“Distinguished for Their Talents,” Theatrical Portraits by Scranton Master Penman P. W. Costello, 1905-1930

On display in the Weinberg Memorial Library’s Heritage Room is a collection of pen and ink portraits of late 19th and early 20th century theatrical personalities drawn between 1905 and 1930 by Scranton’s Master Penman Patrick W. Costello. Costello was nationally recognized for his work and operated what we might now consider a graphic arts studio where he created advertising art as well as engrossed congratulatory or testimonial resolutions, diplomas, and other types of work that required a combination of calligraphic lettering and artistic design. As a hobby, Costello drew pen and ink portraits and, because he had a love for the theater, specialized in drawing portraits of stage personalities. These were often drawn from photographs, engravings or illustrations found in theater magazines and books, but he also drew some portraits from life. In addition to his career as a penman, Costello owned restaurants in Scranton where he would display his portraits. In some cases, traveling actors would visit the restaurant and autograph their portraits. The exhibit will include a variety of men and women of the stage, some of whom played Scranton. Some actors, such as John Barrymore, are still famous today. Many of these actors performed Shakespeare and, therefore, a portion of the portraits on display depict Shakespearean characters.

The Heritage Room will host an exhibit reception and program on Tuesday, March 27 at 6 PM. Thomas W. Costello, P. W. Costello’s great-grandson, will speak on Costello’s career. University of Scranton English professor Michael Friedman will give a talk titled “Shakespeare on the Stage in 1900: From Actor’s Theater to Author’s Theater.” Sponsored by the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, the reception is free and open to the public. The exhibit will run from February 5 through April 23 during normal Library hours. Images of the portraits can also be viewed through our digital collections website. For more information, please email archives@scranton.edu or call 570-941-6341.

 

Scranton and World War I: Exhibit on Display


Currently on display in the Library’s 5th Floor Heritage Room is the exhibit “Scranton and World War I.” The exhibit is a cooperative effort with the Lackawanna Historical Society in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Historical Association‘s annual conference which will be held at the Radisson Hotel from October 12 through October 14. The conference’s opening reception will take place on Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Heritage Room. This event is free and open to the public. The exhibit is composed of World War I era materials that relate to Scranton from the Lackawanna Historical Society and The University of Scranton Archives, as well as materials from the Zaner-Bloser Penmanship Collection, the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton Collection, and the Visiting Nurse Association Collection.

The exhibit is on display during normal library hours through Friday, December 8th. For more information, please email Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, michael.knies@scranton.edu or call 570- 941-6341.

 

University of Scranton Alumni Authors Exhibit

Each June, the Weinberg Memorial Library presents the University of Scranton Alumni Authors Exhibit. Covering a range of subjects, the exhibit presents the works of alumni who became nonfiction writers, novelists, children’s literature writers, and historians. The earliest alumnus featured is Clarence Walton, ’37, 10th president of The Catholic University of America and the first layman to hold the position. Also presented are works by Jason Miller, ’61, H’73, who received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play That Championship Season. The exhibit also includes a recent acquisition, Highways into Space, by retired NASA engineer, Glynn Lunney, ’55, H’71.  Lunney joined NASA as an engineer in 1958 and went on to become a flight director for the Gemini and Apollo programs, including the Apollo 13 crisis for which he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

For a full list of books by alumni at the Weinberg Memorial Library, please visit Scranton.edu/alumniauthors. The exhibit will be on display in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room through the month of June. It is open to the public and can be viewed during normal library hours. For more information, please email Special Collections Librarian, Michael Knies, at michael.knies@scranton.edu or call 570-941-6341.

Alumni interested in donating their published works to the Library can mail a copy to the Office of University Advancement, 800 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18510.

Faculty Scholarship Exhibit

During the month of May, the Weinberg Memorial Library hosts its annual Faculty Scholarship Exhibit in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. The exhibit features books and articles produced by University of Scranton faculty members since 2015. The exhibit, organized by academic department, provides an overview of the diversity and quality of scholarly accomplishments by the University’s faculty. For more information, please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies at michael.knies@scranton.edu or call 570-941-6341.

18th Century Liturgical Books

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 three 18th century liturgical books (2 breviaries and a missal) from the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern”. These books are special for their ecclesiastical coats of arms and elaborate decorated bindings.

The first is the Diurnale Ebroicense (1740) by Pierre Jules César de Rochechouart (1698-1781), a French ecclesiastical man who served as Bishop of Evreux and then as Bishop of Bayeux. A Diurnale is a condensed version of a breviary, and in this case, the summer volume Pars Aestiva, from Pentecost though the 15th Sunday after Pentecost. However, this volume also contains sections for the autumn.  The Diurnale Ebroicense is based on the rites practiced in Ebroicense, also known as Évreux, a diocese in northern France. This red leather binding features the coat of arms of an unidentified ecclesiastical, possibly a Bishop.

The next is the Breviarium Romanum (1740), which is a very elaborately decorated breviary that features repeating floral designs on red leather, gilt edges, and the arms of an unidentified ecclesiastical, possibly a Bishop. Finally, there is the Canon Missae. Canon Missae is the name used in the Roman Missal for the fundamental part of the Mass that comes after the Offertory and before the Communion. This impressive volume was printed at the Vatican in 1784. The engraving of the Last Supper was engraved by Carolus Grandi after an original by Joseph Passarus. The ornate gold-tooled binding features rather large floral tools that would have required significant strength to impress into the leather. It also features the arms of an unidentified ecclesiastical, possibly a Bishop.

