Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Complutensian Polyglot Bible (1514)

A selection of rare materials from McHugh Special Collections is currently on view in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. This week we are highlighting two recent special acquisitions from the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern”: a facsimile of La Divina Commedia Di Dante Alighieri: Manoscritto Pal 313 and the fifth volume of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible.

La Divina Commedia Di Dante Alighieri: Manoscritto Pal 313 Inferno, Canon XXII The Pilgrim, Dante’s alter ego, and the spirit of Roman poet Virgil are escorted by demons in the first realm of Hell, the Inferno.

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Weinberg Library, McHugh Special Collections was able to purchase a fine art facsimile of the 14th-century manuscript of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The original manuscript is preserved at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence.

The Divine Comedy (written c. 1308-1320) is widely considered one of the greatest works of both Italian literature and world literature. The poem describes Dante’s (c. 1265 – 1321) travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven in its three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, but on a deeper level is an allegorical representation of the soul’s journey towards God.

Written in littera textualis (also known as “book hand” or Gothic script), the original manuscript dates between 1333 and 1345 and is known as the Dante Poggiali, after Gaetano Poggiali, the scholar who discovered it in 1800. It is considered the first illustrated Divine Comedy ever produced and is the only surviving manuscript of its kind before 1350. This illuminated version contains 37 precious miniatures for the Inferno by the Florentine workshop of Pacino di Buonaguida. A lesser-known artist in the 14th century, Pacino took inspiration from fellow Florentine artist Giotto in his compositions for the Inferno scenes. In addition to altarpieces, Pacino painted miniatures and decorations for illuminated manuscripts. He is now considered the inventor of miniaturism, a style distinguished by a clear organization of the painting surface into multiple small-scale scenes. The Getty Museum has described Pacino’s work as having “a strong sense of expressiveness and drama.” The miniatures for the Inferno were created using tempera, gold leaf, and ink on parchment. The book also features textual glosses by Dante’s son Jacopo Alighieri whose Commento is a commentary of the text of the Inferno.

La Divina Commedia Di Dante Alighieri: Manoscritto Pal 313 Inferno, Canon XXIV The Pilgrim and Virgil journeying through the mountains of Hell.

La Divina Commedia Di Dante Alighieri: Manoscritto Pal 313 Inferno, Canon XXV Witnessing the punishments of Hell along their journey, the Pilgrim and Virgil come upon serpents coiling around the body of a sinner.

McHugh Special Collections received an important rare book donation from Paul Swift ’75 who donated the fifth volume (containing the New Testament) of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible printed in 1514 at Complutense University in Madrid for Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (also known as Ximenes de Cisneros).

This New Testament is from a landmark six volume Bible printed in multiple languages. The Complutensian Polyglot was the first multi-lingual Bible printed in Europe and portions contain Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Aramaic. Work on the polyglot commenced around 1502 but it took until 1517 for printing to be completed. It then took until 1520 to gain papal approval. The donated volume is the first Greek language New Testament printed in Western Europe (also printed in Latin). Mr. Swift donated it in memory of his great aunt Nellie Brown, who purchased the bible in 1931. She was the first woman to take an evening course at St. Thomas College in 1938 and went on to become a medical doctor. He also donated it in memory of his cousin Frank Brown who taught in the history department.

Cover: The Fifth Volume of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible, 1514.

Incipit: The opening page of the Fifth Volume of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible, 1514.

To read more about the Weinberg Library’s Rare Book Collection visit our collection page here. “From Medieval to Modern” will be on display during normal library hours through Tuesday, April 25. On Tuesday, April 11th, Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies will discuss the exhibit at 6 p.m. in the Heritage Room of the Library. A reception will immediately follow the talk. This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please email michael.knies@scranton.edu or call 570- 941-6341.

Library experiencing problems with PALCI E-ZBorrow

The PALCI E-ZBorrow system is experiencing issues. You are able to login, be authenticated, search for a book, and view that book; however, you are not able to place a request. Instead, you get the following message:

“We’re sorry. You are not eligible to place EZBorrow requests. Please consult your institution’s library for assistance.”

We are working on resolving this issue. In the meantime, please use the ILLiad system to place your request.

 

 

Student Spotlight On Meghan Miller

With the spring 2017 semester moving along swiftly, Digital Services would like to recognize one of its graduating seniors, Meghan Miller.

Meghan began working in our department in 2016, and since that time has been always reliable, friendly and very diligent in her responsibilities – especially in the detail-oriented work of image processing and description.

