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.
Catherine O’Donnell, "Saint Elizabeth Seton: A Reading Life"
Wednesday, March 22, 4 pm — Special Collections (102 Hesburgh Library)
Historian and former Cushwa Center Fellow Catherine O’Donnell will give a public talk in which she explores Elizabeth Ann Seton’s spiritual journey as it intersected with Catholic history during the early American Republic. Seton converted to Catholicism as an adult and was canonized in 1975—the first native born American to be so.
Kyle Roberts, "21st Century Digital Approaches to Rethinking 19th Century Catholic Print"
Thursday, June 1, 2 pm — Special Collections (102 Hesburgh Library)
Although scholars have long focused on nineteenth-century Protestants as people of the printed word, Catholics also availed themselves of print. Their published works remind us of American Catholics’ transnational identities, in which they balanced allegiances to the state, homeland, and the global Catholic Church. This talk explores the ways in which new digital humanities projects, such as the Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project, have allowed us to recover the central importance of print to American Catholics.
Bram Stoker's Lecture on Abraham Lincoln
This exhibit features the original working manuscript for a lecture on Abraham Lincoln, written by the Irish author Bram Stoker and delivered numerous times in Britain and America in the 1880s and 90s. The manuscript contains Stoker's text and many textual variations, with additions, deletions, and emendations in his hand throughout.
The exhibit is curated by George Rugg, Curator, Special Collections.
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.