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Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Physical Exhibits in Special Collections

The Department of Special Collections regularly presents thematic exhibits of materials from its holdings in the Special Collections Exhibit Room, 102 Hesburgh Library, and on our Web site. Please follow the links in the menu at left for more information about our exhibits and exhibition schedule.

Currently on Display

Graphic for the exhibit.

After Gutenberg: Print, Books, and Knowledge in Germany through the Long Sixteenth Century

August 24 - December 18, 2015

Explore innovations in the dissemination of knowledge in Germany during the long sixteenth century. From the marriage of text and image on the printed page to the use of censorship and propaganda to the manuals of advice and instruction, witness the dynamic intellectual life of Germans between 1450 and 1650.

Exhibit Guidebook (PDF)


Rare Books & Special Collections
102 Hesburgh Library,
at the west end of the 1st Floor Concourse

Open to the public:

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday

The exhibit is curated by Dr. Julie Tanaka (RBSC Curator and Western European History Librarian).

Related Events

Opening Reception:

September 11th, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Rare Books & Special Collections (102 Hesburgh Library)

Please join us for the opening of our Fall 2015 exhibit. Thomas A. Brady, Jr., Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, will speak, reflecting on how Notre Dame inspired and challenged him to become a historian of Germany and of Christianity during this exciting century.


September 11-12, 2015

The exhibit coincides with a conference being hosted by Notre Dame. ​Beyond Tradition: Rethinking Early Modern Europe highlights the exciting new directions that teaching and research on Early Modern European subjects are taking. The conference will feature scholars and students presenting their current research, a workshop on using special collections materials, the exhibit opening, and will conclude with an interdisciplinary roundtable discussion about the new directions in early modern studies.

Exhibit and Conference information (PDF)

Spotlight Exhibits

Photograph of the display.

Recent Acquisitions — Building the Yeats Collection

October 2015

W. B. Yeats (1865-1939) was a leading figure in the Irish Literary Revival. One of the greatest poets of his time, he was also a major force behind Ireland's national Theatre, the Abbey, and had a great and lasting impact on Irish culture and literature. Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.

Visiting professor John Kelly alerted the Library to the availabilty of the Yeats collection of American scholar and bibliographer Milton McClintock Gatch. In all, 32 volumes from the Gatch Collection have been added to the Hesburgh Library.

This adds significantly to the already rich Yeats Collection at the Hesburgh Library. Besides editions of books by W. B. Yeats, the Library holds a collection of Abbey Theatre Programmes, a Cuala Press collection (the printing press of the Yeats sisters) and a considerable collection of books illustrated by Jack B. Yeats.

This spotlight exhibit is curated by Aedín Ní Bhróithe Clements, Irish Studies Librarian.


The Sixth Centenary Festival of Dante

Portrait under glass of Dante Alighieri in red robe.

Fall 2015

Happy Birthday, Dante! In May of 1865, the city of Florence honored the 600th birthday of Dante Alighieri with a lavish three-day festival that included public celebrations of the author's works, concerts, and exhibitions. Our current spotlight exhibit displays some of the literary and commemorative publications released in conjunction with this important festival. The exhibit runs concurrently to the special lecture series "Dante's Other Works" 2015: A Celebration of the 750th Anniversary of Dante's Birth sponsored by the William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

The exhibit is curated by Tracy Bergstrom, Curator, Zahm Dante and Early Italian Imprints Collection, and is open to the public 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, through December 18, 2015.


For information about previous spotlight exhibits, please refer to the History of Spotlight Exhibits page.

Upcoming Exhibits

January 2016

Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night. These celebrated plays and 15 others by Shakespeare would probably have been lost to us today without the First Folio, the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays. We have been selected as a host site for the Folger Shakespeare Library's national tour of the First Folio in 2016, so you'll have an opportunity to see this famous book up close.

Spring 2016

Centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland

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.