Information Update - Fall 2002

Library Receives $10,000 Grant from the Jesuit Community of Scranton

Brendan G. Lally, S.J., Rector of the Jesuit Community of Scranton, presented the Weinberg Memorial Library with a check for $10,000 to support and enhance its efforts to develop a collection of Jesuitana.
The initial inspiration for the collection was the publication by The University of Scranton Press of a facsimile edition of Geronimo Nadel's 1593 Evangelicae Historiae Imagines, a book of Bible illustrations designed to accompany the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. The original copy of the Nadel book was exhibited by the Library along with other rare books in the collection of former Board of Trustee member Edward R. Leahy during the spring and fall 2000 semesters. Mr. Leahy gave The University of Scranton Press permission to copy the Nadel, and the facsimile is now available for purchase. Upon publication of the Nadel facsimile, it was noted that the Weinberg Memorial Library did not have an established collection of Jesuit venerable works. A special ad hoc committee was formed to investig ate the establishment of such a collection. The original ad hoc committee was comprised of the following members: Richard Rousseau, S.J., Director, University of Scranton Press; the late Royden B. Davis, S.J.; Charles E. Kratz, Library Director; Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian; the late William B. Hill, S.J.; Margaret Craft, Assistant Director of Library Technical Services & University Archivist; and Narda Tafuri, Acquisitions Libr arian. It was determined that the Library should develop its collection of Jesuitana in three major ways: 1. By acquiring Jesuit venerable works, consisting of early copies of works such as the Spiritual Exercises, constitutions and histories associated with the Society of Jesus; a special focus for this area of the collection would be the works of Daniello Bartoli, a noted Italian writer, scholar and early historian of the Society of Jesus; 2. By developing and enhancing the Library's collection of the writings of 19th and 20th century American Jesuit scholars; and 3. By collecting the works of Francis James Finn, S.J. (a.k.a. Father Finn), a significant turn-of-the-century Jesuit children's author.
Both Fr. Davis an d Fr. Hill, members of the original ad hoc committee, passed away unexpectedly this past year before the Library received the Jesuit Community's grant. It was their support, direction and review of the Library's Jesuit collection, aided by Fr. Rousseau, which had enabled the Library to apply for and receive monies from the Jesuit Community for the collection's expansion. Both Fr. Davis and Fr. Hill had a long association with the Library: Fr. Davis was a founding member and first President of the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library Endowment Fund. After his presidency, he continued to be an active member of the Friend's Gift Selection Committee. Fr. Hill supported the Library through his work as editor of the Best Sellers literary review magazine. Therefore, it is most fitting that the new collection will be known as the Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection.
With initial grants from both the Rousseau Memorial Fund and the Friends of the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library Endowment Fund, as well as monies from the Library's Special Collections budget, the committee was able to purchase several important works. Two early copies of essential Jesuit works, acquired from rare booksellers, were purchased wi th monies from the Rousseau Memorial Fund. The first work is a copy of St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises (Exercitia Spiritualia), published in Rome in 1596. The second is a copy of the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus (Constitutiones Societatis Iesu), published in Rome in 1635. In addition to these early works, the Library has begun to acquire the works of Daniello Bartoli (1608'1685). Bartoli published a number of histories of the Society as well as writings in other areas of literature and science and was noted for his mastery of writing in the Italian language. With three early copies of Bartoli's works in its Jesuit collection, the Library has begun to establish itself as a major resource for scholarship and research in this area.
The generous $10,000 grant from the Jesuit Community will allow the Library to continue collecting works in the areas mentioned above and also to expand its efforts to acquire the important theological and socia l writings of 19th and 20th century American Jesuits such as Joseph Husslein, John Courtney Murray, Daniel A. Lord, and others.
Selected items from the Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection will be on exhibit during the fall semester in the Library's Special Collections.
Narda Tafuri
Pride, Passion, Promise: Experience Our Jesuit Tradition