For the Love of Books

A Celebration of Premodern Treasures in UNL Special Collections, Honoring the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program

What do William Shakespeare, Martin Luther, John Foxe, Jonathan Swift, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Chaucer, Captain John Smith, and Sir Walter Raleigh all have in common? Their printed works are in UNL Special Collections! UNL even owns a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, a copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle (see a different copy here), and a copy of the Kelmscott Chaucer!

Come join us on December 15, from 4:30 to 6:00pm in UNL Special Collections, as we gather for refreshments and a chance to view some of these rare books and manuscripts from the archives that are available for adoption* in honor of yourself, a family member, a community group, or a friend. The Dec 15 event is more than just for viewing and adopting, as attendees will have the unique opportunity of speaking with and learning about the contents, material form, and historical importance of these items from UNL graduate students, faculty, and librarians.

You do not have to be living in Nebraska in order to adopt, as the adoption form is on our website (see below). The funds raised will support UNL Special Collections and the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program. For the Love of Books opened on Cyber Monday (Nov 28) and continues through December 31, 2016. Be sure to share the news! Your adoption has the added benefit of being tax deductible on your 2016 taxes. An adoption also gives you the opportunity to support the conservation and repair of library materials in need of repair, along with supporting the students in the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program, public programming on fascinating Medieval and Renaissance topics, and, particularly, the partnership with the University of York Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Your gift helps to keep these materials and academic programming and student travel awards available for current and future faculty, students, and the wider Lincoln community!

Moreover, the aim is towards affordability and variety, as manuscript and printed items created in the fifteenth to mid-nineteenth century ranging from $25 to $1,000 dollars, and authors include Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, Martin Luther, John Foxe, Jonathan Swift, Sir Philip Sidney, Queen Elizabeth I of England, King James VI/I of England, Raphael Holinshed, John Stow, Chaucer, John Dryden, John Milton, Han Holbein, Gerhard Mercator, Sir Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Lydgate, Petrarch, Ovid, Dante, Boccacio, Sir James Melville, Queen Marguerite of France (daughter of Catherine de'Medici), Madame de Villedieu, Captain John Smith, Sir Walter Raleigh, and George Villiers the Duke of Buckingham.

*Adoption will mean a record on the UNL Medieval and Renaissance Studies website and a certificate of adoption. However, adoption does NOT confer ownership, nor any type of exclusive rights or control of the object to the adoptee.


We will acknowledge your generous support with a certificate (for you, plus another for anyone you adopted an item in honor of), and an opportunity to have a photo with our Program Director, Dr. Carole Levin, and possibly even your book.** The photo opportunities are only available during the event on December 15.

To adopt a book, use this online form, select the books you want to adopt, and submit it. The order form is sorted by the themes shown below, and the Full List Sorted By Price notes which theme an item is.

Adoption Form

Andrea Nichols, Fundraiser Assistant, will respond as quickly to your submission of an order, confirming those book(s) are available for adoption. This is to ensure that someone else hasn’t claimed the book before you pay the adoption price. After your confirmation of your choices and the spelling of names for certificates, you will be sent the weblink to the Nebraska Foundation online payment system, and certificates will be printed and mailed (if you are not coming to the Dec 15 party). For those not attending the party, all certificates will be mailed to you, and it will your responsibility to mail the certificates to those whom you adopted the book(s) in honor of.

**Not all books listed on the website will be out at the event, due to table space and conservation restrictions.


The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program is proud to partner with UNL Libraries (visit their blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), UNL Special Collections and Archive (visit their Twitter) and the University of Nebraska Foundation.


Hand-written items from sixteenth century or earlier.

See list


An extremely rare category of books printed before Dec 31, 1500.

See list

These pages include descriptions written by UNL graduate students taking Medieval and Renaissance Studies courses.

Thematic Sorting of Books Printed after 1501

These pages include descriptions written by UNL graduate students taking Medieval and Renaissance Studies courses.

Histories, including John Lydgate (c.1370-c.1451), Jean Froissart (c.1337-c.1405), Raphael Holinshed (1529-1580), and Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

See list

Religion, including John Foxe (1516-1587), Pope Gregory I (c.540-604), Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Martin Luther (1483-1546), Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560), and Jean Calvin (1509-1564). The Gutenberg Bible leaf is in the incunabula page

See list

Literature & Drama, including William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Ben Jonson (1572-1637), John Milton (1608-1674), John Dryden (1631-1700), Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Ovid (43 B.C. - 17 A.D.), Dante Alighieri (c.1265-1321), Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), and Daniel Defoe (1660-1731)

See list

Royalty & Aristocracy

See list


See list

English Civil War (1642-1651)

See list

Law, including Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

See list

Exploration, including Captain John Smith (1580-1631) and Sir Walter Raleigh (1554-1618)

See list

Music & Art, including Hans Holbien (c.1497-1543)

See list

Nature, Medicine, Sciences, including Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Rene Descartes (1596-1650),Galen (129-c.216 A.D.), Gerhard Mercator (1512-1594), and Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727)

See list

Shakespeare image from First Folio

Full List, Sorted by Price

This page is the full list of manuscripts and books as seen in the thematic pages above, but sorted from lowest to highest prices. As the adoption form is sorted by themes, the items in this list have the theme noted with them, for easier location when adopting. See list