Information Update - Spring 2004

Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection Grows

The Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection continues to grow. We recently acquired an early compilation of the rules for the Society of Jesus (Regulae Societas Iesu) and the program for the Jesuits educational system (Ratio Atque Institutio Studiorum) published by the Jesuit press in Rome in 1606-07. The Rules of the Society contains summaries of the Jesuits constitution, rules for the order, and St. Ignatius' letter on obedience. The Ratio Studiorum (originally published in 1599) contains the foundations for the Jesuit system of education which remained in place until the suppression of the order in 1773.

We have also acquired two books related to Jesuit emblems. Emblem books were a very important part of the Jesuit educational program and were popular from the 16th through the 19th-centuries. Essentially, an emblem book presents a collection of allegorical visual images, a motto or quotation for each image, and a prose explanation of the emblem showing the image's relevance to daily life. This combination of the visual and literary was considered to have a greater impact than plain text.

The Library has acquired a 1659 Antwerp edition of Herman Hugo's Pia Desideria (Divine Addresses), one of the most popular emblem books ever created. Originally printed in 1624, Pia Desideria went through numerous editions and influenced most later emblem book authors. Pia Desideria contains 46 engravings and is divided into three books: Gemitus animae poenitentis (The Groans of a Repentant Soul), Vota animae sanctae (The Desires of a Holy Soul), and Suspiria animae amantis (The Sighs of a Loving Soul).

The Collection has also acquired Joannes Bollandus' Af-beeldinghe van d'eerste eevwe der Societeyt Iesv, a Flemish translation of Imago primi saeculi Societatis Iesu a Provincia Flandro-Belgica eiusdem Societatis repraesentata that features more than 100 emblems celebrating the centenary of the Society of Jesus. It contains five books that present the "birth, progress, works, and sufferings of the Society and the glory that followed " using emblems and poems. Also included is an account of Jesuit missionary activity and history of the Jesuits in Flanders.
These items will be on exhibit with other books from the Jesuit Collection in the Special Collections Reading Room on the fourth floor of Weinberg Memorial Library.

Michael Knies