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.
Wing folio ZP 538 .P42
Bishop of Nocera and humanist historian, Paolo Giovio (1483-1552) assembled a private collection of portraits of virtuous men that formed the basis of this posthumous publication, the first illustrated edition of a work that Giovio had originally published without woodcuts in Florence in 1551. The woodcuts added are by Tobias Stimmer (1539-1584). A recent Newberry fellow, Professor Susan Gaylard pointed out that Giovio in his lifetime had envisioned a version of his work illustrated by hand-colored woodcuts.
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.
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.
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.
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.