All Main Campus Library facilities are open and operating at full capacity to Georgetown faculty, students, and staff. The Library will be closed to external community members and guests through December 2021, with limited exceptions. Find the most current information available on the Library's COVID-19 FAQ.
The Library of John Gilmary Shea
An Exhibition of Rare Books and Manuscripts Relating for the Most Part to American Catholic History
For most Americans, regardless of the direction or "correctness" of their political opinions, 1992 constitutes a very great milestone indeed: the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World. Whether Columbus was "first" or not, or whether he came for good or for ill, hardly matters in the light of the importance his discovery made to European civilization. For nearly 300 years following his first voyage,efforts of both church and state would be bent to the opening up and exploitation of a vast new world.
For Georgetown University, and particularly for its main campus libraries, the same year, 1992, marks two other anniversaries; their celebration, unruffled by political or philosophical concerns, provides a fitting academic contribution to the larger anniversary marked by the nation as a whole.
The first of these anniversaries—the one which makes possible this quietest of celebrations, is the centenary of the acquisition by Georgetown of the library of John Gilmary Shea, the "father" of American Catholic historical studies. Toward the end of his life Shea drafted, at the request of a friend (and another seeker after his books, let it be known), Father John J. Dougherty, a succinct description of his remarkable collection. The opening paragraph of that description, in its modestly understated tone, offers us a key to what Shea did, and why Georgetown's acquisition of the fruits of his efforts is worthy of remembrance today (italics inserted):
The Library has been collected almost exclusively to bring together books relating to the History of the Catholic Church in the United States, and those countries directly connected with it.
Father J. Havens Richards, then president of the university, mounted an intense campaign to win the collection for Georgetown, even though the collector had always hoped his books would be able to remain in New York. Richards, undeterred, ultimately negotiated an agreement whereby Shea would retain possession of his library until his death. Unfortunately, Shea lived only a very few days after signing the agreement whereby Georgetown acquired his collection, dying at age 67 on February 22, 1892: the centenary of his death is the second anniversary we now celebrate.
Typical of the man, Shea's description of his library is both slightly evasive and quite correct. Not able, for want of money, to collect on the grand scale of a John Carter Brown, he limited his sights to bringing together “books” that would illuminate the Catholic part of American history, and with only a modest number of exceptions, he hewed constantly to that line. He thought that the only major deviation in his collecting from clarifying the role of Catholics in the exploration and settlement of America and their struggle to establish their faith in that new land was his assemblage of nearly 400 printed titles ( and a wealth of manuscript materials) in Native American languages or having to do with their grammar, vocabulary, or study: merely the sort of collection which might have brought lasting fame to a lesser man than Shea. By the same token, it mattered little to him whether a “book” as a monograph, a periodical, a newspaper, or a pamphlet; or even, in fact, if it were handwritten rather than printed. After all, he knew perfectly well what he meant, and after a lengthy career in popular journalism he also knew what kinds of recondite distinctions his readership would have little patience with.
Author, editor, or translator of more than 200 books, entries in encyclopedias, and contributions to periodicals, Shea was nonetheless to a remarkable degree self-taught. His initial formal schooling ended in 1837, when he was 13; during the years from 1848 to 1852, when he was a member of the Society of Jesus, his course of studies in the novitiate in Montreal, with one exception, would have little to do with what ultimately became his life's work. He had already been admitted to the New York State Bar in 1846 after two years in a law office, displaying by that achievement the facility with which he could learn anything to which he chose to tum his mind. He never really practiced law, and, having given up his vocation to the priesthood and married, his easy command of language made a career in journalism a natural way in which he could support both his family and his interest in historical research.
Late in life, Shea's importance and reputation in the Catholic community of his time was far greater than he apparently ever believed, though today we might have trouble accepting at face value his continued modesty in the face of reiterated proof. Father Joseph Finotti, the author of the pioneering Bibliotheca Catholica Americana (1872), the first attempt at a bibliography of Catholic works published in the United States, was an intimate of Shea's and a fellow collector in a largely neglected field. After Finotti's death in 1879, Shea oversaw the dissolution of his colleague's collection—making sure that the best of Finotti's books ended up in his own collection, of course. To Finotti, a man who took his priesthood and the dignity of that office most seriously, Shea was the only Catholic layman under whose roof he would condescend to spend the night. On a more obvious level, and despite the overtones of "development" that were involved, Shea was made the first recipient of Notre Dame's Laetare Medal, a distinction inaugurated in 1883 by the university, the annual medal to be given to the most outstanding Catholic layman in the United States.
Shea's own writings are now not much read. Many of his early works, largely devoted to various aspects of the Catholic role in the opening up of parts of this country and missionary work with its indigenous peoples, were more or less quickly dated by the increased access historians gained to original sources, some of them completely unavailable to Shea. Even his massive four-volume history of the Catholic Church in the United States, to which he gave up the last decade of his life and which he left incomplete at his death, has been entirely superseded. Yet he was the first scholar to put the Catholic experience in this country under true historical scrutiny, basing his works on the evidence of original sources and leaving to one side the incrustations of legend and wishful thinking that marred the work of so many others.
On the other hand, his editorial work, if technically mediocre by today's standards, is still of considerable value to historians. In his “Cramoisy Series," a group of 25 texts of great importance to the early history of Catholics in this country, he made available to scholars for the first time texts which until his publication of them had existed in unique manuscripts only. A parallel group of publications, 14 grammars and dictionaries of Native American languages, have remained equally important to scholars in this field of linguistics. In connection with these editorial ventures, it is useful to remember that Shea printed at most a few hundred copies, and often only 100 of these works: Shea understood all too well that the number of people in America interested in "original sources" was not overly large.
Ironically, Shea's most onerous editorial effort, and the one he probably felt was the most important, was initially published without mention of his name and has since sunk almost completely from sight. His bibliographical researches in the 1850s into the publication of the Catholic version of the Bible in the United States led him to the discovery that not only were the various American editions based on widely differing translations, they were riddled throughout with typographical, compositional, and literal errors. When a publishing firm hired him to edit a pocket-sized edition of the Bible, Shea converted that apparently simple and straightforward task into a meticulous re-editing of Bishop Challoner's 1750 translation of the Vulgate, the version of the text preferred by New York's Archbishop—later Cardinal—John McCloskey. Fortunately, the survival of many of his painstakingly marked proof texts makes possible an estimate of the extent of his work on the project.
Shea's principal biographer, Peter Guilday, expresses a certain awe at the remarkably tranquil and contented, though far from affluent, homelife his subject shared with Sophie, his wife of almost 40 years, and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Emma Isabel. While Shea's preoccupation with his work, both as an editor and as a historian, probably put some strain on his women-folk, it's far more likely that his sinking every extra dollar into building his collections of books, manuscripts, and coins and medals (the latter given to the College of Mount Saint Vincent shortly before his death) would have been a more proximate reason for dissension, if any there was. Then again, Shea may simply have kept the extent of his expenditures very much to himself.
Book and manuscript collectors, unwilling to give up domestic bliss as well as the arm and leg often required by the owner of some desired rarity, have been known to do that on more than one occasion. Judging by the quality and number of books and manuscripts in Shea's collection at Georgetown, he must have adopted some such course. Yet the collection itself reveals some of the financial constraint under which, all too clearly, he had to work. Sometimes he made do with a "cripple," such as his copy of the 1516 Genoa
Psalter (see #1, below), so long as the reason for which he wanted the text was not lost thereby. He almost always made do with copies in very ordinary—sometimes downright tatty—bindings: Shea's library is that of a scholar rather than that of a bibliophile. Nevertheless, the items displayed in this exhibition, while comparatively much cheaper when Shea was collecting in the latter part of the nineteenth century than they are today, were hardly inexpensive even then. Clearly, what money he could bring together went, like that of Erasmus, for books. Shea's longstanding friendships with collectors of the stature and depth of purse of James Lenox and S. L M. Barlow points, if perhaps by another path, in the same direction. But the sad fact is that, with the exception of the books Shea got from Finotti's estate, we know not nearly enough of how he put together his collection, which amounted in all to more than 10,000 books, journals, bound volumes of newspapers, pamphlets, and manuscript items of various kinds. ·
The 62 printed books and 13 letters and manuscripts in the exhibition are representative of, though they hardly exhaust, the "high spots" in the collection. One particularly noteworthy example, the first edition of Thomas More's Utopia (Louvain, 1516), could not with reason be inserted in an exhibition devoted to suggesting the research strengths of the collection; yet it is but one (if by far the greatest) of many. Any collection of this size lends itself to being, for purposes of understanding, considered in a number of categories. The categories of the exhibition are, obviously, arbitrary; many of the items shown could have been placed with equal justice in two or even three of the cases. Thus what might be thought of as the main themes in the collection as a whole are approximated in the exhibition by cases showing works devoted to general Americana; the history of the Catholic Church per se in the United States; Native American culture and linguistics; the French role in Canada and, to a lesser extent, Louisiana; the Spanish role in Mexico and the Southwest; and the early European efforts in Central and South America as well as in the Caribbean. The exhibition also displays, as a testimonial to Shea's remarkable plunge into the mists of Biblical scholarship, a small group of his collection of Bibles, though it avoids (with one exception) the early American Catholic editions that Shea most actively collected.
