' Rare Books & Special Collections // Hesburgh Libraries // University of Notre Dame

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Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

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 open to the public during regular business hours, generally 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.

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.

This 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

The Evgeniia Ginzburg and Antonina Axenova Collection

Photograph of the display.

November 2015

Evgeniia Solomonovna Ginzburg (1904–1977) was a journalist and teacher who wrote an acclaimed autobiographical account of her 18-year journey through the Stalin Gulag. Ginzburg's epic story, which has been translated into many languages, was published in English in two volumes: Journey into the Whirlwind (1967) and Within the Whirlwind (1981). To this day her work remains one of the most significant and widely-read women's memoirs about life and death in the Stalin camps.

Born in the Kolyma camps, Antonina Axenova (1946-) was adopted by Ginzburg in 1949 when Antonina was 3 years old. Axenova later became a theater and movie actress. She has also worked tirelessly collecting materials to preserve the memory and legacy of her mother.

Rare Books and Special Collections recently acquired this collection which consists of material related to Ginzburg's arrest and her life in the camps as well as material relating to Axenova's professional life.

This spotlight exhibit is curated by Kenneth Kinslow, RBSC Assistant Librarian.

Please join us on November 5, 7:00 pm, at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center for an evening with Antonina Axenova and the German filmmaker Mario Damolin, who will be presenting his newly-completed documentary about Evgeniia Ginzburg.


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.