RECENT Gifts to the rare book Collection


rare book photo The Bible. New Testament. Erasmus.

The Libraries' Department of Special Collections preserves over 240 historically important editions of the Bible. New acquisitions are relatively uncommon due to the strengths of our existing print and electronic resources. Librarians were delighted, however, when Linda D. Nolten presented a rare Erasmus edition of The New Testament to Marquette. One of the oldest texts in the rare book collection, this 1523 third edition of Desiderius Erasmus' Testamentum Novum formed the basis for many later editions of the Bible. Unlike Erasmus' earlier editions (1516, 1519), this edition includes the passage (1 John 5:7-8) that has become known as the "Johannine Comma."

Paired with Cardinal Cisneros' Complutensian Polyglot Bible (1514-1517) -- now on long-term loan by the Salzmann Library to Marquette Libraries -- the volumes offer scholars and students access to works that were central to the history of the Bible and the Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 16th century.

Mrs. Nolten donated three other rare texts, including a 1530 imprint by Denis the Carthusian's commentary on the New Testament and a 1559 edition of Diodorus Siculus' Biblioteca Historica. Aware of the outstanding reputations of the History, Philosophy, and Theology programs, Mrs. Nolten donated these volumes to assist scholars in both their research and teaching.

Gifts from the Wolfram E. and Linda D. Nolten family.



Photo of William Throckmorton Warren with his donation of Sancti Thome de Aquino Ordinis Predicatorum Super Epistolas Pauli Commentaria Preclarissima Sancti Thome de Aquino Ordinis Predicatorum Super Epistolas Pauli Commentaria Preclarissima.

William Throckmorton Warren of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has donated a rare 1526 edition of St. Thomas Aquinas' lectures on the Epistles of Paul. The gift, in honor of Mr. Warren's daughter and grandson, Anne Guiher Warren Gaynor and Powell Warren Gaynor, was donated to Marquette following a search to identify a home to preserve and treasure the volume. This early edition is extremely rare--only two other copies are cataloged in WorldCat, one at the Biblioteca Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, and one at Georgetown University.

An Italian Domican theologian, Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) is considered one of the most important and influential scholastics of the Catholic Church. Published in Paris by Joannis Petit, the book found its way into the collection of Sir Robert Throckmorton, 1st Baronet of Coughton, Warwickshire in the 17th century. The book was purchased in England prior to World War II by a family friend for the Warren family, which is descended from Throckmorton. The book is lacking its cover, but it has its original binding, marginalia, and traces of bookworms. Sewn to the textblock by the bookbinder, vellum cover pages are part of an original manuscript dating to the 13th century, on the topic of angels, according to Marquette theology professor and rare book scholar Dr. Wanda Zemler-Cizewski (pictured left, with Mr. Warren).

Gift of William Throckmorton Warren and Constance Warren



Title page from Tradis Thaumaturgae Triadis Thaumaturgae, seu Divorum Patricii, Columbae et Brigidae by Rev. John Colgan.

Alums Dr. Patrick A. Roe (A&S '60, MD '64) and Joan Roe (A&S '60) recently presented one of the rarest of all Irish books to the Marquette Libraries: The Triad of Miracle-Workers: St. Patrick, St. Columba, and St. Brigid of Ireland. 

In the 1640s the Rev. John Colgan, an Irish Franciscan, transcribed original manuscripts and prepared the book for publication at Irish College in Louvain, Belgium. One of 34 Irish colleges across Europe in the 17th century, Irish College set the standard for Irish printing in the 17th century, developing the font for Gaelic. Parts of the folio-size Triadis Thaumaturgae are printed in both Latin and Gaelic.

The Roes donated the volume to support the continued development of Irish studies at Marquette, and to commemorate the opening of the John P. Raynor, S.J., Library.

Gift of Dr. Patrick Roe and Mrs. Joan (Stout) Roe



Fundamentum Theologiae Moralis Fundamentum Theologiae Moralis by Tirso Gonzáles, S.J.

This well-preserved volume, bound in white velum with metal clasps, was widely read when published in 1694. Its topic, moral theology, was the subject of considerable intellectual debate during the era. That author Fr. Tirso Gonzáles, S.J., was the general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) made it even more important.

The purpose of the work was to state the Jesuits' official position on the doctrine of probabilism. The basic premise of probabilism is that when one doubts the validity of a law he or she is not obliged to obey it (lex dubia non obligat). Jansenists maintained that probabilism was the cause of lax morals and faulted the Jesuit order for promoting it. In the work, Gonzáles clarified the Jesuit position on probabilism. He wrote that a moral agent should not go against the law unless it is highly probable that by breaking it a greater good is achieved.

Most volumes of this edition printed in Germania Superiori were destroyed by religious leaders who resented the work's arguments, making this 1694 edition exceedingly rare (Bandgert, William V., A History of the Society of Jesus. The Institute for Jesuit Sources (St. Louis: 1972) p. 277). Two other editions of this work are preserved in the Marquette Libraries Rare Book Collection.

Gift of Ms. Irene Bialas