Recent Acquisition: Medieval Manuscript Facsimile

by Julia Schneider, Medieval Studies Librarian 

The Bamberg Apocalypse facsimile is an original-format copy of a manuscript commissioned by Otto III (980-1002 AD). After his untimely death, the manuscript was left unfinished in the scriptorium of the Benedictine Abbey of Reichenau in Southern Germany. His successor, Henry II (973-1024 AD) ordered it finished. Thus, the manuscript dates to 1000-1020.

Containing 106 leaves in total, the first fifty-seven leaves of the Bamberg Apocalypse (Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, Msc. Bibl. 140) contain the text and images of the Apocalypse of St. John from the Bible (a.k.a., Revelation). The remaining leaves of the manuscript include gospel pericopes (extracted readings) for specific feasts. There are a hundred decorated initials throughout the manuscript along with fifty-seven images, or miniatures, forty-nine of which provide striking visual interpretations of the prophecies contained in the Apocalypse concerning the end of the world and the final judgment, all with significant gold decoration.

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The image shown above, described in the facing text, depicts Apocalypse 12:1-5. The woman, who has brought forth a man child, is clothed with the sun and has the moon under her feet. The great dragon with its seven heads and ten horns looks on in the foreground. Though the text describes a red dragon, the image features a multi-colored dragon—red, gold, and purple. Standing in the background is the Church that houses the Ark of the Covenant.

There were many ornate apocalypses and apocalypse commentaries produced during the Middle Ages, and, while we do not own the manuscripts, Hesburgh Libraries’ Rare Books and Special Collections houses facsimiles of several in addition to this recently acquired version. Be sure to search “apocalypse” in our database of facsimiles for more information on these fascinating, illustrated manuscript facsimiles.

 

Upcoming Events: August and early September

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

Thursday, August 25 at 5:00pm | The Italian Research Seminar: “Sandro Botticelli on Facing in Dante’s Paradiso” – Heather Webb (Cambridge). Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

In other news, the July spotlight exhibit featuring a recently acquired Piranesi volume will soon be changed out for the August spotlight exhibit highlighting the Elisabeth Markstein Archive.

The spring and summer exhibit Vestigia Vaticana will remain on display through August 15. After that, the fall exhibit will be installed: Ingenious Exercises: Print and Physical Culture in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800.

Watch for news about a new Fall semester spotlight exhibit soon!

Color Our Collections: Vatican and Piranesi exhibits

Today’s coloring sheets comes from items on display in two of our ongoing exhibits: Vestigia Vaticana and the July spotlight exhibit on a recent acquisition, three works of Piranesi. The Vatican exhibit is open through mid-August, while the Piranesi exhibit closes at the end of this week.

Enjoy, and if you have the time please come in and see the full exhibits!

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Download a PDF [1 MB]

ColorOurCollections-Piranesi

Download a PDF [1 MB]

Summer Archives Workshop in RBSC

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Click for PDF.

This intensive workshop targets graduate students interested in conducting archival research. Participants will acquire a solid foundation in archival terminology, how to identify and use archives, and other fundamental skills.

The workshop will introduce best practices and some of the crucial cultural and practical differences between libraries and archives. It will also give attendees hands-on practice reading and transcribing different handwritings from various time periods, identifying important parts of manuscripts, and reading historical maps. We will also cover select participant-requested topics.

Monday-Friday, August 1-5, 2016
9 am-noon
Special Collections Seminar Room
(Hesburgh Library 103)

Register Online

Led by:
Rachel Bohlmann, Ph.D.
U.S. History and American Studies Librarian

Julie Tanaka, Ph.D.
Curator, Special Collections and Western European History Librarian

Questions or requests? Please email either Rachel or Julie.

Recent Acquisition: Early Stalin era propaganda set

BOO_004394771-00aThe Hesburgh Libraries recently acquired a seven-volume illustrated set called Industriia Sotsializma (The Industry of Socialism). Designed by the famed El Lissitzky, this monumental work was published on the occasion of the Seventh Congress of Soviets, held in Moscow in February 1935. It represents one of the best examples of the early Stalin propaganda photo book.

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Lissitzky utilized contemporaneous state-of-the-art typographical and book design techniques to create and to glorify the official image of the new Soviet state by incorporating photomontage, overlays, peek-a-boo images, photo-collages, accordion foldouts, as well as colorful maps and graphs.

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One of a series of image sets in Volume 1 comparing the country before and after industrialization. This set of images highlights the transformation of small rural villages into industrial centers.
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An opening from Volume 3 showing the growth and progress of factories during the 1930s, highlighting the success of the five-year plan.

