Search Results

Collection Donor

Harley L. McDevitt Spanish Inquisition Library Collection

The Harley L. McDevitt Spanish Inquisition Library Collection was established in 1996. A Notre Dame graduate, Harley (’29) majored in philosophy and Spanish and was the business manager of Scholastic, the campus magazine. He went on to earn a graduate degree in corporate law in 1933 and served in the Navy from 1942-45 as a lieutenant commander. He was employed as director of advertising at National Geographic Society, from which he retired in 1968. At Notre Dame, he was a member of the Sorin Society and the Badin Guild. Harley was extremely devoted to St. Theresa, the Little Flower.

Through Harley’s estate gift, the Libraries were able to acquire a very important Spanish Inquisition collection. Librería Porrúa, possibly the best known rare book dealer in Spain, purchased it from a private collector, and he and his family grew it over 50 years to include 550 items. At the time the University obtained this important research tool, its quality rivaled nationally-known Inquisition collections the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University.

The compendium can be divided into distinct sets of materials: the Holy Office’s manuals of instructions, indices of banned books, autos de fe, certificates of familiars of the Holy Office, trial proceedings, early works commenting on the Inquisition, and a selection of secondary works from the 1960s to present.

Harley also established the Harley L. McDevitt Endowed Fund for Medieval English Literature.