She is a History major from East Brunswick, New Jersey with aspirations to become a professor of U.S. History.  On campus, she has been active with the University Singers and also enjoys art and dancing.  She would include the entire Harry Potter series as her favorite book, and her favorite movie is Monuments Men.  One surprising and fun fact about Meghan is that she is a black belt in mixed martial arts.

She has enjoyed her time working in the library, and has been especially impressed with how nice and helpful everyone is.  For this reason, she would encourage other students to never be afraid to ask staff members for assistance finding whatever they need.

The Weinberg Library thanks Meghan for her good work, and wishes her the best in all her future endeavors!

Google and its Impact on Our Lives – Resources Available in the Circulating Collection

Google’s overall mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful (https://www.google.com/intl/en/about/). Google has seen success regarding ease of use and access to different apps, for example, it is the world’s most heavily utilized search engine (https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/08/08/what-are-the-top-10-most-popular-search-engines/), Gmail is a widely popular personal e-mail service, Google Scholar and Books provide access to research, and Google Sites offers free webspace for personal websites. However, as Google technology continues to transform our lives, it is important to take a step back and learn more about Google, its history, impact on society, and its apps.

Here are a few resources on Google available through the Weinberg Memorial Library:

* Google search secrets by Michael P. Sauers and Christa Burns. E-book available through the WML: http://weinberg.scranton.edu/search?/dgoogle/dgoogle/1%2C27%2C127%2CB/frameset&FF=dgoogle&16%2C%2C32/indexsort=-

* Googling security: how much does Google know about you? by Greg Conti.

Call # QA76.9.A25 C6678 2009 Circulating Collection (3rd Floor)

* Google world directed, DVD produced and written by Ted Remerowski.

Call # TK5105.885.G66 G66 2010 Media Resources Collection (3rd Floor)

* What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis.

Call # HD30.2 .J375 2009 Circulating Collection (4th Floor)

Leaves of Class XIX – February Winner!

Congratulations to Elizabeth Barnack from Dalton, PA who won a gift certificate for two for an Endless Mountains Hot Air Balloons, Inc. ride courtesy of Rich and Jeanne Yarmey. Event and performance tickets to the following: The Piano Men:  The Music of Billy Joel and Elton John at the Keystone Grand Ballroom at Mohegan Sun Arena courtesy of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, 2 opening night tickets to the Broadway Theatre League of NEPA production of Pippin, two orchestra seat tickets to the production of her choice in the Community Concerts at Lackawanna College 2016-17 concert season, two tickets to the Actors Circle production of Clare Booth Luce’s play: The Women, and two excursion tickets from the Steamtown National Historic Site. Elizabeth also won gift cards/certificates from Zummo’s Café and Aramark, a TGI Fridays gift card from Metz Culinary Management, and a gift certificate for 4 complimentary green fees at the Country Club at Woodloch Springs.

There are still TEN chances to win! Our next drawing for Leaves of Class XIX is March 31, 2017.

To purchase entries online, visit: www.scranton.edu/leaves. To request mailed brochures, contact Kym Balthazar Fetsko – kym.fetsko@scranton.edu, 570.941.7816.

Thank you & good Luck!

 

 

Cicero’s Rhetorica ad Herennium (1481)

A selection of rare materials from McHugh Special Collections is currently on view in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. One of the books highlighted in the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern” is Marcus Tullius Cicero’s Rhetorica ad Herennium.

Cover: Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Fons eloquentiae studiosae juventuti patens, sive, Explanatio rhethoricae / acommodata candidatis rhetoricae. Cui adjicitur Analysis rhetorica omnium orationum M.T. Ciceronis, quâ ars ejusdem, & methodus dicendi eruitur, & cuivis etiam docoto oratori ad imitandum proponitur. R.P. Martino du Cygne: Apud Henricum Rommerskirchen, 1481.

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC) was a Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer, orator, consul, and constitutionalist credited with introducing Romans to Greek philosophy and being the innovator of what became known as Ciceronian rhetoric.

This book, printed in Venice in 1481 by Baptista de Tortis, and in its original blind-tooled (uncolored decoration) binding, has a wealth of information on its provenance (history of ownership). Nicholai Risi, about whom nothing is currently known, likely originally owned the book. He was responsible for the amateurish initial letters and the marginal annotations. Books printed during the first decades after Gutenberg’s printing press usually omitted the large opening paragraph initials expecting the owner to have them supplied by a scribe following the medieval manuscript tradition. Nicholas decided to write them himself (See image below). One might guess that he was a poor student and could not afford to pay for the work to be done but the book is in a fairly elaborate binding which would have been fairly expensive.

