Since 1995, the Devers Program has supported continued rare book acquisitions with special emphasis in the areas of Dante studies, Italian Renaissance literature, and works relating to the Medieval and Renaissance history of the Italian language.

The Zahm Dante Collection in Rare Books and Special Collections at the University of Notre Dame ranks among the most important and historic Dante collections in North America. The fifteenth and sixteenth century imprints, which constitute the heart of the Dante collection, were primarily acquired in 1902 by John A. Zahm, C.S.C. from the Italian Dantophile Giulio Acquaticci. The collection currently holds nearly 3,000 volumes of rare editions and critical studies ranging from the Renaissance to the present. The collection also includes eight incunabula and almost every edition published in the 16th century.

Volumes purchased for the Hesburgh Libraries with the generosity of the William J. and Katherine L. Devers Family Endowment may be browsed by searching the term 'Devers Family Endowment' (in quotation marks) within the catalog interface.

In 1994, the exhibit “Renaissance Dante in Print (1472-1629)” displayed these early editions first at Notre Dame and then at the Newberry Library in Chicago. The exhibit focused specifically on essential primary sources for both the history of Dante’s reception during the Renaissance and the early history of the printed book.

Other Related Italian Studies Collections at Notre Dame: