University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Medieval and Renaissance

Detail of an initial from the index to Jean Gerson's Opera, printed in Strassburg in 1488.

Rare Books and Special Collections houses a variety of Medieval and Renaissance materials. The manuscript collections are comprised of 60 codices and a number of single leaf or extracted fragments spanning the late eleventh to early sixteenth century. A survey of binding fragments in the print collection was recently undertaken, which yielded over 400 additional fragments. The manuscript collections are mainly Latin language material with a few vernacular witnesses in English, French, Italian, and Germanic languages.

Special Collections also holds over 100 incunabula and a modest numismatic collection. Post-1500 imprints are vast in number and broadly collected, with exceptional holdings in Renaissance editions of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. A diverse collection of deluxe medieval manuscripts facsimiles are also kept in Special Collections.