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Collection: The Shape of Content in Christian Books, Broadsides, and Prints
An illustrated scroll displaying a moving series of color-printed illustrations called "An Illuminated Life of Christ Chronologically Arranged. Masterpiece Paintings by the World's Great Artists." When the entire scroll has been displayed, the lower…
Devotional object that consists of a printed hinged box filled with 147 small rolled slips of paper bearing printed texts for Christian meditation. Each slip in Promise, Prayer, Poetry provides three quotations. The first is always a Bible verse. The…
Intended for private devotion, this homemade pin cushion encloses a devotional manuscript featuring eight French prayers or mottos in praise of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The object consists of two heart-shaped green velvet covers with gold cloth…
Based on a set of illustrated cards first published with an instructional booklet in 1833, this edition of Elizabeth Maria Lloyd's popular Gospel lessons for children consists of the same booklet with four extensive folding panels bearing the series…
Miniature manuscript "library" of pious thoughts; each with a German keyword written on a small card, all housed alphabetically in six slipcase "volumes" with gilt red morocco spines (A-D; E-H; I-M; N-Q; R-U; V-Z) within a book-shaped box (9.5 cm).
Engraved devotional tryptich on paper depicting the Virgin and Child; both figures enshrined at center, depicted as hovering over ill or injured person to left and right. The single sheet of paper was cut and folded to form a small envelope that…
Eighteenth-century Eucharistic treatise with an illustration of the Mass ceremony in progress, showing a simpler form of cartagloria on the altar in front of the priest.
This folding triptych, known as a cartagloria, bears the essential texts of the Latin Mass that a priest needed to have visible during the Eucharistic ceremony. Complementing the central images of Christ on the Cross and the Last Supper, the…
Known as a Breverl, this devotional amulet belongs to a genre that enjoyed widespread popularity among Catholics in eighteenth-century Bavaria and Austria and was believed to offer talismanic protection to its owner. It usually consisted of a printed…
This portrait of Jean Calvin features micography of the first chapter of Martin Luther's German translation of Ecclesiasticus.
The "pear" is covered in green and yellow painted buckskin surmounted by a stem, while the torso is in crushed white buckskin. Within the two-part leather "box" is a manuscript by the calligrapher Michael Sull, the leaves of which echo the shape of…
This Ethiopian manuscript on parchment is preserved with its sturdy leather folding case, called a maḫdär, which features a shoulder strap. The carrying case was essential for the daily use of the book, as it not only gave protection to the book, but…
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.
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 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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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.
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…
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.
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 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…