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
Vestigia Vaticana: An exhibition of papal manuscripts, books, and more
May 5-August 15, 2016
Manuscripts, incunabula, seals, maps, engravings, and printed books from the thirteenth century to the present highlight how the Holy Father has left his mark on society. These materials from RBSC, together with a great bull on loan from Saint Mary's College, are featured in the new exhibit “Vestigia Vaticana.” The exhibit's opening coincided with the conference The Promise of the Vatican Library, being held May 8–10, 2016, at the University of Notre Dame.
These materials are like the Vatican's footprints. They provide a trail for us to follow to get a glimpse of the official acts of the Holy Father, of books that belonged to popes, of events the general public wasn't privy to. Take a stroll through the exhibit to see these papal bulls, apostolic briefs, a papal conclave print, a ground plan of Rome, and various other pieces.
This exhibit is curated by Dr. David T. Gura (Curator of Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts).
The Promise of the Vatican Library
May 8-10, 2016
An international academic conference highlighting the holdings of the Vatican Library and opportunities for future research.
The Promise of the Vatican Library
May 8-22, 2016
An exhibition of twelve works from the Vatican Library's vast holdings supplements the conference. These objects, including Greek and Latin manuscripts, early printed books, fifteenth-century music, numismatics, and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century representations of the Eternal City.
Recent Acquisition: Three Works of Piranesi
An important recent acquisition is this volume incorporating three works by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. The Antichità d'Albano e di Castel Gandolfo (Antiquities of Albano and Castel Gandolfo) of 1764 is bound with two related works from 1762:
Descrizione e Disegno dell'Emissario del Lago Albano (Description and Design of the Emissarium of Lake Albano), and
Di Due Spelonche Ornate dagli Antichi alla Riva del Lago Albano (Concerning Two Caves Embellished by the Ancients on the Bank of Lake Albano)
This volume is dedicated to Pope Clement XIII, an important patron of Piranesi's, and all three volumes focus on the environs of Castel Gandolfo, which is just outside of Rome, overlooking Lake Albano, and is the summer residence of the popes. On display is a print set within the ancient drainage tunnels at Lake Albano.
The exhibit is curated by Marsha Stevenson, Visual Arts Librarian.
Native American Literature before 1924
"We are red men still, even though we have plucked the feathers from our war bonnets and are using them for pens. The battle scene has shifted and the contest becomes one of brain and wit."
—Arthur C. Parker (Seneca)
Native American writers such as Sherman Alexie (Spokane/Coeur d'Alene), Louise Erdrich (Turtle Mountain Chippewa), and Notre Dame alumna Kimberly Blaeser (Anishinaabe) are widely recognized as prominent authors and recipients of national book awards. Their work represents a small fraction of the published work—fiction, poetry, and nonfiction prose—which for two centuries has challenged stereotypes of Native people, corrected historical and anthropological narratives of cultural conflict and change, and perhaps most importantly, promoted specific identities, political sovereignties, and rights of self-determination.
To honor this legacy, this exhibit presents a small sampling of the literature produced before 1924, when passage of the Indian Citizenship Act granted citizenship to all Native Americans.
The exhibit is curated by Robert Walls, Teaching Professor of Native American Studies and Laura Dassow Walls, Professor, English Department.
For information about previous spotlight exhibits, please refer to the History of Spotlight Exhibits page.
"Ingenious Exercises: Print and Physical Culture in Early Modern Europe"
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.