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Collection: The Shape of Content in Christian Books, Broadsides, and Prints
This treatise on the legal definition of Christian marriage features two full-page diagrams depicting the "Tree of Consanguinity" and the exhibited "Tree of Affinity." The two woodcuts in the form of family trees helped to clarify the allowable…
The typography and woodcut illustration of this book reproduces the appearance of a ninth-century illuminated manuscript that consisted of twenty-eight poems in praise of the Holy Cross. In the original manuscript version, the Latin texts were…
Intended to help readers memorize the basic content of the four Gospels, the fifteen full-page woodcut illustrations in this book combine symbolic emblems that provide visual cues pertaining to each chapter.
This book comprises a series of 153 engravings depicting the Life of Christ by Hieronymus Wiericx (1553–1619) and others. Each illustration combines multiple scenes and features an alphabetical sequence of letters keyed to explanations in Latin…
In this picture Bible by Johann Buno, a Lutheran school teacher in Leburg, the fifty-four engravings illustrate virtually every chapter of the scriptures. Within each engraving, the individual pictorial elements represent particular chapters, while…
In this illustrated manual for celebrating the Mass according to the rites of the Dominican Order, the Latin text of the Mass appears in the left column, step-by-step instructions for the ceremony appear in the right column, and the center column is…
Numerous early printed missals, such as this edition published for the use of Carmelite monasteries, included music notation in the section of text located immediately prior to the Canon of the Mass. Plaited leather button tabs were also attached to…
In this Latin Bible printed in 1483, a late sixteenth-century English reader has inserted paper slips bearing handwritten English prologues for each book of the Bible. These added texts were transcribed directly from the prologues published in the…
Dirst edition of the Latin Bible prepared by Andreas Osiander II (1562–1617), presenting the revised Latin scriptures in the two inner columns, with the compiler's paraphrases, explanations, and annotations from various other commentators printed in…
In this 1572 edition of the Decretales of Gregory IX, a page-for-page reprint of the 1553 Lyon edition, a Catholic censor has expurgated much of the accompanying commentary, obscuring the text with opaque white ink that has darkened with age. The…
The Spanish Inquisition's Index of Expurgations, first issued in 1584. It informs censors which passages are erroneous or obsolete in past books and need to be deleted.
Papal Bull confirming privileges and domains of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Pierre at Meobecq within the diocese of Bourges, France.
This early printed papal bull announced that indulgences would be granted to penitent Christians who made donations to benefit the church of St. George and Mary Magdalen in Nördlingen, Germany. It contains many of the essential formulas of the…
Published by one of Rome's leading sixteenth-century engravers, this striking devotional image depicts St. Benedict of Nursia (ca. 480–543), the founder of Western monasticism. The broadside includes a central image of the saint and fourteen…
This engraved broadside features text in two languages, Italian and French. The purpose of the broadside was to highlight holy relics that could be seen by visitors to Milan Cathedral.
Intended to be used at Christmas time, this broadside provides the texts for a selection of fourteen popular carols that was not otherwise available in a hymnal. The inexpensive and ephemeral nature of the broadside is underlined by the low quality…
Intended for young readers, this rhyming German lithographic broadside narrates the story of Christ's Passion by means of a rebus, combining printed text and sixty-three hand colored images that stand in for particular words.
Noted for its striking woodcut illustrations, this book recounts a pilgrimage to the Holy Land undertaken in 1483–1484 by Bernhard von Breydenbach, Dean of Mainz Cathedral. Six leaves across, the exhibited fold-out illustration of Jerusalem…
In this controversial sixteenth-century exposé of alleged cruelties perpetrated by the Spanish Inquisition, the large unfolded woodcut plate illustrates an auto-de-fé, the post-trial ritual in which the condemned heretics were led through a public…
Jesuit catechism that includes one hundred lessons translated into Dutch, each illustrated with a meditational emblem engraved by Theodore Galle. A key to the book's usage is the rotating volvelle, part of a "lottery plate" that reveal the numerals 1…
Compiled by a French Franciscan friar, this innovative confessional manual encouraged self-reflection on several hundred sins. Categorized according to the Ten Commandments, brief definitions of the sins were printed on pre-cut paper. This allowed…
In this comprehensive study of biblical sources by the Dutch Protestant theologian Herman Witsius, revelation plays a large role in the chapter of the Tabernacle of the Ark of the Covenant. The Tabernacle was equipped with a curtain that concealed…
This all-engraved edition of the Book of Common Prayer features a volvelle, or rotating circular table, that allowed the user to determine the dates of all the moveable Sunday feasts, such as Easter, during a particular year.
This French calendrical manual features several fold-out plates, three volvelles, twelve sliding paper strips for tracking the weekdays of every month, and the exhibited adjustable table for determining the major moveable feasts. This table utilizes…
This pocket edition of the Book of Common Prayer was designed to provide both intimacy of use and portability. It includes gilt and red-dyed goatskin binding with enclosing flap and fore-edge painting of an English church.