The history of Shea's collections at Georgetown provides an instructive, if not in retrospect entirely pleasant, lesson in collection development and library management. The initial acquisition, which cost the university roughly $10,000, was the collection of printed materials. Shea's daughters, in 1892 and 1893, donated the large collection of manuscripts which, from Shea's point of view, was part and parcel of his library. These acquisitions were received with considerable fanfare, but no particular effort was made for almost 15 years to add similar materials to keep the collection alive and growing. When the Morgan Maryland Colonial Endowment was activated in the first decade of the twentieth century, its income was used primarily to collect general Americana with a slight slant towards things of Maryland interest: almost, but not quite, what Shea had been up to. Initially of worthy size, the endowment was not increased, and within the space of only a few decades its ability to fund the acquisition of rarities in American history was much diminished.
The library, while in the 1890s at least blessed with a new building and in a period of spectacular growth, was not staffed with people skilled in collecting; neither was there, on the part of the university community, any special demand for a growing collection of rare Americana nor source of funds to develop one. Shea's collection, which he had so dearly hoped would make possible the research of others and be the basis for ongoing study of the development of the Catholic Church in America, became just another curiosity—such of it, given its very minimal cataloging, as could be retrieved at all.
College catalogs from the early 1890s refer briefly, if somewhat vaguely, to the "cataloging'' of the collection. Little evidence survives as to what form that first cataloging took, save for the stamping, or stickering, or hand initialing of various items, though it seems that some sort of arrangement, possibly following the Dewey decimal system, was undertaken. In the 1930s the bulk of the books, those for which Library of Congress catalog cards were available, were cataloged—or perhaps re-cataloged—as a separate collection using the Library of Congress classification system; to this portion of Shea's library were added several categories of related materials such as American imprints of the eighteenth century, whether donated by Shea or not. These materials were removed from casual public access and styled the "Shea Collection."
Those items (including, of course, virtually all of the real rarities) for which ready-made cataloging was not available, or which were not obvious Americana, were intermixed with other collections. Some of these, like the main group, remained because of their age, perhaps, in special custody; several hundred others, then too recent in date to be deemed rare, were committed to the library's general stacks. The common library prejudice against pamphlets—books too thin to be considered valuable—left more than a thousand items completely undescribed, including much of the most valuable material from a historian's point of view. The manuscripts were amalgamated into the scrapbook-type filing system of the University Archives, largely undescribed and, until the 1970s, unavailable for research.
The Shea manuscripts were among the first things extracted from the University Archives after it became part of the Special Collections Division in 1971. Although still not fully processed, the collection has been thoroughly organized, and a number of scholars have made use of items in it in the course of their research. Perhaps the most important segment of the collection is the five boxes of manuscripts dealing with Native Americans, and primarily with the recording of their languages. A major subset of this group is the body of original papers and letters of Henry R. Schoolcraft, many of them sent in the first instance to Lewis Cass. Only a little less significant is the somewhat larger group of original documents and transcripts relating to the history of the Catholic Church in America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Reconstruction of Shea's library of printed materials is in full swing, and all of his books and pamphlets should be available, fully and accurately cataloged, before the end of 1993 or, at worst, sometime in the following year. For the first time, the catalog will reflect the total contents of Shea's library, since it will include bibliographical records for his collection of well over 1,000 pamphlets, finally isolated from the much larger group of similar materials into which they had been integrated early in this century. For the first time, too, cataloging records will be available for Shea's very large collection of pastoral letters of American bishops and records of American diocesan synods, both sets of items which Shea thought to be very nearly complete up to the time of his death.
No greater testimony could be given to the strength of Shea's library than that it is still, 100 years after it came to Georgetown, able to further serious research in its fields of interest. Completion of the cataloging of the books and manuscripts will finally, too, enable the pursuit of additional items to supplement and increase the utility of the collection as Shea left it. Even though it is probably too late in the day to add significantly to Shea's group of notable rarities, it definitely will be possible to acquire materials that will make the library's collections an increasingly significant resource for research into the history of the Catholic Church in the United States up to 1892, and thus, finally, realize the dream Shea had when he agreed to let his library come to Georgetown.
Psalterium, Hebreum, Grecū, Arabicū, & Chaldeū, cū tribus latinis iterptatōibus & glossis. [Genoa: Petrus Paulus Porrus, in aedibus Nicolai Iustiniani Pauli, 1516]
The first published polyglot Psalter; the commentary by Ambrosio Giustiniani upon Psalm 19:4 (displayed in part) consists of a lengthy notice concerning the life and recent achievement of a native Genoese, Christopher Columbus, in discovering "regiones postremo ante hac incognitas.” Some leaves missing (but with the account of Columbus intact). Two leaves supplied in pen facsimile; early repairs to scattered leaves, with some text loss. Later (but still early) annotations, especially at front. Shea bookplate on verso of title. Rebound in recent full calf.
Sabin, A Dictionary of Books Relating to America, 66468; Bibliotheca Americana: Catalogue of the John Carter Brown Library (JCB Catalogue) I, 64 (copy on vellum); Darlow & Maule, Historical Catalogue of the Printed Editions of Holy Scripture, 1411
Shea Folios BS1419.A2 1516
Terzo volume delle navigationi et viaggi raccolto gia da M. Gio. Battista Ramusio nel quale si contengono Le Navigationi al Mondo Nuovo .... Venice: nella Stamperia de' Giunti, 1565.
Second edition, a reprint with re-engraved maps and plans; first published in 1556. An illustrated compilation of 24 accounts of discovery and conquest in the New World, including five relating to Canada, the latter embellished by a plan of the settlement at Hochelaga, near the site of present-day Montreal (displayed).
Shea set reprints throughout (volume 1: 1563; volume 2: 1559). Shea bookplates on front pastedowns. Uniformly bound in later 3/4 vellum and marbled paper boards.
Sabin 67741; JCB Catalogue I, 194 (1556 edition)
Shea Folios G159.R2 vol. 3, 1565
L'lsole piu famose del Mondo descritte da Thomaso Porcacchi da Castiglione Arretino e intagliate da Girolamo Porro Padovano Con I' Aggiunta di molte lsole. . . . Venice: Appresso Simon Galignani & Girolamo Porro, 1576.
Second edition, much expanded; first published in 1572. Among the 17 plates and descriptions first published in this edition are those relating to Jamaica (displayed). Early ownership inscription of the ''Monasterii Seone." Shea bookplate on verso of title page. Bound in contemporary limp vellum.
Sabin 64148; JCB Catalogue I, 263-64
Shea GB471.P65 1576
Novus orbis seu descriptionis lndiae occidentalis Libri XVIII. Authore Ioanne de Laet Antverp. Novis Tabulis Geographicis et variis Animantium, Plantarum Fructuumque Iconibus illustrati. Cum privilegio. Leyden: apud Elzevirios, 1633.
First Latin edition, with text revised and enlarged; originally published in Dutch in 1625. Contains early accounts of the settlements in Virginia, New England, and (then) New Netherlands, with a double-page map (displayed). Early ownership inscription of H. Liechtenstein. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary vellum.
Sabin 38557; JCB Catalogue II, 246-47
Shea Folios E143.L18 1633
De Nieuwe en Onbekende Weereld: of Beschryving van America en 't Zuid-land, Vervaetende d'Oorsprong der Americaenen en Zuidlanders ... Verciert met Af-beeldsels na 't leven in America gemaekt, en beschreeven Door Amoldus Montanus. Amsterdam: By Jacob Meurs, 1671.
First edition. Montanus’ text is better known among English-speaking scholars in the version published by John Ogilby; among the illustrations for which Montanus' original is most avidly sought by collectors is the view of New Amsterdam (=New York, displayed), probably drawn by Augustine Herrman.
Lacks the general map of America; leaf C2 in facsimile. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in later mottled sheep.
Sabin 50086; JCB Catalogue Ill, 226
Shea Folios E143.M76 1671
Kort Beskrifning Om Provincien Nya Sverige uti America, Som nu fortjden af the Engelste kallas Pensylvania . . . samt med athskillige Figurer utzirad af Thomas Campanius Holm. Stockholm: Tryckt uti Kong). Boktr. hos Sal. Wankijfs, 1702.
First edition. The primary source for knowledge regarding the Swedish settlements on the lower Delaware, with maps and other illustrations including the engraved title leaf (displayed). Presentation inscriptions on the engraved title from John Carter Brown to Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan, and from Dr. O'Callaghan to John Gilmary Shea. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in near contemporary mottled sheep.
Sabin 10202; JCB Catalogue Part Ill, I, 5-6
Shea F167.C17 1702
Prayers for Shabbath, Rosh-Hashanah, and Kippur, or The Sabbath, the Begining of the Year, and The Day of Atonements; with The Amidah and Musaph of the Moadim, or Solemn Seasons. According to the Order of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews. Translated by Isaac Pinto. New York: by John Holt, A.M. 5526 [i.e., 1766)
A very early (although possibly not the first) printing of the first Jewish liturgical work produced in America, intended for the very small Jewish populations in New York and parts of New England.
Manuscript annotations in an unknown hand. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Rebound in recent full calf.
Shea BM675.S3 Z62713 1766 Vault
Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Made at Philadelphia in America, by Benjamin Franklin, LLD. and F.R.S. ... The Fifth Edition. London: Printed for F. Newbery, 1774.
Reprint of the revised and expanded fourth edition of 1769, including a wealth of materials not included in the first three editions. Presentation inscription (in the hand of the recipient) from Franklin to Charles Carroll of Carrollton on the half-title ( displayed). Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary sheep.
Shea QC516.F85 1774 Vault
Washington, George. Letter signed, one page, quarto, 26 July 1777, to Colonel Daniel Morgan.
A routine military document setting forth several alternative movement orders, the recipient's subsequent actions to depend on Morgan's location when the orders are received and on his further knowledge of the intentions of the British fleet. The text of this letter varies significantly in detail, though not in overall content, from the version published in Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington, volume 8, pages 477-78.
"Shea Col." stamp on recto.
Presidential Autographs Collection, GTM-140212
Relation d'un voyage a la cote du Nord-ouest de l'Amerique Septentrionale, dans les annees 1810, 11, 12, 13, et 14. Par G. Franchere, fils. Montreal: De l'Imprimerie de C. B. Pasteur, 1820.
First edition. Franchere and the others in the Canadian expedition of which he was part went first to St. Louis, then up the Missouri and across the mountains to the mouth of the Columbia following the route taken by Lewis and Oark a few years earlier. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary 3/4 sheep and marbled paper boards.
Sabin 25431; Lande, The Lawrence Lande Collection of Canadiana, 1179
Shea F880.F8 1820
The Catholic Church in the United States
Mosley, Joseph. Autograph letter signed, three pages, folio, 14 October 1766, to Mrs. Dunn.
One in a series of letters sent from the Maryland missions by Mosley (a Jesuit until the Suppression in 1773) to his sister in England. In this particular letter he gives full details regarding his establishment the previous year of a new mission site (St. Joseph's, Talbot County) on Maryland's Eastern Shore, one which he would serve until his death in 1787. Of particular interest is the information given on the size of his "mission field," where one congregation meets near him, but others are at distances ranging from 10 to 90 miles, about which Mosley says "This you'll say is still hard: It's easy, D[ ear] S[ister], to what it was."
Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources.
Joseph Mosley, S.J., Papers, GTM-GAMMS25
The Garden of the Soul: or, A Manual of Spiritual Exercises and Instructions for Christians who (living in the World) aspire to Devotion. The Seventh Edition, Corrected. London: Printed. Philadelphia: Re-printed By Joseph Crukshank (1774).
The first true Catholic prayer book published in America; the first American printing. Bishop Challoner's compilation was first issued in London in 1740. Lacks one or more leaves at the end; title leaf reinforced with tissue. Shea bookplate on verso of title page. Rebound in recent full morocco.
Sabin 26602; Parsons, Early Catholic Americana, 23
Shea BX2110.C5 1773 Vault
The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate: Diligently Compared with the Hebrew, Greek, and Other Editions in Divers Languages; and First Published by the English College at Doway, Anno 1609. Newly Revised, and Corrected, According to the Clementine Edition of the Scriptures. . . . Philadelphia: Printed and Sold by Carey, Stewart, and Co., 1790.
First edition. Complete with the list of subscribers (displayed), showing the purchases of Bishop John Carroll and other members of the Carroll family. Shea ownership derived from information in secondary sources. Rebound in recent full black morocco.
Sabin ; Parsons 87; Hills, The English Bible in America, 23
Shea BS180 1790
[A Short Abridgement of Christian Doctrine, Newly Revised for the Use of the Catholic Church in the United States of America. To which is added, a short daily exercise. The twelfth edition, with approbation. Georgetown: Printed by James Doyle, 1793]
Commonly referred to as "Carroll's Catechism," this is the earliest known surviving American Catholic catechism. Lacking two leaves at the front, including the title (information above from secondary bibliographical source). Annotations by Fr. Joseph M. Finotti on front wrapper. Shea provenance inferred from the Finotti inscription and the initials 11S.C.11 on an early library paper label. Bound in original plain paper wrapper.
Shea BX1961.C37 1793
A Sermon Preached on the Ninth Day of May, 1798, Observed as a Day of Fasting and Prayer, to Implore the Divine Aid and Protection in Favor of the United States. By the Reverend S. F. O'Gallaher, Catholic Priest of Charleston. Charleston: Printed by W. P. Harrison [ 1798]
First (only) edition. One of only a handful of Catholic sermons to be printed in the United States before 1801. Gallagher's (his name is known in several forms, this one is often preferred) sermon was part of the response to a call for prayer in the face of an impending war with revolutionary France. Early signature of Frederick Dalch on title. Shea provenance inferred from the initials "S.C." on upper wrapper. Bound in later paper wrappers (apparently removed from a bound volume).
Shea BX1756.G344 1798
Memoirs of Mrs. S * * * * *. Written by Herself. A Fragment of Real History. ElizabethTown, N.J.: Printed by Isaac A Kollock, For himself, and others, 1817.
First (only) edition of this portion of the diary of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. Published without the Seton family's permission by an Episcopal clergyman, from a manuscript copy loaned to him; his preface downplays the impact of Seton's conversion to Catholicism by showing that she was a "perfect Christian" before the conversion took place. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in original paper boards.
Sabin 79335; Parsons 571
Shea BX4700.S4 S48 1817 Vault
Seton, Saint Elizabeth Ann. Autograph letter signed, three pages, octavo, 28 February [1819 or 1820?] to Rev. John Hickey, S. S.
The convent was not to be just a place for a lady to run away: "We cannot now receive your good postulant, Anne if she is even like a little angel is in the way - we cannot & must not receive poor Mothers or rich ones, while their children are unprovided -besides the good young widow could not but have a mind much distracted by these offers she has had which would make the many little daily trials of community life very heavy to her --" The Sulpician Father Hickey was fifth superior of the Sisters of Charity. ''Shea Coll." stamp on first page.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 13
... The Laity's Directory to the Church Service, for the Year of Our Lord, 1817. Being the first after Leap Year, and forty-first of the Independence of the United States of America. To which are added, An Obituary, Biography, and an account of the Catholic Churches, Colleges, Seminaries, Benevolent Institutions, &c. &c. in the United States and Canada. Also, A New Year's Gift, and a variety of edifying and interesting information. With an Almanac, exclusive of all useless knowledge. New-York: Published and Sold by M. Field, 1817.
The only issue. Field fell well short of supplying all of the materials so hopefully called for on the title page, but his chief problem seems to have been the lack of a market; it would be 15 years before a continuing Catholic directory would be established. Bookplates of Fr. Joseph M. Finotti and John Gilmary Shea on the front pastedown. Rebound in 3/4 black roan and marbled paper boards, original printed upper wrapper (displayed) bound in.
Shea BX845.L35 1817 Vault
De Zegepraal van bet Catholijk Geloof, ter beschaming van ongeloof en dwaling, ter bevestiging van Godvruchtige, en ter opweeking van trage Christenen; of Verhaal van de Uitbreiding der H. Kerk in Kentucky. Uit eenen eigenhandigen Brief van den Eerw. Herr Neerinckx, R. C. Priester en Zendeling. Met eene voorrede van J. G. Lesage ten Brock, Notaris te Nauldwijk. Amsterdam: bij A Schievenbus, 1819.
