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University Libraries of Notre Dame

Library Overview

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections holds approximately 150,000 printed volumes with strengths in Roman Catholic studies, medieval studies, Italian and Irish literature, botany and sports, as well as a rapidly growing Latin American collection. Author-based holdings include over 3,000 editions of Dante along with significant collections on René Descartes, Edmund Burke, Eric Gill, G. K. Chesterton, and Jorge Luis Borges, among others. Among the pamphlet collections are about 5,000 American Catholic pamphlets from the 1940s and 1950s and a significant collection of pamphlets from the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Manuscript holdings span the Middle Ages to the present with an emphasis on the 18th through the 20th centuries in the Americas. The department also holds a collection of approximately 1,500 working papers and documents from Vatican II. Further, it owns an extensive numismatic collection, focusing primarily on the colonial period of American history, and also has significant philatelic holdings from around the world. There are major collections of maps of Ireland printed between the 16th and the 18th centuries and maps of the American Midwest Great Lakes region printed up to the mid-19th century. The department also holds an extensive collection of 18th- and 19th-century British and American newspapers and a collection of American Catholic diocesan newspapers. Additionally, the department contains a significant number of posters, broadsides and printed ephemera, primarily related to sports, Irish studies, or Catholicism.

University of Notre Dame
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
(574) 631-0290 (t)
(574) 631-6308 (f)