The University of Dayton Libraries are gradually digitizing selected rare works — some of which are the only extant copy — to make them available to readers and researchers worldwide.
The rare materials, contained in three repositories — University Archives and Special Collections; the U.S. Catholic Special Collection; and the Marian Library — number in the tens of thousands; as such, the digitization process will be gradual and selective, using criteria including visual interest; unique characteristic such as annotations; fragility; current curricular connections; and scholarly appeal.
To arrange a visit to the University of Dayton Libraries to see the materials in person, contact the repository (or repositories) noted in the records:
This book is a collection of Psalms, Canticles, Song of Songs and other devotional materials called a Psalter and is intended for use in personal or public worship. The text of this Psalter was written on parchment from approximately 1790 to 1800 BCE and six full-page paintings were added in the early 20th Century. The six paintings represent: Madonna and Child; Saint George and the dragon; the Crucifixion; Jesus (possibly raising Jairus’ daughter); the Last Supper; and the Ascension of Jesus.
The front and back covers are created from tooled leather and wooden boards.
Dominican collection of antiphons for the Divine Office from the First Vespers of Christmas through the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, along with the feasts of St. Agnes (Jan. 21), St. Vincent (Jan. 22), and St. Gabriel the Archangel. Possibly from a Spanish monastery; possibly 15th century.
Plainsong notation on five-line staves.
Vellum pages. Front and back cover are decorated with colored parchment covered by bosses.
Title supplied by cataloger.
Calligraphed in gothic on thin vellum and bound in vellum. Contains 15 communion prayers, 14 in French, 1 in Latin, and 1 hymn, “Ave verum corpus natum,” in both languages.
The first French prayer is the prayer of St. Ambrose. The page is illuminated with a miniature (35 x 37 mm.) representing St. Ambrose in his episcopal robes, in color and in gold, against a background of celestial blue with gold stars. The page is completely framed in a border of scrolled green, blue and red florets, highlighted on a background of gold, in a large border of filiform arabesques with gilt florets.
Eleven other pages are framed by illuminated motifs on the lateral margins; the motifs encircle parts of the upper and lower margins and highlight 37 illuminated initials.
It contains some interesting variations in the text of “Ave verum.” In the given, or standard, Latin text a plural pronoun is used ("Esto nobis praegustatum..." (“Be for us a foretaste [of heaven]). In this book, the Latin and the French translation make the pronoun singular ("Esto michi [=mihi] praegustatum..." - Be for me a foretaste). This version also has a different final line, where again the singular pronoun is used. The Latin word "peccatrici" would seem to indicate the person for whom the book was made, its initial intended user, was a woman.
The Latin prayer is St. Anselm's "O bone Jesu ..."
W. H. Auden
This opera is based on the legend of The Juggler of Our Lady. It was composed in 1969 for performance by students at Wykeham Rise School in Washington, Connecticut. The narration in this liturgical drama was written by W. H. Auden (1907-1973), a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, primarily known for his poetry.
Cover artwork is by Edward Gorey.
The artwork photographed in this storyboard is believed to have been used in the creation of film “The Juggler of Our Lady,” animated by Les Novros and produced by Cavalcade Pictures in 1957. The film was submitted as a possible nominee for the 1958 Oscars and was shown at the Stratford International Film Festival in 1960, and, but no copy of the film is known to exist.
Catalog published by George J. Phillipp & Sons Ecclesiastical Goods, 1933, offering girls' veils for weddings, confirmations, and other religious ceremonies. Catalog also includes diadems, armbands, and boys' boutonnieres. Illustrations include black-and-white and tinted photographs. Descriptions include fabric, sizing, and price information. 28 pages.
Text from last page: "Virginal Veils have assumed the leadership enjoyed by all products of distinction. Charming styles are combined with practical wearing features. In effecting new lowered prices there is no deviation from our recognized policy of quality. The merit of our products is reflected in nation-wide distribution."
Litanie della Madonna: illustrate per la prima Volta da quando l'arte fu ispirata dalla fede cristiana
These 46 beautiful art nouveau illustrations represent the 46 verses of the Litany of Loreto. These were created by the Italian artist/illustrator Ezio Anichini (1886-1948), one of the primary cover artists for Scena Illustrata, a popular and enduring magazine of Italian society and culture. Scena Illustrata published this book, prefaced with the accolades of many Church officials. The Litany of Loreto was named for the shrine at the Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto, where it has been recited since the mid-sixteenth century.
The Marian Library is one of the only libraries in the world to hold this book. A Marian Library Newsletter article by John A. Shaffer, who collects the work of Ezio Anichini, provides additional information about the book and the artist.
1 portfolio ( p.,  leaves of plates) : chiefly ill. ; 21 cm
Christoph von Schmid
Translated from the French by Ch. Ming, S.J. Originally written in German.
Traditional Chinese script.
Edition: Di yi ci pai yin.
Series: Xiao shuo; di si ce.