First edition. Fr. Nerinckx's account is the earliest of several written by European priests serving in Kentucky; designed for distribution on the Continent, they were intended to generate support for the missionary activities of their authors and others on the American frontier. "Shea Coll" stamp on upper leaf. Stitched, unbound, as issued.
Not in Sabin; not in Parsons; not in Howes, U.S.iana (1962)
Shea BX1415.K4 N46 1819
Flaget, Benedict Joseph. Autograph letter signed, four pages, folio, 14 January 1825, to Mr. Badolet.
Flaget, as Bishop of Bardstown, writes to Badolet, a magistrate in Vincennes, Indiana, regarding the difficulties experienced by Father John Leo Champonier with the trustees of his congregation. Flaget's embarrassment at seeking the assistance of a Protestant in this matter is pronounced: "Dear Mr Badolet, it is painful to my heart to unfold such mysteries & iniquity, &: to tell it of my children before a magistrate of another persuasion." So far as is known, Champonier's pastorate survived this confrontation.
Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 12
Traitez de paix conclus entre S. M. le Roy de France et les lndiens du Canada, Paix avec Jes Iroquois de la Nation Tsonnont8an. A Quebec le vingt deuxieme May 1666. Pane avec les Iroquois de la Nation d'Onnei8t. A Quebec le douzieme Juillet 1666. Paix avec les Iroquois de Ia Nation d'Onnontague. Le treizieme Decembre 1666. Paris: Par Sebastien Mabre-Cramoisy, 1667.
First edition. A series of treaties resulting from Tracy's punitive expedition against the Iroquois; each of the Iroquois nations would surrender hostages to the French, receiving in return Jesuit missionaries who would instruct them concerning "le Dieu des François." Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in later full stiff parchment boards.
Shea E99.I7 F8 1667
[Untitled] Manuscript in Mohawk, 59 leaves, quarto [Canada? ca. 1700]
Volume containing prayers, hymns, and the Catholic liturgy in the language of the Mohawks living along the St. Lawrence River, most probably at either Sault St. Louis (St. Regis) or Caughnewaga. The manuscript is attributed to Rev. Jacques Bruyas, S. J., although the actual writer of the document is not known for sure. Emendations in the text suggest that the manuscript was in actual use during most, if not all, of the eighteenth century. Shea bookplate inside upper cover. Bound in contemporary calf with metal clasps, the entire volume in very decrepit condition. [Note: this manuscript has been digitized and can be seen in its entirety in DigitalGeorgetown.]
[Untitled] Manuscript in Mohawk and French, 123 leaves, octavo [Canada? ca. 1700 or perhaps a little earlier]
Apparently a fair copy of a French-Mohawk vocabulary, but with numerous emendations, some in a later hand ( or hands). The hand of the principal writer is very similar to that used by the creator of the manuscript Racines agni~res of Rev. Jacques Bruyas, S. J., and Bruyas was known to be the Jesuit in the Canadian missions most deeply involved with the study of the language of the Mohawks of the St. Lawrence River area. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in early calf.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 9
Moeurs des sauvages ameriquains, comparees aux moeurs des premiers temps. Par le P. Lafitau, de la Compagnie de Jesus. Ouvrage enrichi de Figures en taille-douce. Tome premier. Paris: Chez Saugrain l'aine [et] Charles Estienne Hochereau, 1724.
First edition. Lafitau's work made a major contribution to European understanding of the way of life of North American natives, even though the desire to find parallels between customs of ancient times and those of Native Americans sometimes led to confusion. Two volumes. Shea bookplate on front pastedowns. Rebound in recent full calf.
Sabin 38596; Lande 493
Shea E58.L16 1724
The History of the Five Indian Nations of Canada, Which are dependent On the Province of New-York in America, and Are the Barrier between the English and French in that Part of the World. . . . By the Honourable Cadwallader Colden, &q; of his Majesty's Counsel, and Surveyor-General of New-York. To which are added, Accounts of the several other Nations of Indians in North-America, their Numbers, Strength, &c. and the Treaties which have been lately made with them. A Work highly entertaining to all, and particularly useful to the Persons who have any Trade or Concern in that Part of the World. London; Printed for T. Osborne, 1747.
First English edition; originally published in New York in 1727. Despite the title, the volume is largely a history of English and French conflicts with the Iroquois down to the Peace of Ryswick; the second half of the volume contains the text of treaties and various colonial documents. The English editor removed from the text nearly all Native American proper names. In 1866 John Gilmary Shea published an accurate reprint of the 1727 New York edition, a volume of very great rarity, and in his reprint he included the first biographical sketch of Colden. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Rebound in recent full grained calf.
Shea E99.I7 C6 1747
Nehiro-iriniui aiamihe massinahigan, Shatshegutsh, Mitinekapitsh, lskuamiskutsh, Netshekatsh, Misht', Assinitsh, Shkutimitsh, Ekuanatsh, Ashuabmushuanitsh, Piakuagamitsh, Gaie missi missi nehiro-iriniui Astshitsh ka tatjits, ka kueiasku aiamihatjits ka utshi. Uabistiguiatsh [Quebec]: Massinahitsetuau, Broun gaie Ginnor [i.e., Gilmore], 1767.
First (only) edition. A catechism and prayer book in the language of the Montagnais along the St. John River, compiled by the Jesuit Jean Baptiste de La Brosse; very early among the first real books printed in Quebec. Signature on title of Fr. Antoine Parant as well as the stamp of a Canadian library, from which Shea acquired the volume in 1862. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary mottled sheep.
Sabin 19378; Lande 1895
Shea PM1924.N43 1767 Vault
Confesonario. Manuscript in Antoniano and Spanish, 16 leaves, quarto [Monterey, California, second half of the eighteenth century?]
A manuscript outlining questions to be asked of those making confession regarding specific sins against each of the Ten Commandments. The language of the manuscript is that of the tribes in the area of the San Antonio mission, Monterey, where this manuscript and others like it were gathered by A. S. Taylor in 1853-56. "Shea Coll." stamp on first leaf. Sewn.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 7
A Journal of Two Visits made to some Nations of Indians on the west side of the river Ohio, In the Years 1772 and 1773. By the Rev. David Jones, Minister of the Gospel at Freehold, in New.Jersey. Burlington: Printed and sold by Isaac Collins, 1774.
First edition. Jones provides valuable information about tribes then living well beyond the frontier. His introduction makes clear his purpose in writing: "It would be esteemed as no small compensation to my hardships, if this Journal might be any means of exciting a pious emulation in some person better qualified to engage in the important work of civilizing the poor neglected Heathens." Shea bookplate inside upper wrapper. Disbound, in later paper wrappers.
Shea F517.J77 1774 Vault
The History of the American Indians; Particularly Those Nations adjoining to the Mississippi, East and West Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and Virginia: Containing An Account of their Origin, Language, Manners, Religious and Civil Customs, Laws, Form of Government, Punishments, Conduct in War and Domestic Life, their Habits, Diet, Agriculture, Manufactures, Diseases and Method of Cure, and other Particulars, sufficient to render it A Complete Indian System .... With a new Map of the Country referred to in the History. By James Adair, Esquire, A Trader with the Indians, and Resident in their Country for Forty Years. London: Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, 1775.
First edition. Adair, as he said, ''sat down to draw the Indians on the spot--had them many years standing before me,--and lived with them as a friend and brother!" Much of the first half of his account is a somewhat labored series of "observations and arguments, in proof of the American Indians being descended from the Jews." Shea bookplate on upper pastedown. Bound in later 3/4 sheep and marbled paper boards.
Shea E77.A21 1775
Tradition of the Sauks. Manuscript, 28 leaves, folio [St. Louis? 1822?]
Title from top of first leaf; a somewhat later version ( about 1825) also in the Shea Collection bears the more accurate title: An Account of the manners and customs of the Sauk & Fox Nations of Indians, which gives a fairly correct picture of what the earlier version also contains. Date derived from the phrase "now in 1822" in the text. "Shea Coll." stamp on first leaf. Sewn, in three sections.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 11
[Le Grand voyage du pays des Hurons, situé en L'Amerique vers la mer douce ez demieres confins de la nouvelle France Ou il est traicte de tout ce qui est du pays & du gouvernement des Sauvages Avec un Dictionnaire de la Langue huronne Par Fr. Gabriel Sagard Recollect de St. Francois de la province St. Denis. Paris: Chez Denys Moreau, 1632]
First edition. Sagard-Théodat's book is the premier source on the Recollect missions in Canada, 1615-29, as well as providing the first printed dictionary in the Huron language. Title from engraved title page; printed title and two leaves addressed "Au Lecteur" at front lacking. Signature of Dr. E. B. O'Callaghan on front (binder's) blank. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in eighteenth-century mottled calf.
