Saturday, March 21, 2015

The End of the Beginning: CUA Rare Books completes cataloging of the Miscellanea Relativa alla Bolla Unigenitus

After nearly three years, Rare Books has added records to WorldCat for close to 1,000 pamphlets once owned by members of the Albani family of Rome and Urbino. This represents some 10% of the Clementine Library held at the Catholic University of America. Devoted almost entirely to Jansenism and to the reception of Pope Clement's bull Unigenitus, the recently cataloged Miscellanea series, assembled by the Pope's family, reflects complex politico-ecclesiastical struggles, wider social issues, and French printing practices at various levels of compositorial competency.

As a final offering from the last volume of this collection we post here the poorly printed, severely cropped, and otherwise unrecorded form letter which the Bishop of Nevers sent to his clergy in the spring of 1714. The recto of this single sheet would have had the addressee's name entered by hand in the blank (Monsieur le ______). Our copy remains blank and was never sent. On the verso is the required affirmation accepting Unigenitus, to be signed and dated by the priest, and containing a declaration stating that he has promulgated the bull from the pulpit of his parish church.

The Bishop of Nevers, Edouard Bargedé, requests  his priests' signature on this Act of Acceptance.

Verso of letter with spaces for the priest to sign and date. 

The Albani Miscellanea and its provenance evidence are the subject of a recent article by Lenore Rouse, Les Miscellanea relativa alla bolla Unigenitus et les documents en rapport de la Bibliothèque Albani, in Chroniques de Port-Royal, 2014. Completion of the Miscellanea cataloging project by no means exhausts the extensive Clementine Jansenist and anti-Jansenist material in that collection; perhaps an equal number of pamphlets and monographs on this topic remain to be identified and explored as our cataloging progresses though adjacent volumes.

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