Fr. Theodore Hesburgh and Abbot Astrik Gabriel look at the first microfilm to arrive from the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in May, 1963
Based on an agreement reached between His Eminence Giovanni Cardinal Battista Montini (then the cardinal-archbishop of Milan, later Pope Paul VI) and the Reverend Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., then-president of the university, Notre Dame's Medieval Institute is the repository for images of most of the manuscripts owned by the great Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. The Medieval Institute's Library holds over 10,000 films of early, medieval, and Renaissance manuscripts in Latin, Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, and other languages. In addition to the microfilm reels, Notre Dame has negative images of miniatures, illuminated initials, and Old Master drawings. The Institute possesses an extensive collection of catalogs containing information on manuscripts and art held by the Ambrosiana, works related ot the history of the library and of Milan, as well as other miscellaneous reference volumes to aid work with the microfilm collection.
A project to develop a computerized index and printed catalog for all western manuscripts in the Ambrosiana began in 1979. Three volumes of that catalog have appeared under the direction of Dr. Louis Jordan (Associate University Librarian, Hesburgh Libraries). This catalog covers western manuscripts in the range A through E Superior. A partial bibliography of citations to the Ambrosiana manuscripts is kept on a card file and may be consulted by prior appointment in the Medieval Institute Library. Dr. Robert R. Coleman maintains a complete inventory-catalog of the Ambrosiana's collection of some 12,000 drawings by European artists who were active from the fourteenth through nineteenth centuries. Our own faculty and graduate students frequently use the resources of the Ambrosiana collection, but students and scholars from other institutions are welcome to visit the Hesburgh Library in order to use these films, as well as the library's facilities and collections. Several small stipends are available to defray the costs of conducting research with Ambrosiana microfilms at Notre Dame. Please see the Medieval Institute's funding page for more information on the stipends and application procedures.
The Emeroteca Digitale
A comprehensive list of serials related to the history and culture of Lombardy is available at the Emeroteca Digitale, located at the Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Milan.
Notre Dame's collection of microfilms of the medieval manuscripts in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana includes most of the Arabic volumes held in the library. The indispensable reference for this collections is Catalogue of the Arabic manuscripts in the Biblioteca Ambrosianaby Oscar Löfgren and Renato Traini (Vicenza : N. Pozza, 1975- ). Notre Dame's collection includes microfilms of all of the Arabic manuscripts mentioned in the Traini catalogue EXCEPT:
The Biblioteca Ambrosiana has a substantial collection of Greek manuscripts and most of these have been microfilmed for Notre Dame. This collection has partly been catalogued in Martini and Bassi, Catalogus codicum graecorum Bibliothecae Ambrosianae(Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 1978 repr). Notre Dame holds microfilms of all of the manuscripts described in this catalogue EXCEPT:
Most of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Ambrosiana are found in Notre Dame's microfilm collection as well. The two catalogues for this collection are Codices hebraici Bybliothecae ambrosianae (Florentiae : apvd Leonem S. Olschki bibliopolam, 1933) and Hebraica Ambrosiana by Aldo Luzzatto and Luisa Mortara Ottolenghi (Milano: Il polifilo, 1972). Notre Dame holds microfilms of all of the manuscripts described in these two catalogues EXCEPT: