Physical Exhibits in Special Collections
Rare Books and Special Collections regularly presents exhibits of materials from its holdings in our Exhibit Room (102 Hesburgh Library, at the west end of the 1st floor concourse) and on our Web site.
All exhibits are free and open to the public during our regular hours.
Currently on Display
“Preserving the Steadfastness of Your Faith”: Catholics in the Early American Republic
January 16-August 11, 2017
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’s curators will give guided tours of the show every Thursday at 12:30 pm, February through March, excluding March 16 (February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30). Tours will last up to an hour.
Group and class tours may also be arranged. Please contact Rachel Bohlmann at rbohlman @ nd.edu or (574) 631-1575 for scheduling.
A Leaf from the Chester Beatty Bible (W.116)
This Spotlight Exhibit features a leaf from a Bible formerly in the collection of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968), which belonged to his Western Collection (manuscript W.116). W.116 was sold intact on December 3, 1968 by Sotheby's (lot 14), where it was purchased by two biblioclasts who later cut it apart and sold the leaves individually. Notre Dame's leaf (Frag. I. 34) features a historiated initial by the so-called Dominican Painter (ca. 1250-1260).
The exhibit is curated by David T. Gura, Curator, Special Collections.
R. Branner, Manuscript Painting in Paris during the Reign of Saint Louis. 118-122. University of California Press, 1977.
D.T. Gura, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College. 11-12, 449-450, 541-543. University of Notre Dame Press, 2016.
The Nathaniel Rogers Sermon Notebook, ca. 1634-1645
October 2016 - March 2017
This exhibit is dedicated to an important recent acquisition: a journal of sermon notes compiled by the Puritan minister Nathaniel Rogers (1598-1655), before and after his emigration from England to Massachusetts. Rogers graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge and served as rector at Assington, Suffolk before leaving for the Bay Colony in 1636. From 1637/8 until his death he was pastor at First Church in Ipswich, Massachusetts, serving as co-minister with the noted Puritan theologian John Norton. Rogers' biography appears in Cotton Mather’s providential history of 17th century New England.
The 400-page journal contains roughly 135 discrete sections of notes in Rogers' hand, most of which reveal the structure and apparatus of the Puritan plain-style sermon. Nineteen of these sections bear attributions to other ministers, and were presumably sermons audited by Rogers. The remainder were written by him. Contents are broadly chronological, with entries extending from ca. 1634 to ca. 1645.
The exhibit is curated by George Rugg.
For information about previous spotlight exhibits, please refer to the History of Spotlight Exhibits page.
Suggest an Exhibit
Many of the exhibits presented by the Department of Special Collections are produced in collaboration with members of the Notre Dame teaching and research faculty and are scheduled to coincide with significant academic conferences at the University. If you have a suggestion for a future exhibit and/or would like to assist in producing one, please contact Special Collections at 631-0290 or by e-mail.