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Sharing the Spotlight

By Grace Huffman

With 14 newly acquired items in the Marian Library’s latest exhibit, the under-the-radar U.S. Catholic Special Collection is having a moment in the spotlight.

The exhibit A Living Library: Marian Acquisitions Through 2022, is open through Oct. 28 in the Marian Library on the seventh floor of Roesch Library. The items in the exhibit from the U.S. Catholic Special Collection, which preserves records of the Catholic Church and Catholic life in the United States, include recent purchases as well as a cache of interesting and often rare items donated to the collection but unprocessed until the fall of 2021. After staff created catalog records with rich descriptions of the unique and interesting items, Stephanie Shreffler, the collection’s librarian and archivist, selected items to showcase in the exhibit. Highlights: 

  • A bookseller’s copy of a 1903 biography of Pope Leo XIII with handwritten names and addresses of prospective buyers still in the book.
  • A set of large-print Gregorian notation flashcards for personal study.
  • A one-of-a-kind work on Franciscans in New Mexico by the noted historian and priest Zephyrin Engelhardt.
  • The Nightmare of God, a personal reflection from prison by Father Daniel Joseph Berrigan, S.J., a member of the Catonsville Nine, a pacifism group during the Vietnam War.
  • A collection of poetry from students of Xavier University in New Orleans, representing Black Catholic perspectives from the 1940s.

The recent acquisitions enhance current subjects in the collection such as the Catholic Worker movement and support UD academic programs such as a doctorate in religious studies focusing on the U.S. Catholic experience and a proposed certificate in Black Catholic studies.

The exhibit is open during Marian Library hours through Oct. 28. More information is available online

— Grace Huffman is a special collections cataloging and circulation assistant in the University Libraries.

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