magazine’s article “Haunt thee, Notre Dame?” from the Autumn 2009 issue.

Recent Acquisition: Leaf from a 13th-century illuminated Flemish Psalter-Hours

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

Frag. I. 36 is a single leaf from a type of devotional manuscript known as a Psalter-Hours. As its name implies, the book contained a Psalter as well as the Hours of the Virgin accompanied by other texts. The Psalter-Hours grew in popularity among the laity in the mid to late thirteenth century, whereas the few earlier examples were used by monastics. The Book of Hours became far more common in later centuries for the laity and eventually displaced the Psalter-Hours, though not completely.

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This particular leaf contains a portion of the Office for the Dead, which the living would pray to ease the departed’s time in Purgatory. The end of Job 10.20 is followed by a responsory and a versicle. The text on the verso breaks off at Psalm 22.2.

The decorative borders are typical of Flemish painting during the thirteenth century. The initials are inhabited by grotesques and a playful illustration of a dog chasing a hare occupies the lower margin of the verso.

This fragment is fully described in David T. Gura, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2016), pp. 452-53. Expected publication: November 2016.

 


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Who’s Who in RBSC: George Rugg

The double-sided banner outside of Special Collections invites passersby to pop in and check out the new exhibit, Ingenious Exercises: Sports and the Printed Book in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800. For the curious who take a moment to stop, they find Domenico Angelo’s L’Ecole des armes (School of Fencing) opened to two fencers demonstrating the proper form to parry against an outside thrust under the wrist, known as a quinte thrust. Angelo’s book is accompanied by other early editions from the Joyce Sports Collection, highlighting various aspects of sports and physical culture including swimming, hunting, wrestling, and football.

Image of George Rugg

Behind the design of Ingenious Exercises is George Rugg, the curator for Americana and the Joyce Sports collections. As curator, George is responsible for the acquisition, care, and interpretation of collections related to the history and cultural heritage of the United States as well as sports and physical culture. He identifies and acquires materials available on the market or from private collectors that relate to existing collection strengths in Special Collections. Once these materials arrive, George ensures that all of the documentation is complete for the library to take physical and intellectual control of the materials. He assesses the condition and works with Hesburgh Library’s conservation staff to determine if treatment is needed to prevent deterioration and to address any special needs to protect the materials. George also researches and interprets the collections in order to help students and visitors understand the significance of the materials, show relationships between them, or contextualize them within our cultural heritage. The main ways he shares this knowledge with students and the public are through teaching classes and by designing exhibits.

Since becoming a curator, George has designed numerous exhibits that feature significant works from the collections. These exhibits cover a range of topics including Civil War manuscripts, Abraham Lincoln, American diaries from the 18th and 19th centuries, baseball literature prior to 1900, boxing literature, and cover art of college football programs. He has also created spotlight exhibits that highlighted the lithographs of the Scottish painter David Roberts (1796-1864), a historical map of the Great Lakes region by the renowned Italian cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli (1650-1718), and the manuscript business records of the Birmingham Black Barons, the elite black professional baseball team.

Also on current display is a spotlight exhibit featuring an important journal George recently acquired that enhances the Colonial Manuscript collection. The Nathaniel Rogers Sermon Notebook contains the sermon notes of Nathaniel Rogers (1598-1655), a Puritan minister who emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1636. George offers visitors an opportunity to view this rare work while sharing his research on and curatorial concerns for the book. He includes Cotton Mather’s providential history of 17th century New England, the Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), opened to the beginning of Mather’s eulogy of Rogers which provides what little information is known about the minister’s life. George also describes the original condition of the sermon book and the treatments performed by Hesburgh Libraries Preservation to stabilize the notebook so that researchers may safely use it.

For each of these exhibits, George selects materials from Special Collections’ holdings that not only have significance but also capture the imagination. Selected items might represent important works in a bibliographic tradition such as Nicolaes Petter’s Klare Onderrichtinge der voortreffelijcke Worstel-konst (1674). This work is an illustrated self-defense manual that represents one of the finest examples in the tradition of illustrated martial arts manuals, a tradition traceable to a German fencing manual from the 1320s. In the case of the business records of the Birmingham Black Barons, the records provide a look into the history of American baseball in the era of segregation. They document financial transactions between the team and its players during the years when the Black Barons were full members of the Negro National League and before financial pressures generated by the Great Depression forced the team to return to the Negro Southern League in 1931.

George’s current exhibits, Ingenious Exercises and The Nathaniel Rogers Sermon Book, will be on display through December 2016. He will also be giving public tours of Ingenious Exercises on Wednesdays at noon during October and November.


ETA: George Rugg retired from Special Collection in the summer of 2019.