Lissitzky and his team were highly praised for the work, which underscored the triumph of the first five-year plan and the transformation of the old economy into the new industrial Soviet power led by Joseph Stalin.

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Three out of a series openings from Volume 6, using peek-a-boo cutouts to maintain images of Stalin and Lenin over many pages.

Reproducing Independence Day

by Rachel Bohlmann, American History Librarian

Vicksburg, Mississippi’s most famous Independence Day, July 4, 1863, marked the surrender of its Confederate forces to Union Major General U. S. Grant during the American Civil War. After a 47-day siege of the city, which sat atop a high bluff on the Mississippi River, Grant accepted a negotiated truce from Vicksburg’s Confederate Lt. General John C. Pemberton on July 3. He surrendered the next day. This victory marked a turning point in the war. The Confederacy lost control of the Mississippi River as well as access between the eastern Confederacy and the Trans-Mississippi Confederacy of Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana. At nearly the same moment, Union forces defeated Confederates at Gettysburg, a loss for Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia that decisively checked Confederate encroachment northward.

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1863-07-02-VicksburgMS_Daily Citizen_bJ.M. Swords, publisher of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen, fled the city but left the July 2, 1863 edition partially finished on his press. Occupying Union soldiers completed it with an addendum dated July 4. Paper supplies in the besieged city, however, were long depleted so they printed the newspaper on what they had—wallpaper. Swords had earlier resorted to the same measure, creating so-called “wall-paper editions” on June 16, 18, 20, 27, 30, and July 2.

The last line of the July 4 note proved correct: the paper became a valuable curiosity. More than 30 reproductions have been identified, including this one. The Library of Congress holds two originals and two reproductions and offers guidance on identifying copies. Although of little monetary value, reproductions nevertheless are significant historical documents. They surfaced very soon after the war, probably as souvenirs at soldiers’ reunions.

Although many copies of its famous Fourth of July newspaper exist, after its defeat and surrender the city of Vicksburg did not officially celebrate Independence Day until 1945.

 


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

Color Our Collections

Coloring books are everywhere these days it seems. Books stores. Craft stores. Museums and libraries. Libraries?

Yes, even libraries have been getting in on the current craze. Who are we to miss an opportunity to highlight some of the beautiful illustrations to be found in our collection?

Today’s coloring sheet comes from Jost Amman’s Kunnst- und Lehrbüchlein für die anfahenden Jungen (Book of Art and Instruction for Young People), published by Sigmund Feyerabend in German and Latin in 1578. If you’d like to see more of the illustrations from this book, it is featured in the “Society” showcase of the online exhibit After Gutenberg: Print, Books, and Knowledge in Germany through the Long Sixteenth Century. Or come visit us and ask to see the book in person — the call number is on the coloring page.

Download a PDF [1 MB]

Spotlight Exhibit: The Catholic Pamphlet Collection

June 2016

SM-rbsc-june-spotlight-2016The Catholic Pamphlets Collection in RBSC includes more than 5000 pamphlets, published from the 1840s to the present. This extensive collection includes pamphlets on saints and sacraments, daily Catholic life, moral issues, and Catholic social thought and action—as highlighted by the thirteen pamphlets featured in this exhibit.

On display for just one more week (through June 24), this month’s spotlight exhibit is curated by Jean McManus, Catholic Studies Librarian, and is open to the public 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

Recent Acquisition: Authoritative Sylburg Edition of Aristotle

BOO_004396443-t1-001Recently acquired is volume three of Friedrich Sylburg’s authoritative Greek edition of Aristotle’s works. Printed in 1584 in Frankfurt by Andreas Wechel, this volume contains Physikēs akroaseōs biblia 8, Peri ouranou 4, Peri geneseōs kai phthoras 2, Meteōrologikōn 4, Peri kosmou 1, and Peri phychē 3.

The volume is bound in contemporary, blind-stamped pig skin over boards. On the front is a central medallion with the bust of Ludwig the Pious, surrounded by a knotted foliate pattern and border with medallions of noted humanists including Erasmus, Martin [Luther], John [of Saxony], and Philip [Melanchthon].

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How will you spend your summer vacation?

Summer is a great time to come visit Rare Books and Special Collections. With the exception of the Fourth of July, we are open for research our regular hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

RBSC is located in the southwest corner of the main floor of the Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame. The east (“library circle”) entrance is closed due to ongoing renovation work, but the west, south and new north entrances are all open.