Sabin 74883; Lande S2012
Shea F1030.S12 1632 Vault
Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Mission des Peres de la Compagnie de lesus aux Hurons, pays de la Nouvelle France, és années 1648. & 1649. Envoyée au R. P. Hierosme Lalemant, Superieur des Missions de la Compagnie de lesus, en la Nouvelle France. Par le P. Paul Ragueneau, de la mesme Compagnie. Pour la faire tenir au R. P. Provincial de la mesme Compagnie. Paris: Chez Sebastien Cramoisy et Gabriel Cramoisy, 1650.
First edition. One of the most famous of the long series of "Jesuit Relations" chronicling the activities of the Society in Canada throughout most of the seventeenth century; the deaths of Jean de Brébeuf and Gabriel Lallemant, which Ragueneau indicated he heard from eyewitnesses, are among the most harrowing of American martyrdoms. From the library of Henri Harrisse, with a page of notes in his hand on a front binder's blank. Bookplates of Shea and Samuel Latham Mitchill Barlow on front pastedown. Bound in nineteenth-century full vellum.
Shea F.1030.8.R32 1651 Vault
Ragueneau, Paul. Autograph letter signed, one page, quarto, 4 May 1665, to an unnamed recipient.
Ragueneau, the author of the preceding Relation, returned from active missionary work in Canada to France in 1662, becoming procurator of the Canadian Jesuit missions. In that capacity he writes seeking the issuance of two needed official papers: a passport for the export of some church silver from France to Canada; and a letters patent for the continued shipment of provisions and other necessities to those working in the Canadian missions. Stamp of Georgetown University Archives on verso of first leaf. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 15
Breve relatione d'alcune missioni De PP. della Compagnia di Giesù nella Nuova Francia del P. Francesco Gioseppe Bressani della medesima Compagtria, all'eminentiss. e reverendiss. Sig. Card. de Lugo. Macerata: Per gli Heredi d'Agostino Grisei, 1653.
First edition. Bressani's account gives a rather complete history of the mission to the Hurons, and includes a translation of the lengthy 1643 letter of Fr. Isaac Jogues, S.J., to his Provincial (displayed) as well as an account of his later martyrdom. Stamp and ownership marks of a European Jesuit house and St. Mary's College, Montreal, on title. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in nineteenth century green morocco.
Sabin 7734; Lande 57
Shea F1030.8.B83 1653 Vault
Historiae canadensis, seu Novae-Franciae libri decem, Ad Annum usque Christi MDCL VI. Auctore P. Francisco Cruxio, è Societate Iesu. Paris: Sebastianum Cramoisy, Et Sebast. Mabre-Cramoisy, 1664.
First edition. Du Crewe, who never visited Canada, based his account on the published Jesuit relations as well as on advice received from members of the Society who had returned at various times to France. With the exception of a large composite plate showing the martyrdoms of various missionaries, the plates concentrate on the appearance of the American natives. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary mottled calf.
Sabin ; Lande 199
Shea F1030.D84 1664 Vault
Rituel du diocese de Quebec, publié par l'ordre de Monseigneur l'Evêque de Quebec. Paris: Chez Simon Langlois, 1703.
Second edition, falsely dated to correspond to the date of the true first edition, which was never distributed for use. This edition was in use in Canada until 1836. Various ownership notes pasted in, one dated 1824. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Rebound (complete with newspaper clippings and other matter) in nineteenth century 3/4 purple roan and cloth boards.
Degannes. Observations sur les erreurs de la relation du siege du port-royal de laccadie, en la nouvelle france; faitte sur de faux memoires par le reverend pere charlevoix de la compagnie de iesus. Manuscript, three pages, folio, 30 May 1745.
The author, who claims to have been present at the siege in 1707 and who is apparently writing in Montreal, has not been traced. Contrary to Charlevoix, he places the blame for French mismanagement of the defense of Port-Royal squarely upon the governor of the place, de Subercase, and accuses him of attempting to buy off criticisms that might have been brought against him after the fact. "Georgetown University Archives" stamp on final leaf. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 14
Histoire de L'Hôtel-Dieu de Quebec. Montauban: Chez Jerosme Legier 
First edition, the issue with only the Montauban imprint and with the 28-page table of contents at the end. A history of the work of the Religious Hospitalers of Dieppe in Quebec from their first foundation there in 1639 through 1716, written (very probably) by Mother Françoise Juchereau de Saint Ignace. Signature of C. Chauveaux and ownership marks of the Quebec Seminary, 1861, on the title. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Rebound in recent full calf.
Sabin 36825; Lande S1149 (Montauban/Paris issue)
Shea F1054.5.Q3 S15 1751
Mémoires sur la vie de M. de Laval, premier évêque de Quebec. Cologne: Chez Jean-Frederic Motiens, 1761.
First edition of the first volume (all published). Written by the Abbé Bertrand de La Tour, who intended his life of Laval (which he did not finish) to be the first installment in a larger ecclesiastical history of Canada. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary sheep.
Shea BX4666.L3 L38 1761
The Natural and Civil History of the French Dominions in North and South America. Giving a particular Account of the Climate, Soil, Minerals, Animals, Vegetables, Manufactures, Trade, Commerce, and Languages, together with The Religion, Government, Genius, Character, Manners and Customs of the Indians and other Inhabitants. Illustrated by Maps and Plans of the principal Places, Collected from the best Authorities, and engraved by T. Jefferys . . .. London: Printed for Thomas Jefferys, 1760.
First edition. "The Possessions of the French upon the Continent of North America, were always an interesting Object to Great-Britain, as it is always necessary to know the Situation,Strength and Resources of contiguous Dominions that belong to a powerful State, whose Opposition of Interest makes her a natural Enemy, and whose military and commercial Knowledge makes her formidable as well in Peace as in War. But the Knowledge of this Territory is now become yet more important, as Providence has thought fit by a Series of Successes almost miraculous, to make it our own." [Jeffery's Introduction] Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Rebound in recent full calf.
Sabin 35964; Lande 471
Shea Folios F1030.J45 1760 Vault
Description de la Louisiane, nouvellement decouverte au Sud Oüest de la Nouvelle France, par ordre du Roy. Avec la Carte du Pays: Les Moeurs & la Maniere de vivre des Sauvages. Dediée a sa Majesté Par le R. P. Louis Hennepin, Missionnaire Recollet & Notaire Apostolique. Paris: Chez la Veuve Sebastien Huré, 1688.
First edition. Hennepin's account covers his travels from Illinois northwards, including a detour to Niagara, and the naming of the new and vast country for Louis XIV. John Gilmary Shea published a translation and scholarly commentary on this edition in 1880. Map wanting. Shea bookplate on verso of title page. Rebound in recent full calf.
Sabin ; Lande S1057
Shea F352.H52 1688
Journal historique du dernier voyage que feu M. de la Sale fit dans le Golfe de Mexique, pour trouver ]'embouchure, & le cours de la Riviere de Missicipi, nommée à present la Riviere de Saint Loüis, qui traverse la Louisiane. Où l'on voit l'Histoire tragique de sa mart, & plusieurs choses curieuses de nouveau monde. Par Monsieur Joutel, l'un des Compagnons de ce Voyage, redigé & mis en ordre par Monsieur De Michel. Paris: Chez Estienne Robinot, 1713.
First edition. Joutel was second in command of La Salle's expedition to locate the mouth of the Mississippi; he witnessed the establishment of the ill-fated colony in Texas, many of whose first settlers perished from sickness almost immediately. La Salle was assassinated during an attempt to lead the survivors overland to the Illinois settlements. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in nineteenth century rough sheep.
Sabin 36760; Lande 477
Shea F1030.5.J86 1713
Langries, Bruno de. Autograph letter signed, three pages, octavo, 5 March 1722, to "Monsieur."
The Capuchin Langries, named the first superior of the missions in Louisiana, writes from Nantes to "le chef de la Compagnie des Indes" seeking a duplicate set of letters patent from the organization in whose service he is being sent out: one for the appropriate provincial archives of his order, the other to carry with him to prove his bona fides in Louisiana. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources.
Voyage de la Louisiane, fait par ordre du Roy En l'année mil sept cent vingt: Dans lequel sont traitées diverses matieres de Physique, Astronomic, Gèographie & Marine. . . . Par le P. Laval de la Compagnie de Jesus, Professeur Royal de Mathématiques, & Maitre d'Hydrographie des Officiers & Gardes de la Marine du Port de Toulon. Paris: Chez Jean Mariette, 1728.
