Library Collections

Library Reflecting Pool

Zahm Dante Collection

The Zahm Dante Collection ranks among the top Dante collections in North America. Purchased for the most part by John A. Zahm, C.S.C., in 1902 from the Italian Dantophile Giulio Acquaticci, the 15th- and 16th-century imprints form the heart of the Dante collection, which totals nearly 3,000 volumes. Rare editions and critical studies ranging from the Renaissance to the present include eight incunabula and almost every edition published in the 16th century.

Hispanic Caribbean Literature Collection

The José E. Fernández Hispanic Caribbean Literature collection includes rare books and manuscripts that offer scholars and students a greater understanding of the region’s writers and their published works. The collection is especially focused on 20th-century Puerto Rican and Dominican writers and Cuban authors and artists associated with the Orígenes group.

Inquisition Collection

Purchased in 1996 from Libreria José Porrua Turanzas in Madrid, Spain, through an estate gift of Harley L. McDevitt (ND ’29), the Inquisition Collection includes more than 550 items relating to the Spanish, Portuguese, and Roman Inquisitions. It was assembled over many years by the late father of José Porrua Turanzas, who built upon a collection that he had acquired from an earlier Spanish collector, Anastasio Páramo.

The Library of José Durand

Professor José Durand (1925–1990) of the University of California, Berkeley, collected some 3,000 books, periodicals, pamphlets, and broadsides reflecting literary and philological currents of the Renaissance and Enlightenment in Latin America. The Durand collection was acquired through the generous donation of the Tom and Dottie Corson Family.

Southern Cone Literature Collection

Thanks to the donations and financial support of Robert (ND ’63) and Beverly O’Grady (SMC ’63), the Department of Special Collections houses a substantial collection of works by 20th-century writers from the Southern Cone nations of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The purpose of the collection is to document the literary development of the region through the comprehensive acquisition of works published by influential writers, with an emphasis on first and rare editions.

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

The Department of Special Collections currently possesses over 50 bound manuscript codices that may be dated prior to 1600 as well as several later manuscripts executed in a medieval style. In addition to bound manuscripts, this collection includes several dozen miscellaneous single sheets and manuscript fragments that may be dated to the Middle Ages or Renaissance.

Early Modern European Manuscripts

The Department of Special Collections currently possesses some 40 bound manuscripts originating from continental Europe and the British Isles that may be dated between 1600 and 1800. In addition to bound manuscripts, there are many unbound items from this era.