2017 is the 500th anniversary of an event that is widely regarded as having precipitated the Protestant Reformation: the posting of Martin Luther’s 95 theses on a church door in the small German town of Wittenberg on 31 October 1517. In the intervening centuries, this episode has become deeply embedded in myth and legend. Although scholars now doubt whether it occurred in precisely this form, its anniversary is serving to stimulate fresh discussion and debate about the momentous schism within Christendom that took place in its wake, and its long term repercussions and effects.
This exhibition is one of the principal fruits of ‘Remembering the Reformation’, an interdisciplinary and collaborative research project generously funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (http://rememberingthereformation.org.uk/). Bringing together historians (Alex Walsham and Ceri Law, University of Cambridge) and literary scholars (Brian Cummings and Bronwyn Wallace, University of York), it investigates how Europe’s multiple and competing Reformations were remembered, forgotten, contested, and re-invented. It explores how the memories of these movements were created and emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as the complex, plural, and enduring legacies such memories have left.
Prefaced by a general section on Memory, the exhibition is divided into twelve categories that reflect the four themes around which the ‘Remembering the Reformation’ project is organised: (1) Lives and Afterlives ; (2) Events and Temporalities; (3) Objects, Places, and Spaces; and (4) Ritual, Liturgy, and the Body. A joint enterprise involving Cambridge University Library, Lambeth Palace Library and York Minster Library, the exhibition displays some of the many treasures in their rich manuscript, rare book, and artefact collections, as well as items from several other repositories in Cambridge and beyond.
THIS EXHIBITION presents Renaissance editions of Dante’sDivine Comedy from the John A. Zahm, C.S.C., Dante Collection at the University of Notre Dame, together with selected treasures from The Newberry Library. The Zahm collection ranks among the top Dante collections in North America. Purchased for the most part by Zahm in 1902 from the Italian Dantophile Giulio Acquaticci, the 15th- and 16th- century imprints presented here form the heart of Zahm’s collection, which totals nearly 3,000 volumes, including rare editions and critical studies from the Renaissance to the present. The nine incunable editions and nearly complete series of 16th-century imprints featured in this exhibit constitute essential primary sources for both the history of Dante’s reception during the Renaissance and the early history of the printed book.
The concentrated Dante collection at Notre Dame is nicely complemented by the wide-ranging holdings of The Newberry Library in Renaissance literature and history, and especially for the history of printing and publishing. These two rich and varied collections have often been used by Dantists in the Midwest and from abroad. The complementarity of the collections is mirrored in the formal cooperation of Notre Dame and The Newberry Library through the consortium of The Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies, of which Notre Dame has been an active member since 1983. The exhibit was originally held at the Department of Special Collections, University Libraries, University of Notre Dame, October 15 – December 15, 1993 and the Newberry Library between 15 April – 15 June, 1994, and has been produced in expanded form for Internet publication by a collaboration between the William and Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies, University of Notre Dame and the ARTFL Project of the University of Chicago. The Devers Program, the ARTFL Project, and the Newberry Library are proud to welcome you to Renaissance Dante in Print (1472-1629).