First edition. Mixed in with observations on sun spots, tidal currents, and other matters with which he was directly charged, Laval includes a great deal of miscellaneous information regarding the various French settlements along the Gulf Coast. Shea bookplate on page viii. Rebound in recent full calf.
Shea Q115.L7 L2 1728
Journal d'un voyage a la Louisiane, fait en 1720. Par M***, Capitaine de Vaisseau du Roi. The Hague and Paris: Chez Musier, Fils, & Fournier, 1768.
First edition. An account of the Laval expedition cast in the form of daily letters home to a lady, written by Vallette de Laudun, commander of one of the two French ships involved in the journey; full of details neglected in Laval's account. Shea bookplate on verso of the half-title. Bound in original paper wrappers.
Shea F372.V18 1768
Mémoire, des habitans et négocians de la Louisianne, sur l'événement du 29. octobre 1768. [New Orleans: Chez Denis Braud, 1768]
First edition; suppressed in October 1769 and re-issued in a version with slightly changed text. An attempt--unsuccessful, as it turned out--by those who had arranged for the ousting of Don Antonio Ulloa, the Spanish governor of Louisiana, to obtain French protection for the colony, ceded by France to Spain in 1762; the Mémoire is among the earliest surviving examples of printing in the colony. Archival file numbers on top blank; long manuscript deposition by Louisiana's Greffier-en-chef, Garic, dated 6 October 1769, at end. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources. Stitched, unbound, as issued.
Not in Sabin; Jumonville, Bibliography of New Orleans Imprints, 9 (photocopy)
Shea Folios F373.L68 1768 Vault
La Louisiane ensanglantée, Avec toutes les Particularités de cette horrible Catastrophe, redigées Sur le serment de Témoins dignes de foi. Par le Colonel Chevalier de Champigny.. . . London: Aux dépens de l'Editeur: Chez Fleury Mesplet, 1773.
First edition. The first popular account of the Louisiana rebellion of 1768, sometimes considered to be the ''beginning" of the American Revolution. Champigny includes at the end of his account the text of the preceding Mémoire. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Rebound in modern full calf.
Sabin 11825 (Amsterdam, 1773); JCB Catalogue Part III, II, 11
Shea F372.C45 1773 Vault
L'Itinéraire des Français dans la Louisiane; Contenant l'Histoire de cette Colonie française, sa Description, le Tableau des moeurs des Peuples qui l'habitent, l'état de son Commerce au moment de sa cession à l'Espagne, et le degré de prospérité dont elle est susceptible: d'après les renseignemens et les relations les plus authentiques. Par Dubroca. Paris: Chez Dubroca, Fuchs, Veuve Devraux, Rondonneau, 1802.
First edition. Du Broca's account was occasioned by the cession of Louisiana from Spain back to France, informing the French public of the splendors of the huge colony it had just regained. The following year Napoleon sold Louisiana to the United States. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Later half red morocco and paper boards.
Shea F373.D81 1802
Lettre Pastorale. Patrice Walsh, Vicaire Général, Proviseur et Gouverneur Spirituel de Diocèse de la Louisiane; à tous les Fidèles Catholiques, Apostoliques et Romains de la ville de la Nouvelle-Orléans, Salut en Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ. [New Orleans? 1805)
Only edition. Walsh's assertion of direct personal authority in the wake of a (bloodless) religious dispute following the change in political control after Louisiana was sold to the United States. Manuscript emendations to the text in an unknown hand. "Shea Col" stamp on verso.
Shea BX874.W34 L4 1805
DuBourg, Louis Guillaume Valentin. Autograph letter signed, two pages, quarto, 30 September 1815, to [Albert Gallatin]
DuBourg, the Sulpician former president of Georgetown, was consecrated Bishop of New Orleans on September 24th, one of the officiants being the French ambassador to the Holy See. This purely routine letter seeks the American Minister to France's help in conveying news of his appointment and inauguration to his waiting flock, whom he had served in the capacity of Administrator Apostolic since 1812-13. "Shea Col." stamp on second page.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 21
Mexico and the Southwest
Historia de las cosas mas notables, ritos y costumbres del gran reyno de la China, sabidas assi por los libros delos mesmos Chinas, como por relacion de Religiosos, y otras personas que ban estado enel decho Reyno. Hecha y ordenada por el my Reverendo Padre Maestro Fray luan Gonçalez de Mendoça dela Orden de S. Agustin, Predicador Apostolico, y Penitenciario de su Sanctidad. A quien la Magestad Catholica embio con su Real carta, y otras cosas para el Rey de aquel Reyno el año de 1580. Y nuevamente afiadida por el mesmo Autor. ... Con un Itinerario el Nuevo Mundo. Madrid: En casa de Querino Gerardo Flamenco, a costa de Blas de Robles librero, 1586.
An early edition of an enormously popular work, and the first to contain the relation of Antonio de Espejo's 1583 expedition into New Mexico, the first Spanish initiative from Mexico to penetrate into and take control of part of what is now the United States. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in early full limp vellum.
Sabin 27776; Wagner, The Spanish Southwest 1542-1794 (Spanish Southwest), 7y
Shea DS708.G6 1596 Vault
Memorial que Fray Juan de Santander de la Orden de san Francisco, Comissario General de lndias, presenta a la Magestad Catolica del Rey don Felipe Quarto nuestro Senor. Hecho por el Padre Fray Alonso de Benavides Comissario del Santo Oficio, y Custodio que ha fido de las Provinicias, y conversiones del Nuevo-Mexico. Tratase en el de los Tesoros Espirituales, y temporales, que la divina Magestad ha manifestado en aquellas conversiones, y nuevos descubrimientos, por medic de los Padres desta serafica Religion. Madrid: en la Imprenta Real, 1630.
First edition, (probable) second state. Benavides' Memorial, probably written as part of a campaign to have New Mexico raised to a separate bishopric, contains much on the early work of his order there as well as on the life of Sister Maria Jesus de Agreda. Manuscript record of a library in Madrid on title page. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources. Rebound in full modem calf.
Sabin 4636; Spanish Southwest 33
Shea F799.B415 1630 Vault
Defensa de la verdad, consacrada a la luz de la justicia, sujeta a la comun censura, para que sea patente al teatro del mundo. [Madrid? 1683?]
Only edition. The first of Francisco de Ayeta's several defenses of the achievements and privileges of the Franciscan order in Mexico and New Mexico against the claims of "regular" episcopal authority. Obliterated early library stamp on first leaf. Shea bookplate on verso of second leaf. Bound in contemporary full limp vellum.
Not in Sabin; not in Spanish Southwest
Shea BX3612.A1 A92 1683
La Estrella de el norte de Mexico, aparecida al rayar el dia de la luz Evangelica en este Nuevo-Mundo, en la cumbre de el cerro de Tepeyacac orilla del mar Tezcucano, à un Natural recien convertido; pintada tres dias despues milagrosamente en su tilma, ò capa de lienço, delante del Obispo, y de su familia en su Casa Obispal: Para luz en la Fé à los Indios; para rumba cierto à los Españioles en la virtud; para serenidad de las tempestuosas innundaciones de la Laguna. En la Historia de la Milagrosa Imagen de N. Señora de Guadalupe de Mexico, que se apareciò en la manta de Juan Diego. Compusola el P. Francisco de Florencia de la Compañia de Jesus .... Mexico: por Dona Maria de Benavides, Viuda de Juan de Ribera, 1688.
First edition. Florencia's account of the miraculous image of the Virgin--Our Lady of Guadalupe--remained the standard for most of the eighteenth century, being republished in Madrid as late as 1785. The image itself was the subject of a considerable literature almost from the time of its appearance in December of 1531. Ownership inscription of the Convent of San Lorenzo on title page. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources. Bound in contemporary full limp vellum.
Shea BT660.G8 F5 1688
Chronica apostolica, y seraphica de todos los colegios de Propaganda Fide de esta Nueva-España, de Missioneros Franciscanos Observantes: Erigidos con autoridad Pontificia, y Regia, para la reformacion de los Fieles, y Conversion de los Gentiles. . . . Escrita par el R. P. Fr. Isidro Fells de Espinosa .... Mexico: Por la Viuda de D. Joseph Bernardo de Hogal, 1746.
