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 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.

Leaves of Class XIX – January Winner!

Congratulations to Catherine A. Bolton from Lake Ariel who won event and performance tickets courtesy of The Broadway Theatre League of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts, The Ballet Theatre of Scranton, the Actors Circle, Community Concerts at Lackawanna College and The University of Scranton Players. Catherine also won four club seats to a Penguins home game courtesy of PNC Bank, gift cards/certificates from Alexander’s Spa & Salon and Aramark, a calendar and two large jar candles from American Candle, a 1 year family membership from the Everhart Museum, and a diamond bracelet courtesy of Midori Yamanouchi, Ph.D.

There are still ELEVEN chances to win! Our next drawing for Leaves of Class XIX is February 28, 2017.

To purchase entries online, visit: To request mailed brochures, contact Kym Balthazar Fetsko –, 570.941.7816.

Thank you & good luck!


Student Spotlight on Nathan Cardona

Nathan Cardona of Dickson City, PA came to work in the Circulation Department in the Fall of 2013.  Prior to that he worked for a year in the Library Dean’s office.  He enjoys working in the Library.  He’s learned a great deal from Library employees who he finds to be kind individuals who take every opportunity they get to help another person.  His advice to fellow students is to take advantage of everything the library has to offer – especially the study rooms and the enormous supply of resources we have to offer.

Nathan is an Occupational Therapy Major.  He also enjoys studying European History (1815-present).  When he’s not studying or working in the library, he enjoys writing and music.  Some of his favorite activities are exercising, playing soccer, and drumming.  Of course, he likes to read and his favorite book is City of Thieves.  His favorite movie is Inglourious Bastards.

An interesting fact about Nathan is that he has a twin brother Seth who is also a student here at The University of Scranton and looks very much like him.  So, if you ever see him in the cafeteria after just passing him at the Circulation Desk that could explain it!

After graduation in May, Nathan will continue at The University of Scranton as a Grad student to complete his studies.  His plan is to become a Certified Hand Therapist.  Let’s wish him well as he prepares to graduate and continue to reach for his goal!

Environmental Art Show — Call For Art!

The library is seeking submissions for the 7th Annual Environmental Art Show. The art show will be held from April 18th to the 23rd.

The Environmental Art Show promotes the natural beauty of our environment and the ideal practice of sustainable living through artworks of all types, including painting, photography, repurposed goods, sculpture, and more. The show is comprised entirely of University of Scranton student, staff, and faculty submissions, so please consider contributing!

The deadline for submissions is set for Monday, April 17th. All works of art can be dropped off at either the circulation or reference desks of the library. All artwork is returned after the exhibit has closed.

For photos from the past Environmental Art Shows see the following links:

EAS 2011 — EAS 2012 — EAS 2013 — EAS 2014 — EAS 2015 

From Medieval to Modern: Rare Book Exhibit Now on Display


The exhibit 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 or call 570- 941-6341.

Castello, Alberto, and Luca-Antonio Giunta. Biblia Cum Concordantijs Veteris Et Noui Testamenti e Sacrorum Canonum. Venetijs: Per Lucamantonium de giunta, 1511.

Domínguez de Toledo, Julián. Oracion panegyrica de las virtudes, y milagros del B. Juan Francisco Regis, sacerdote professo de la Compañia de Jesus, Impressa por Eugenio Antonio García, 1716.

Illuminated Leaf from a Book of Hours with Inhabited Borders, France, ca. 1440

Paint Day Fundraiser: Rescheduled

Rescheduled Event: The Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library will be hosting a paint day fundraiser in the Heritage Room on the fifth floor of the Library on Sunday, February 26 at 2pm. There is a $35 fee, snacks will be provided. Preregistration is required. For more information and to register, visit Spirited Art’s calendar of events.

If you were already registered for the original event, you are automatically registered for the 26th. If you can no longer attend, please contact Spirited Art.