Bavarian priest Christoph von Schmid (1768-1854) believed the best way to teach children the stories of the Bible and the substance of Christian life was through stories similar to fables or fairytales. He was an educational reformer with a catechetical philosophy influenced by Jesuit theologian J. M. Sailer.
His stories were popular during his lifetime and continue to be published. They have been translated into most European languages, as well as Turkish, Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese. This edition was published in 1915.
Translations of von Schmid’s stories were adapted to their audience. The first story in this collection is about a young boy living in poverty. In the original German, the story begins on Weihnachtsabend (Christmas Eve). A blond 8-year-old orphan named Anton gets lost in a snowy forest that is quickly becoming dark. When he becomes tired, he kneels and begins to pray. He then hears singing voices, which lead him to a forester’s cottage. The Chinese version begins in winter, with a young boy named An Fu, who is begging. As time passes, he becomes so unbearably cold he is unable to say another word. He lies down in the snow and at last people take pity on him.
This is a limited edition of the french-language version of The Juggler of Our Lady by Anatole France (1844-1924). The story was adapted from a medieval poem by the Nobel-winning writer in 1890 and published as a book in 1906. The manuscript includes illustrations and calligraphy by Henri Malteste (1881-1961) or “Malateste.
xi, 116, 124 pages
Published by Arthur Savaète.
Contents: En quoi consista l'acte matériel du péché originel: le naturalisme charnel -- Glorification séculaire du péché originel sous la forme des Pierres obscènes: adoration de la chair -- La Pierre-Vénus de Lourdes: tête du Serpent immonde – Revanche triomphale de l’Immaculée Conception à Lourdes – Opprtunité de ce triomphe à l’heure de la résurrection du culte de la chair.
Harvey Bartlett Greene
48 unnumbered pages
Seventeen specimens of pressed flowers from Palestine, [mounted], with description and Scripture reference. This book catalogs a variety of plants that grow naturally in and around sites sacred to Christianity. Introduction by Hon. Selah Merrill, D.D., LL.D, U.S. Consul at Jerusalem. Inscribed “Mamma Smith Oct 23, 1899." Rose of Sharon is missing from this copy.
Mrs. E. A. Bean
Travel journal kept by Mrs. E. A. Bean during her two-month trip through Italy, including Florence, Pisa, Rome, Bologna, Lucca and other cities. Mrs. Bean visited several sites of Marian devotion. The travel journal also includes drawings and images of art and architecture.
Historica notitia della miracolosa imagine della Madonna Santissima della Consolata: venerata nella Chiesa di S. Andrea de'MM. RR. monaci di S. Bernardo dell'Ordine cisterciense di Torino
D. Domenico Arcourt
220 pages; frontispiece engraving of Our Lady of Consolation icon in Turin
“[D]ata in luce dal molto reuerendo padre D. Domenico Arcourt, priore de'sudetti monaci, e consultore del Sant'Ufficio; consecrata alle glorie dell'istessa regina consolatrice, sotto li fortunati auspicj dell'altezza serenissima di Vittorio Amedeo Filippo Giuseppe, prencipe di Piemonte”—from title page.
The ancient icon of Our Lady of Consolation at the Santuario della Consolata in Turin, believed to be miraculous, has been drawing pilgrims for centuries. It was placed in a chapel in the fifth-century Chiesa di Sant’Andrea, becoming an important shrine of Marian devotion. In the tenth century, a monastery was built adjacent to the shrine in which many different religious orders have lived. This history was written by a Trappist priest, the prior of the monastery in the early eighteenth century.
Bound in vellum.
This is the first Bible printed in what is now the United States and is in a Native American language. John Eliot, a Cambridge scholar, Christian missionary, translator and linguist, learned the Wôpanâak dialect of the tribes of colonial New England with the assistance of several native speakers. His New Testament translation was printed in 1661. Two years later, he completed the Old Testament in Wôpanâak. His translations documented a language that didn’t exist in written form before his translation.
Title supplied by cataloger.
112 leaves. 19 woodcut and metal-cut full-page illustrations; borders illustrating religious and secular subjects with captions in French. Initials and line endings in gold on red or blue background.
Antoine Vérard, publisher; Chambolle-Duru, binder.
The letters Ro at the bottom of pages in some sections denotes the Use of Rouen, a variation specific to that region.
See Hilary Maddocks, “A book of hours by Anthoine Vérard in the University of Melbourne Library,” University of Melbourne Collections 16 (June 2015):15-24 about a similar copy in the University of Melbourne Library, providing background on the publisher, artists, and book trade in early 16th century Paris.
Books of hours were a popular form of private devotion for lay people. Some, which were richly illustrated and illuminated, were luxury items and a symbol of status. The books followed the monastic tradition of reciting the Divine Liturgy in eight sessions throughout the day. Many prayers, litanies of saints, and calendars were standard texts, but its central text was the Hours of the Virgin, also known as the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Title supplied by cataloger. Imprint and date from H. Bibliographie der Livres d'Heures (2. Aufl.).