University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Physical Exhibits in Special Collections

Rare Books and Special Collections regularly presents exhibits of materials from its holdings in our Exhibit Room (102 Hesburgh Library, at the west end of the 1st floor concourse) and on our Web site.

All exhibits are free and open to the public during our regular hours.

Currently on Display

Graphic for the exhibit.

Hellenistic Currents: Reading Greece, Byzantium, and the Renaissance

August 26 - December 20, 2019

This exhibit shows the diffusion of Hellenism and Greek writing from the 4th century BC to the 19th century AD through various media. The objects reflect the characteristics of Greek culture, language, and learning which began to spread with Alexander the Great throughout the world to Rome, the Byzantine Empire, Italian Renaissance, continued to survive under Ottoman rule, and even thrived in sixteenth-century France. All materials are in the permanent collection of the Hesburgh Library: papyrus fragments, parchment and paper manuscripts, early printed books, and coins. Various genres from Classical Literature to Byzantine chant are represented and contextualized. A special feature of the exhibit highlights the many scripts used in Greek handwriting and the fonts of early Greek typography.

This exhibit is curated by Dr. David T. Gura, Curator, Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts, Hesburgh Libraries, and Concurrent Associate Professor of Paleography, Medieval Institute.

Spotlight Exhibits

August-September 2019 | Art in a 19th-Century Household in Ireland: The Edgeworth Family Album

Open album on display, showing four drawings or paintings pasted onto the righthand page, with descriptive text card visible at bottom of image.

The Edgeworth Family Album in the Spotlight Exhibit is an unusual collection of drawings and sketches by members of the remarkable Edgeworth family of County Longford, Ireland. Much is known about the literary and scientific endeavors of this family — the writer Maria Edgeworth was the eldest daughter of this family — but the drawings in this album provide new insight into the interests and preoccupations of family members.

Frances Beaufort, the fourth wife of R. L. Edgeworth, was an accomplished artist. According to Edgeworth's Memoir, Frances had been asked to provide sketches for a proposed illustrated edition of Maria Edgeworth's The Parents' Assistant. When Mr. Edgeworth visited the Beaufort home and viewed the sketches, he and Frances began a relationship that would lead to marriage. Thus Frances Beaufort brought her artistic talent and training into the Edgeworth household and encouraged her children and stepchildren to draw.

This exhibit is curated by Aedín Clements, Irish Studies Librarian.



September-December 2019 | Touchdowns & Technology: The Evolution of the Media and Notre Dame Football

Open album on display, showing four drawings or paintings pasted onto the righthand page, with descriptive text card visible at bottom of image.

A display of photographs, graphic publications, manuscripts, audiovisual materials and artifacts from the University Archives which explores the cross sections between communication technology, popular culture and Notre Dame football. Organized to coincide with the 150th anniversary of collegiate football, this temporary exhibit traces Notre Dame's history as early adopters of emerging technologies in sports media which helped to solidify "the Fighting Irish" as a cultural icon for loyal alumni and national audiences alike.

This exhibit is curated by Elizabeth Hogan, Photo Archivist, University Archives.



For information about previous spotlight exhibits, please refer to the History of Spotlight Exhibits page.

Upcoming Exhibits

Spring 2020

Natural History editions from the Greene Collection

Fall 2020

Centenary of 19th Amendment / Women's Suffrage Internationally

Suggest an Exhibit

Many of the exhibits presented by the Department of Special Collections are produced in collaboration with members of the Notre Dame teaching and research faculty and are scheduled to coincide with significant academic conferences at the University. If you have a suggestion for a future exhibit and/or would like to assist in producing one, please contact Special Collections at 631-0290 or by e-mail.