Treasures of Faith

Twenty Years of Acquisitions

A 1630 edition of the King James Bible
A 1630 edition of the King James Bible, Gift of the McCormick Theological Seminary, Cataloged and Conserved by a Grant from the B.H. Breslauer Foundation
April 2013

This Newberry Spotlight exhibition features more than 40 books on religion that date from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century. “Treasures of Faith: Twenty Years of Acquisitions” showcases extraordinary examples from the more than 8,000 religious volumes the Newberry has acquired over the past two decades. The exhibition runs through July 6.

Highlights from the exhibition include the first Italian printing of the critical edition of Augustine’s Works; the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241), which was issued in 1234 and is one of the fundamental compilations of canon law; and a stunning 1648 King James Bible with an elegant silver metallic binding that dates from the seventeenth or eighteenth century.

“Treasures of Faith” would not have been possible without the Sister Ann Ida Gannon Initiative. Launched in 2010, this massive project to conserve and catalog more than 8,000 volumes was named for Sister Ann Ida Gannon, member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and former president of Mundelein College, who in 1991 arranged for the transfer of Mundelein’s rare book collection to the Newberry. Her example led to a series of gifts of similar collections from other Chicago-area religious institutions, transactions that were fostered by Sister Ann Ida. Over time, such collections came from the Divine Word Society, the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Albert the Great, Concordia University, the Passionist Monastery of Chicago Northside, and most recently, McCormick Theological Seminary and the Catholic Theological Union. All of these collections are rich in religious materials, of course; most are richest in printed books and manuscripts from the early modern period.

Like the Newberry itself, Spotlight exhibitions are free and open to the public. Galleries are open from 8:15 am to 7:30 pm Tuesday through Thursday, and from 8:15 am to 5 pm Monday, Friday, and Saturday.