First edition. The standard historical source for the work of the Franciscan missionaries in the Southwest, including much on Texas which Father Espinosa wrote at least· in part from his firsthand experience as a missionary there early in the eighteenth century. The second part (also in Shea's library) was issued only in 1792. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in nineteenth century quarter black roan and cloth boards.
Sabin 22896; Spanish Southwest 117
Shea BX3612.A1 E7 1746
Noticia de la California, y de su conquista temporal, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente. Sacada de la historia manuscrita, formada en Mexico año de 1739. por el Padre Miguel Venegas, de la Compañia de Jesus; y de otras Noticias, y Relaciones antiguas, y modernas. Añadida de algunos mapas particulares, y uno general de la America Septentrional, Assia Oriental, y Mar del Sùr intermedio, formados sobre las Memorias mas recientes, y exactas, que se publican juntamente. . . . Madrid: En la Imprenta de la Viuda de Manuel Fernandez, 1757.
First edition. Actually written by the Jesuit Andres Marcos Burriel, who, while basing his effort on Venegas' manuscript, went far beyond it both in gathering material not directly related to Jesuit activities in California and in bringing the coverage of the account down to 1754. Three volumes. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary mottled sheep.
Sabin 98848; Spanish Southwest 132
Shea F864.V3 1757
Rudo Ensayo, Tentativa de una Prevencional Descripcion Geographica de La Provincia de Sonora, Sus tenninos, y confines. 0 mejor Colleccion de Materiales para hacerla quien lo supiere mejor, Compilada, assi de noticias adquidas por el Collector en sus viajes por casi tada Ella, como subministradas por los PP Missioneros. y practices de la tierra. Dirigida al Remedio de ella. Por un amigo del bien Commun. Manuscript, 166 leaves, quarto [Mexico? second half of the eighteenth century (after 1762)]
This anonymous manuscript, sometimes attributed to the Jesuit missionary Juan Nentuig, was an important source for Father Francisco Javier Alegre in his Historia de la Compania de Jesus en Nueva-Espana. Other surviving copies of the text, of similar age and appearance to this one, are to be found in Mexico City and Madrid. Numbered leaf 139 wanting. First published edition (St. Augustine, 1863, 160 copies, of which some on large paper) prepared by Buckingham Smith. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources. Disbound.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 18
Relacion historica de la vida y apostolicas tareas del venerable Padre Fray Junipero Serra, Y de las Misiones que fundó en la California Septentrional, y nuevos establecimientos de Monterey. Escrita Por el R. P. L Fr. Francisco Palou .... Mexico: en la Imprenta de Don Felipe de Zúñiga y Ontiveros, 1787.
First edition. Serra's letters to Palou, which make up most of the volume, provide information not just on the founding of missions as far north as San Francisco, but also on the customs and languages of the indigenous populations encountered by the missionaries. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary full limp vellum.
Sabin 58392; Spanish Southwest 168
Shea F864.S49 1787 Vault
Sermon que en las solemnes honras celebradas en obsequio de los vv. PP. predicadores apostólicos Fr. Francisco Tomas Hermenegildo Garcés: Fr. Juan Marcelo Diaz: Fr. José Matias Moreno: Fr. Juan Antonio Barreneche: misioneros del Colegio de Propaganda Fide de la Santa Cruz de Queretaro, Fundadores de las Conversiones de la Purisima Concepcion, y de S. Pedro y S. Pablo del Rio Colorado entre los Gentiles Yumas, y muertos en ellas gloriosamente á manos de los mismos Bárbaros en las dias 17 y 19 de Julio de 1781 dixo en la Iglesia de dicho Colegio el 19 de Julio de 1794 en que se sepultaron sus cenizas Fr. Diego Miguel Bringas de Manzaneda y Encinas .... Madrid: En la imprenta de D. Fermin Villalpando, 1819.
First edition. Bringas' "sermon" (unlikely to have ever been delivered as such) constitutes, in fact, a valuable supplement to Espinosa's Chronica of 1746 and Fr. Juan Domingo Arricivita's continuation of Espinosa published in 1792, giving details of further Franciscan missionary activity in Sonora and Arizona. "Shea Col." stamp on upper cover. Bound in early (original?) paper wrappers.
Not in Sabin; Spanish Southwest 174a
Shea E99.Y95 B85 1819
Topographical Description of Texas. To Which Is Added an Account of the Indian Tribes. By Geo. W. Bonnell. Austin: Published by Clark, Wing, & Brown, 1840.
First edition. The first "homegrown" attempt at a description of the new republic's land and indigenous natives, together with a review of its possibilities: "Lands that would cost from five dollars to fifty in the United States, can here be purchased at from twenty-five cents to five dollars per acre, and undisputed titles given." Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in early (original?) glazed linen, paper label on spine.
Shea F390.B71 1840
The Other Americas
Kurtzer Bericht Was Gott / vermittelst der Societet Iesu, den Peruanischen Undem / aussgericht. Durch P. Iacobum Torrensem, gemelter Societet Priestem / und der Peruanischen Provintz Procuratom: zu Trost seiner Bruder so in Europa leben / beschriben. Sampt Einem Jarschreiben auss den Philippinischen Insulen dess 1600. Jars. Erstlich In ltalienischer Sprach zu Rom getruckt / an ietzo aber auss derselben / in die Hochteutsche ubersetzt. Wurtzburg: durch Georgium Fleischmann, 1604.
First German edition (first published in Italian in 1603) of a very popular account of recent (up to 1603) successes of the Jesuits in Peru (and the Philippines). Three Italian editions, two in Latin, and single editions in French, Spanish, Polish, and German (as here) all appeared during the years 1603 and 1604. Early Jesuit ownership inscription (1705) on title. Shea bookplates on front pastedown and on verso of title. Bound in full contemporary limp vellum.
Shea F3444.T76 1604
Ritual formulario, e institucion de curas, para administrar a los naturales de este Reyno, las santos Sacramentos del Baptismo, Confirmacion, Eucaristia, y Viatico, Penitencia, Extremauncion, y Matrimonio, Con advertencias muy necessarias. Por el Bachiller luan Perez Bocanegra, Presbitero, en la lengua Quechua general: examinador en ella, y en la Aymara, en este Obispado .... Lima: Por Geronymo de Contreras, 1631.
First edition. A nearly 800-page book prepared and printed "in-country" to equip those empowered to administer the sacraments to do so in a language intelligible to most, if not all, of the people; the folding woodcut ( displayed) illustrates in graphic form the degrees of relationship which would impact on permissible marriages. Pencil note on front pastedown (unknown hand): "This book was obtained from a Roman Priest in the Convent at Lima, South America." Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary limp vellum.
Sabin 6096; JCB Catalogue II, 237-38 (lacking two preliminary leaves present in the Shea copy)
Shea BX2035.P4 1631 Vault
Relation des insignes progrez de la religion chrestienne faits au Paraquai, province de l'Amerique Meridionale, & dans les vastes Regions de Guair & d'Uruaig. Nouvellement découvertes par les Peres de la Compagnie de Iesus, és années 1626. & 1627. Envoyée au R. P. Mutio Vitelesci General de la mesme Compagnie, par le R. P. Nicolas Duran, Provincial en la Province de Paraquai. Et traduite de Latin en François, par un Pere de la mesme Compagnie. Paris: Chez Sebastien Cramoisy, 1638.
First edition in French (first published in Latin at Antwerp in 1536) of the first "Jesuit relation" devoted to the Society's activities in South America. Father Duran (also known as Nicolo Mastrilli) provides an account of the original establishment of the mission as well as a resume of activities up to 1635, where great success was found in a land "a la chair qui se mange plus ordinairement est celle des hommes. 11
Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in nineteenth century half morocco and marbled paper boards.
Shea F2684.R3614 1638
Declaracion copiosa de las quatro partes mas essenciales, y necessarias de la doctrina christiana, compuesto por orden del Beatissimo P. aemente Octavo de felice memoria. Por el eminentissimo Cardenal Roberto Belarminio, de la Compania de Jesus, con las adiciones del Maestro Sebastian de Lirio, Catedratico de Prima de Griego en la Universidad de Alcala. Traducida de lengua Castellana en la general del Inga por el Bachiller Bartolome Iurado Palomino, natural de la ciudad del Cuzco .... Lima: por large Lopez de Herrera, 1649.
First edition. Bellarmine's catechism was first published in Latin in 1603. Its production in the local vernacular in Peru, translated into Quechua by the Peruvian "Predicador general en la dicha lengua en este Arçobispado, y Visitador general de la Idolatria," demonstrates a fullness of development of evangelical efforts there far beyond those of the contemporary missions in Canada and other parts of the New World. Shea bookplate on verso of title, and ''Shea Col." stamp on title page proper. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, "Shea Col." stamp repeated on upper cover.
