The Gleeson Library | Geschke Center is pleased to announce the completion of a project to digitize early editions of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises.
In Fall of 2020, Gleeson was awarded a Jesuit Foundation grant to make sixteenth and seventeenth-century editions of the foundational texts of Ignatian spirituality available online. The grant supported the digitization of editions printed in 1574 (Burgos, Spain); 1619 (Paris); 1635 (Antwerp); 1689 (Antwerp), and 1691 (Rome). The latter two printings are particularly significant for their engravings.
For example, the 1691 edition contains the impressive illustrations shown below. The first image in the slideshow depicts St. Ignatius of Loyola receiving inspiration from the Virgin Mary. As his gaze turns toward the heavens, we see his discarded helmet on the ground. The second illustration depicts a hand with the phrase ‘Anima mea in manibus meis semper’ — roughly translated to My soul is always in my hands. This illustration serves as a memory aid for the Examen, a portion of the Spiritual Exercises which invites reflection in five parts: 1. Give thanks, 2. Ask for insight, 3. Review your day, 4. Seek forgiveness, and 5. Look to tomorrow.
The library is grateful to the Jesuit Foundation for support in making these volumes available in Gleeson Library Digital Collections, and we hope that these digitized volumes will be of use to the USF community to enhance teaching, learning, reflection, prayer, and faith dialogues.
Building on this work and in celebration of the Ignatian Year, USF student Elizabeth Hathorn (’21) recently created a digital storytelling project that highlights these recently digitized volumes. Elizabeth used the StoryMaps platform to invite reflection on the themes of the Ignatian Year and USF’s Jesuit roots in combination with information about digitized books from the library’s collection.
Elizabeth worked on this project as part of an internship in the library’s Donohue Rare Book Room. She’ll be graduating this month and is a ROTC cadet and History major. In addition to the project described above, she also devoted much of her internship to supporting the library’s efforts toward reparative and inclusive description, focusing her work primarily on Rare Book Room materials that address East Asian history, literature, culture, and art.
The volumes digitized as part of the Jesuit Foundation grant and the books highlighted in Elizabeth’s project will be on display in the Donohue Rare Book Room through January 2022. The Donohue Rare Book Room is located on the 3rd floor of the library and is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.