The book was later owned by the Honorable Frederick North. This Frederick North was the 5th Earl of Guilford (1766-1827), governor of Ceylon, and a significant book collector. (His father, Lord Frederick North was prime minister of Britain during the American Revolution.) Books bearing our Frederick’s book plate can be found in a number of libraries and his personal library was dispersed at eight London sales between 1828 and 1835. Finally, the book was owned by W. W. Scranton who purchased it in 1871 apparently for the price of $17.50 which would have been about three week’s wage for a laborer at the time. Where the book resided between the dispersion of North’s collection and William Walker Scranton’s acquisition is unknown.

To read more about the Weinberg Library’s Rare Book Collection visit our collection page here. “From Medieval to Modern” will be on display during normal library hours through Tuesday, April 25. On Tuesday, April 11th, Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies will discuss the exhibit at 6 p.m. in the Heritage Room of the Library. A reception will immediately follow the talk. This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please email michael.knies@scranton.edu or call 570- 941-6341.

On the right, W. W. Scranton’s signature can be seen on the flyleaf along with being dated Oct. 1871. On the left is the bookplate containing the price of $17.50, apparently the price W. W. Scranton had paid for the book in 1871.

Incipit: The opening page of the commentary to Cicero’s rhetoric. The text on the left side and most on the right are commentary while only the handful of lines following the handwritten “S” is from the text of Cicero. This book is as much a commentary on Cicero as the text itself. Clearly seen are the amateurish initial letters and marginal annotations by the owner Nicholai Risi.

Athanasius Kircher’s Ars Magna Sciendi Sive Combinatoria (1669)

A selection of rare materials from McHugh Special Collections is currently on view in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. One of the books highlighted in the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern” is Athanasius Kircher’s Ars Magna Sciendi Sive Combinatoria (1669).

Athanasius Kircher, S.J. (1602-1680) was a German Jesuit scholar and polymath who published approximately 40 major works in a wide range of fields, most notably in the fields of comparative religion, geology, medicine, technology, music, and Egyptology. Because of his enormous range of interests, Kircher has been called the “last Renaissance man” and “Master of a Hundred Arts.”

His Ars Magna Sciendi Sive Combinatoria (Amsterdam, 1669) was an attempt to use logic to categorize all knowledge under the nine attributes of God, an expansion of the “Combinatoric Art” of Ramon Lull, the thirteenth-century Majorcan philosopher. Kircher argues that these nine ideal attributes are the pattern for all creation and that to completely understand the universe, it must be organized in the mind according to this pattern. Consequently, Kircher designs a system for teaching all disciplines in the style of the encyclopedic movement. However, Kircher’s work is not pedagogical, but rather advocates a scientific method to finding truth, a logic applicable to all divisions of learning. In the book, Kircher applies this to numerous disciplines such as theology, medicine, and logic.

To read more about the Weinberg Library’s Rare Book Collection visit our collection page here. “From Medieval to Modern” will be on display during normal library hours through Tuesday, April 25. On Tuesday, April 11th, Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies will discuss the exhibit at 6 p.m. in the Heritage Room of the Library. A reception will immediately follow the talk. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please email michael.knies@scranton.edu or call 570-941-6341.

Title page: Kircher, Athanasius. Ars magna sciendi: in XII libros digesta, qua nova & universali methodo per artificiosum combinationum contextum de omni re proposita plurimmis & prope infinitis rationibus disputari, omniumque summaria quaedam cognitio comparari potest. Apud Joannem Janssonium à Waesberge, & Viduam Elizei Aeyerstraet, 1669.

On view in the Heritage Room is a page from Ars Magna Sciendi containing a volvelle, or wheel chart, which is a type of slide chart constructed of paper with rotating parts. It is considered an early example of a paper analog computer. Volvelles have been used to accommodate organization and calculation for a variety of subjects.

Off site storage project as Case Study

Iron Mountain recently featured the University of Scranton Weinberg Memorial Library off-site storage project as a Case Study on their website.

The project, completed during the summer of 2016, sent 10,172 books from the collection to the Iron Mountain facility in Rosendale, New York. The resulting video discusses the importance of extending ownership of the library collection and preserving the condition of the materials while still being able to make these materials accessible to students, faculty and staff. Books can be retrieved from off-site storage in one business day and requestors will get an email when the book is ready for pick-up at the Circulation Desk.

You may recognize some familiar faces speaking about the transparency of the process, touring the facility and demonstrating how easy it is to retrieve a book from off-site storage. Click here to check out the video.