Recent Acquisitions

Our active collecting activities each year bring to the Newberry far more books, manuscripts, and maps than can be highlighted or even listed here. From among the arrivals of recent years, we present a selection that exemplifies our collecting today.

Domenico Cavalca
Vault Case MS 214
Domenico Cavalca, a Dominican friar (ca. 1270-1342) from Pisa was one of the early literary practitioners of Italian vernacular prose. This codex also contains six other Italian vernacular texts of uncertain dates including Cavalca’s Vite dei Santi Padri, an anonymous Monte dell’orazione, an anonymous and unidentified Tuscan spiritual text, Bernard of Clairvaux’s On Conscience in an anonymous translation, Considerations on Vices and Virtues in Italian (fragmentary and anonymous), an anonymous and still unidentified Tesorectus (a vernacular ...
Caleb Wright
Case DS421 .W748 1869
This rare travel and description narrative is another pre-Fire Chicago imprint from the Lane Theological Seminary, new to the Newberry's holdings. This is a rare example of a pre-Fire imprint publisher's black cloth binding and "Illustrated by numerous engravings." The preface states that the information contained in this volume has been collected by personal research and extensive travel in India and by compilation from authentic sources.
Robert Wolcomb
Case BT 715 .W45 1595
One of only two extant copies, this book is an Elizabethan handbook on the art of dying. Such books were small and easily carried in a pocket; prefatory matter indicates that they were intended for use by ministers or by devout laymen in helping those terminally ill to die with the comfort of faith. Printed in ever increasing numbers from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries, these handbooks had essentially the same purpose in the Anglican Church as the older Ars Moriendi had for the Church of Rome. While books such as this one were frequently printed, they were widely read...
Abraham Balmes
Wing ZP 535 .B633
Abraham Balmes (ca. 1440-1553) was a celebrated translator into Latin of Arabic scientific and philosophical works that had been transmitted to Western Europe only in Hebrew versions. An important figure of the Hebrew Renaissance (the subject of a major Newberry exhibition in 1997), Balmes addressed this grammar to a gentile readership, and it subsequently exercised great influence on Christian Hebraists. Daniel Bomberg, the German gentile, who printed this volume, published the first edition of the Talmud and also in 1523 a concordance to the Hebrew Bible, the first Biblical concordance in...
Gryffith Williams
Case BV 4500 .W65 1624
This volume, one of six North American copies, is a collection of sermons preached before King James I. While Gryffith Williams’ work stressed the importance of sabbath observance, he argued that Puritan scruples over ceremonies gave them no excuse for separation from the Anglican Church. Williams, of Welsh birth, preached at St. Paul’s Cathedral and was domestic chaplain to Philip Herbert, earl of Montgomery (and later Pembroke), to whose children he served as tutor. The Seven Golden Candlesticks is dedicated to the Herbert family. Williams was on the cusp of being named tutor to...
Niccolò Machiavelli
Vault Case DG 737 .A2 M34 1532
The first edition of the official history of Florence compiled by the most important political thinker of the Italian Renaissance. In manuscript, the Historie was presented in 1525 to Giulio de' Medici (Pope Clement VII), who had commissioned it as cardinal and ruler of Florence. This copy contains a rare variant in its colophon.
Justin Martyr
Wing folio ZP 539 .E8033
This first edition of the Works in the original Greek of the third-century Church father Justin Martyr, based on manuscripts of the French Royal Library, is bound along with the first edition of the Latin translation (Paris, 1554) by Joachim Perion. Begun by Robert Estienne and completed by his younger brother, Charles Estienne, this edition of the Greek is set in the first “grec du roi,” a type font designed a decade earlier by Charles Garamond. The Newberry with one of the best collections of Estienne imprints in the Western Hemisphere has numerous examples of Estienne’s Greek type...
Giovanni da Moncalieri
Case oversize G1793 .G37 1649
A very rare atlas of the locations of the convents of the Capuchins (a faction of reformed Franciscans recognized in 1628). One of over 800 volumes constituting the rare book collection of the Catholic Theological Union recently donated as a block to the Newberry. This image is the woodcut title-page for a map of the Capuchin province of Aquitaine; that is, southwest France. Each of the over 50 maps has a different and similarly beautiful title-page, each with its own distinct border decoration. Only one other copy of this, the second edition, is recorded in North America.
William H. Hornblower
Case E457.8 .D22 1865
An example of Lane Theological Seminary’s rich Americana, this rare sermon is a significant addition to the Newberry’s holdings on Lincoln. It is one of nine post-assassination sermons contemporaneously bound together; separately published in the East and Midwest. The Newberry had held only four of the nine items contained in this volume before the McCormick Theological Seminary donation.
Greenville Collins
Baskes oversize G 1811 .P5 C6 1693
Before this atlas, English mariners had to rely on foreign charts to navigate their waters. Collins’s collection of 45 maps was the first atlas of British waters to be published. Captain Collins was appointed to the task by the celebrated diarist, Samuel Pepys, acting in his official capacity as Secretary of the Admiralty. Collins worked on the surveys for nearly a decade. This is the first edition of the atlas, and this copy bears the seal of, and belonged to, Trinity House, founded in 1514 by Henry VIII to be responsible for all British pilotage. The volume proved very popular and...