Proactive collection development is paramount to the Newberry’s mission of serving research in the humanities. Each potential acquisition the library considers is intensely scrutinized with the goal of selecting unusual and evocative books and manuscripts most likely to challenge opinions, expand knowledge, kindle the imagination, and stimulate original research.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Case PA 8514 .I6 1761
During the Enlightenment, Erasmus was often presented as a forward-looking reformist thinker, and his works, especially those critical of the established Church of Rome, received many editions in the vernacular and in portable formats designed for easy reading. This diglot Basel edition of The Praise of Folly, in both Italian and French, was probably intended for the North Italian market, where this satire was prohibited by church authorities. The Newberry has an important collection of prohibited and expurgated printed books.
A discourse delivered on the 4th of July, 1828, in Carlisle, Ky. on the subject of civil & religious liberty
Wing ZP 883 .F52
This scarce pamphlet was until 1932 in the library of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is a good example of the type of reading material that inspired those enrolled as seminarians. Lane Seminary was prominently involved in social reform movements like temperance and Sabbath legislation, but it is known primarily for the “debates” held there in 1834 that influenced the nation’s thinking about slavery. Georgetown, Kentucky is 40 miles south of Lane; this is the only nineteenth-century Georgetown imprint at the Newberry.