Shea PM6308.B4 1649 Vault
Voyage de la France equinoxiale en l'isle de Cayenne, entrepris par les François en l'année M.DC.LII. Divisé en trois Livres. Le Premier, contient l'établissement de la Colonie, son embarquement, & sa route iusques a son arrivée en l'Isle de Cayenne. Le Second, cc qui s'est passé pendant quinze mois que l'on a demeuré dans le païs. Le Troisiesme, traitte du temperament du païs, de la fertilité de sa terre, & des moeurs & façons de faire des Sauvages de cette contrée. Avec un Dictionnaire de la Langue du mesme Pais. Par M. Antoine Biet, Prestre, Curé de Ste.Genevieve de Senlis, Superieur des Prestres qui ont passé dans le Pais. Paris: Chez Fraçois Oouzier, 1664.
First edition. A straightforward account of a lamentably unsuccessful attempt at colony-building, the enterprise failing because the indigenous peoples resisted vigorously and because the French seigneurs could not overcome internal dissensions. A successful establishment was ultimately made at Cayenne in 1664, the year Biet's account appeared in print. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Rebound in recent full calf.
Shea F2462.B5 1664
Petit catechisme ou sommaire des trois premieres parties de la Doctrine Chrestienne. Traduit du François, en la langue des Caraibes lnsulaires, par le R. P. Raymond Breton Sous-Prieur du Convent des Freres Prescheurs de Blainville. Auxerre: Par Gilles Bouquet, 1664.
First edition. Father Breton was among the first missionaries sent to Guadeloupe and the Caribbean Islands, and his linguistic studies issued in a pair of dictionaries (bound together here) which were the base for this, one of the first printed religious documents in a Native American language other than those of Mexico and Peru. Bound with the same author's Dictionaire Caraibe-Francois (Auxerre, 1665) and Dictionaire Francois-Caraibe (Auxerre, 1666). Stamps of the Bibliothéque d'Abbéville on each title page. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in contemporary sprinkled calf.
Sabin 7742 (7739, 7740)
Shea BX1966.C36 B74 1664
El Peregrino Septentrional Atlante: delineado en la exemplarissima vida del venerable padre F. Antonio Margil de Jesus, Fruto de la Floridissima Ciudad de Valencia, Hija de su Seraphica Observante Provincia, Predicador Missionero, Notario Apostolico, Comissario del Santo Officio, Fundador, y ex Guardian de tres Colegios, Prefecto de las Missiones de Propaganda Fide en todas las lndias Occidentales, y aclamado de la piedad Por Nuevo Apostol de Guatemala ... Escribela cl P. Fr. Isidro Felis de Espinosa .... Mexico: por Joseph Bernardo de Hogal, 1737.
First edition. Although this biography of Father Margil is best known in this country for the account of his brief missionary experience in Texas, in fact he spent much of his long career working among the Indians of Guatemala, where his influence was far greater and where he made a major contribution to the development of the Franciscan missions. Bound with five other titles relating to the life and work of Father Margil, including the Nuevas empressas, 1141. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in later quarter calf and boards.
Sabin 22898 (1742 edition); Spanish Southwest 102
Shea BX4705.M3252 E8 1737
Nouvelle relation de la France equinoxiale, contenant La Description des Côtes de la Guiane; de l'Isle de Cayenne; le Commerce de cette Colonie; les divers changemens arrivés dans ce Pays; & les Moeurs & Coutumes des différens Peuples Sauvages qui l'habitent. Avec Des Figures dessinees sur les lieux. Par Pierre Barrere .... Paris: Chez Gogué & Née de la Rochelle 
First edition, later (remainder?) issue. That rarity of the times, a book which delivers exactly what its lengthy title advertises. A doctor and botanist, Barrere spent a number of years in the French colony in South America; in 1749 he published a natural history of the colony. Publishers' label on title obscuring date and original publishers, imprint. Manuscript notes at front, in an unknown hand. Shea bookplate on pastedown. Bound in later quarter sheep and paper boards.
Shea F2450.B27 1743
Estado actual del Catholicismo. Politica, y Economias de los Indios, ò Naturales del Peru. y medias de Reformarlo. Escrito por D' Juan Joseph del Hoyò Examinador sinodal del Arzobispado de Lima, Vicario Eclesiastico del Paritido de Quebradas en la Prov. de Farma, Comisario del santo òficio de la Inquisicion y Cura propio de Chacayan en este Arzobispado. Añadidas despues algunas Notas. Manuscript, 57 leaves, quarto [Peru? ca. 1743)
Father Hoyo's manuscript bears an internal date of 1743. The reason for its composition is not known, but it offers valuable information regarding the state of Peru's indigenous peoples two centuries after the Spanish conquest. Probably a fair copy made not long after the date of original composition. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources. Disbound.
John Gilmary Shea Papers, GTM-GAMMS269, Box 19
Historia geográfica, civil y politica de la Isla de S. Juan Bautista de Puerto Rico. Dala á luz Don Antonio Valladares de Sotomayor. Madrid: En la Imprenta de Don Antonio Espinosa, 1788.
First edition. The author, the Benedictine lñigo Abbad y Lasierra, came to Puerto Rico (or Borinquén as it was called by its native inhabitants) in 1773. His work is not only the first formal history of the island, but also contains the earliest sociological commentary on the Puertoriquenos. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in nineteenth century quarter roan and marbled paper boards.
Sabin 6 and 98367
Shea F1958.A125 1788
Shea and the Bible
Biblia cum tabula noviter edita. [Venice: Simon Bevilaqua, 1494)
A thoroughly undistinguished small-format fifteenth century edition of the Bible in Latin. The price ($15.00) written in pencil on the rear pastedown gives perhaps the best clue, given the volume's age, as to why Shea bothered to acquire it. Early (possibly contemporary) manuscript annotations scattered throughout. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in later vellum.
Not in Darlow & Maule; Goff, Incunabula in American Libraries: A Third Census, B-597
Shea BS75 1494 Vault
Biblia sacra vulgatae editionis. Rome: Ex Typographia Apostolica Vaticana, 1592.
First printing of the "Clementine" Vulgate, for Catholics the authoritative Latin text of the Bible, prepared in part to correct perceived errors found in the earlier "Sixtine" version of 1590, but in fact to present a printed version closer to the best possible text. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Bound in nineteenth century full calf.
Darlow & Moule 6184
Shea BS75 1592 Vault
The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English, out of the authentical Latin, according to the best corrected copies of the same, diligently conferred with the Greeke and other editions in divers languages: With Arguments of books and chapters, Annotations, and other necessarie helpes, for the better understanding of the text, and specially for the discoverie of the Corruptions of divers late translations, and for cleering the Controversies in religion, of these daies: In the English College of Rhemes. . . . Rhemes: by lohn Fogny, 1582.
First edition of this translation, the first Catholic version of Scriptures to appear in English. One of two copies in the Shea Collection. Shea bookplate on front pastedown. Rebound in recent full calf.
Herbert, Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of the English Bible 1525-1961, 177
Shea BS2080 1582
The Holie Bible faithfully translated into English, out of the authentical Latin. Diligently conferred with the Hebrew, Greeke, and other Editions in divers languages. With Arguments of the Bookes, and Chapters: Annotations: Tables: and other helpes, for better understanding of the text: for discoverie of Corruptions in some late trans]ations: and for clearing Controversies in Religion. By the English College of Doway. . . . Doway: by Laurence Kellam, 1609(-10)
First edition of this translation, which completed the task of creating a Catholic version in English begun with the preceding item. Two volumes. Shea provenance inferred from secondary sources. Rebound in recent full calf.
Shea BS180 1609
The Holy Bible Translated from the Latin Vulgat: Diligently compared With the Hebrew, Greek, and other Editions in divers Languages. And first published by The English College at Doway, Anno 1609. Newly revised, and corrected, according to the Oementin Edition of the Scriptures, with Annotations for clearing up the principal Difficulties of Holy Writ . . . . [Dublin? 1750).
First edition of the recension by Bishop Richard Challoner of previous versions in English. This copy marked up by John Gilmary Shea as printer's copy for his new edition of the Bible (New York, 1872), with his annotations throughout. With this is shown the surviving portion of page proofs of Shea's edition, primarily from the Book of Daniel, with further corrections in his hand.
Note: Among the principal Georgetown desiderata is a copy of the first printing of Shea's edition of the Bible, no copy being preserved in his collection and no other having ever come to hand.
Five volumes, all disbound, a few leaves lacking.