Cover: Rochechouart, Pierre J. C. Diurnale Ebroicense, 1740
Cover: Catholic Church. Breviarium Romanum, 1740.
Cover: Catholic Church. Canon Missae, 1784.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

From Medieval to Modern: The Book of Hours

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 the Book of Hours from the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern”.

The Book of Hours was a Christian devotional book that became popular in northern Europe during the 14th century and has been called the Medieval best seller as many educated men and women owned them. The Book of Hours was a distillation, for laypeople, of the series of prayers said by priests, monks, nuns, etc. during the course of the day divided into sections from morning through the night. Although containing a similar collection of texts, prayers, and psalms, there is a high variation in quality depending on the budget of the purchaser. As result, each manuscript was unique with its illumination and binding. Most examples are small books with little illumination, often restricted to decorated capital letters at the start of psalms and prayers. However, the books made for the wealthy can be extremely lavish and heavily illuminated with full-page decorations and have extravagantly decorated bindings.

On display in the Heritage Room are several examples of the Book of Hours from Special Collections: two medieval leafs, a simple book, and a fine art facsimile. The first leaf is from a fine Book of Hours with inhabited borders (ca. 1440). The second leaf is from an undistinguished Book of Hours (ca. 1450-75), but has significance because it records information in French on the Dumesnil family from Loire.

Leaf from a fine Book of Hours with inhabited borders, France, ca. 1440.
Book of Hours, French Flanders, Circa 1450-75.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a Book of Hours (1685) bound in a simple blind ruled black Morocco. This binding has an unfortunately added shelfmark in addition to damaging adhesive tape. Finally, there is a fine art facsimile of a miniature, illuminated Book of Hours from the Vatican Library in brown leather with raised bands and gilt decoration.

Officium Beatæ Mariæ Virginis, Nuper Reformatum … Cum Indulgentius & Orationibus A Pio V. Ordinatis, & Hymnis Ab Vrbano Viii. Correctis. Accedunt Psalmi Vesperarum & Completorij, Etc. Antuerpiæ: ex Officina Plantiniana, 1685.
Fine Art Facsimile: Thomas, Marcel. Livre D’heures Vat. Ross. 94: Fin Du Xvème Siècle. Fribourg: Éditions d’art Ebory, 1984.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Fine Art Facsimiles: The Book of Kells and The Lindisfarne Gospels

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 fine art facsimiles from the exhibit “From Medieval to Modern”: The Book of Kells and The Lindisfarne Gospels.

In 1997, Special Collections acquired a fine art facsimile of the Book of Kells, donated by the estate of Charles J. Buckley, a dean emeritus who served the University in a variety of academic and administrative positions for 46 years.

Folio 34r contains the Chi Rho monogram, which serves as the incipit for the narrative of the life of Christ. Chi and rho are the first two letters of the word Christ in Greek.

The original Book of Kells is believed to have been created around 800AD on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. Since the 17th century, it has been stored in the Library of Trinity College in Dublin. It is one of the world’s most famous illuminated manuscripts and is considered one of the greatest artistic productions of the Medieval period. The Book of Kells is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure. The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells surpass that of other Insular Gospel books in extravagance and complexity. The decoration combines traditional Christian iconography with the ornate swirling motifs typical of Insular art. Figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts, together with Celtic knots and interlacing patterns in vibrant colors, enliven the manuscript’s pages. Many of these minor decorative elements are imbued with Christian symbolism and so further emphasize the themes of the major illustrations.

Only 1,480 copies of the facsimile of the Book of Kells were produced by the Fine Art Facsimile Publishers of Switzerland. The facsimile is owned by some of the most prestigious institutions in the United States, including New York’s Morgan Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The facsimile edition took 10 years to produce and is considered to be indistinguishable from the original under museum viewing conditions. This accuracy extends to duplicating any damage and holes that appear in the original. The pages of the facsimile are identical in size and shape to the original manuscript pages. Of most importance to the viewer, however, is the impeccable color reproduction of the photographs. A special photographic book cradle was manufactured to hold the original safely. Kodak Ektachrome color transparencies were color corrected electronically, then passed to a lithographer who made additional color corrections by hand using as many as 10 printing inks per page. As the lithographer perfected the color balance, examples of the pages were compared with the original to fine-tune the color. After the pages were duplicated, they were sewn into gatherings hand-bound in a white skin, a book construction similar to the original.

On display in the Heritage Room: Folio 129v, the Evangelist symbols for the Gospel of Mark.
On display in the Heritage room: Folio 130r, the celebratory opening of the Gospel of Mark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Weinberg Memorial Library Special Collections recently received an extraordinary gift in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Library. Dr. Midori Yamanouchi, Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library Board Member, provided funding for the acquisition of a fine art facsimile of the Lindisfarne Gospels. The original Lindisfarne Gospels is at the British Library in London and it is one of the most important and one of the best-preserved early medieval manuscripts.

The Lindisfarne Gospels is an Illuminated manuscript gospel book created approximately 715-720 AD in a monastery at Lindisfarne off the coast of England. It is considered one of the best early versions of St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. The Lindisfarne Gospels also includes an interlinear Old English translation of the Gospels. This word-for-word English gloss was added to the Gospels around 950-970 AD.  It is the oldest known translation of the Gospels into English.

The fine art facsimile of the Lindisfarne Gospels was produced in 2002 by Faksimile Verlag of Luzern Switzerland, a company that specializes in the highest quality reproductions of liturgical medieval manuscripts. The facsimile was produced in cooperation with the British Library using state of the art digital photographic technology.

On display in the Heritage Room: Folio 138v, the Carpet Page of the Gospel of Saint Luke.
On display in the Heritage Room: Folio 139r, the opening of the Gospel of Saint Luke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

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.