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.
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.
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.
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.
Wing ZP 538 .P41
The Book of Tobit belongs to the Apocrypha, i.e. those Biblical books for which no Hebrew text exists but which formed part of the canonical Old Testament in Greek. Two separate Greek versions of Tobit survive. Sebastian Münster, originally trained in Biblical languages as a Franciscan friar and later a leading Protestant, took one of them, retranslated it into Latin and simultaneously created a new Hebrew version as a veritable recreation of the Hebrew text that had been lost. This second edition is extremely rare, and only two other copies are known.