Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection

Collection Guide


Collection of contemporary Jesuit scholarship and rare Jesuit publications, ranging in date from the late 16th century to the mid-20th century. The Collection is named for two prominent University of Scranton Jesuits, Revs. William B. Hill and Royden B. Davis.
Subset of Rare Book Collection
Jesuit Community of Scranton
Jesuit scholars
Date Range
Late 16th century to mid 20th century
Over 100 books

Access and Use

Digital Access

No digital access is currently available for materials in this collection.

Physical Access

The collection is open for research. Some books in the collection are located in the Weinberg Memorial Library's general circulating collection. Others are stored in closed stacks, and may be browsed by appointment in the Reading Room of the University Archives and McHugh Special Collections. Refer to the Location Code in the Library catalog to find a particular book.


Copyright for materials in this collection generally falls under the ownership of the author or publisher.

Preferred Citation

[Author(s) of Publication], [Publication Title], [Date of Publication], Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection, McHugh Special Collections, The University of Scranton.

Linked Data


Administrative/Biographical History

The initial inspiration for this collection was the publication by The University of Scranton Press of a facsimile edition of Geronimo Nadel's 1593 Evangelicae Historiae Imagines, a book of Bible illustrations designed to accompany the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola. The original copy of the Nadel book had been exhibited in 2000 by the Weinberg Memorial Library, along with other rare books from the collection of former Board of Trustee member Edward R. Leahy. Mr. Leahy subsequently gave The University of Scranton Press permission to copy the Nadel and print a facsimile.

Upon publication of the Nadel facsimile, it was noted that the Weinberg Memorial Library did not have an established collection of Jesuit venerable works. A special ad hoc committee was formed to investigate the establishment of such a collection. The original ad hoc committee was composed of the following members: Rev. Richard Rousseau, S.J.; the late Royden B. Davis, S.J.; Charles E. Kratz, Dean of the Library; Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian; the late William B. Hill, S.J.; Margaret Craft, former Assistant Dean of the Library; and Narda Tafuri, Acquisitions Librarian.

The committee determined that the Library should develop its collection of Jesuitana in three major ways:

  1. By acquiring Jesuit venerable works, consisting of early copies of works such as the Spiritual Exercises, constitutions and histories associated with the Society of Jesus; a special focus for this area of the collection would be the works of Daniello Bartoli, a noted Italian writer, scholar and early historian of the Society of Jesus;
  2. By developing and enhancing the Library's collection of the writings of 19th and 20th century American Jesuit scholars; and
  3. By collecting the works of Francis James Finn, S.J. (a.k.a. Father Finn), a significant turn-of-the-century Jesuit children's author.

Rev. William B. Hill, S.J., and Rev. Royden B. Davis, S.J., two members of this original ad hoc committee, passed away unexpectedly just prior to the Library receiving an initial grant from the Jesuit Community to expand the collection. Both Fr. Davis and Fr. Hill had a long association with the Library: Fr. Davis was a founding member and first President of the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library Endowment Fund. After his presidency, he continued to be an active member of the Friends of the Library Gift Selection Committee. Fr. Hill supported the Library through his work as editor of the Best Sellers literary review magazine. It was their support, direction, and review of the Library's Jesuit collection, aided by Rev. Richard W. Rousseau, S.J., which had enabled the Library to apply for and receive monies from the Jesuit Community for the collection's expansion. Therefore, it is most fitting that the collection was named the Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains more than 100 Jesuitana books, ranging in date from the late 16th century to the mid-20th century.

System of Arrangement

Physical books are located in both the Weinberg Memorial Library's general circulating collection as well as in the McHugh Special Collections closed stacks.


View the Weinberg Library's catalog for a list of books in the Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition is ongoing. Funding for purchases is contributed by the Jesuit Community of Scranton, with additional support from the Rousseau Memorial Fund, the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, and the McHugh Special Collections budget.