FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

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Christmas in Special Collections 2009: Sacred and Secular

From Christmas Wayfarers. Dublin: at the Signot the Three Candles, (19--?).

From O'Byrne, Cathal. Christmas Wayfarers. Dublin: at the Sign of the Three Candles, (19--?).

Lost your Christmas spirit in the end of semester chaos? Come to the second floor of Falvey and visit the “Christmas in Special Collections” exhibit curated by Special Collections librarian Bente Polites. The books in this display vary in subject and size, from very large beautifully illustrated religious tomes to small works, some with colored illustrations, some with black and white. Not all of the books in the exhibit are religious; the display also includes a number of secular works.

On display are large facsimiles of illuminated manuscripts: the Gutenberg Bible, Book of Kells (original c.775-800) and Lindisfarne Gospels (original c.698-721). Among the other religious books featured are the Missale Romanum, printed in 1773, and modern copies of the Hours of Catherine of Cleves; Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry, Prince of France; Très Riches Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry; and the Prayer Book of Michelino da Besozzo.

The Genealogy and the Nativity of Christ: with the Offering of the Wise Men. Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1955. Illustrated by Leslie MacWeeney.

From The Genealogy and the Nativity of Christ: with the Offering of the Wise Men. Dublin: Dolmen Press, 1955. Illustrated by Leslie MacWeeney.

Other illustrated books encompass several by Charles Dickens and Washington Irving, and Christmas Party Games by Iona A. Opie from 1957.

For a glimpse at Christmas in other countries, see The Life Book of Christmas, The Irish Christmas published in Dublin in 1918 or God Jul! (Christmas customs in Norway), published in 1955.

Two particularly colorful books are The Christmas Sky by Franklin Mansfield Branley, and Blair Lent and Elva S. Smith’s The Christmas Book of Legends & Stories.

After enjoying  this inspirational exhibition, indulge in one of the special holiday beverages from Falvey’s Holy Grounds.

Has your Christmas spirit been restored?

By Alice Bampton; images scanned by Michael Foight

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Last Modified: December 8, 2009