Ushaw College Collections
Ushaw College’s ‘Big Library’ holds around 35,000 titles. There are particular strengths in holdings from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century relating to theology, patristics, religious controversy (much of it very rare), British and continental history, geography, architecture, philosophy, and science. The collection includes forty-three medieval manuscripts and fragments, the oldest dating back to the eighth century, and around sixty printed books owned by the monks of Durham Priory.
Ushaw College also possess an impressive collection of liturgical objects that were used in the celebration of Mass. This includes a chalice of seventeenth-century Italian origin used during a mass by Pope Gregory XVI. There is also a large seventeenth-century Flemish silver monstrance, church plate designed by Augustus and Edward Pugin, as well as an eighteenth-century silver server. and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pyxes and oil stocks.
There are also numerous gold and silver chalices associated with various persons attached to Ushaw College. There is a large collection of vestments showing the change in styles over the centuries. The collection includes fourteenth-century maniple panels and three fifteenth-century vestments, including the Westminster vestment which is said to have been used at Westminster Abbey before the Reformation. There is also a seventeenth-century white cope and lace surplice and a collection of eighteenth-century French red vestments. Finally, there are nineteenth-century Pugin vestments and others of an ornate gothic style, plsu a range of vestments from the twentieth century.
The paintings at Ushaw College include some notable originals and copies of famous works, many of which, as the papers indicate, have subsequently been sold on, such as Perugino’s Annunciation, a possible Van Dyke portrait of Reubens’ first wife, a Van de Neer painting, and a German diptych. Of those paintings still remaining at the college, by far the most important is a rare work by Franz von Rohden. Indeed, the college owns five Rohden paintings, which is the largest collection by this Nazarene artist anywhere in Britain. Many paintings were originally purchased by the presidents for the college. For example, Charles Newsham (1837–1863) acquired Rohden’s Crucifixion, as well as a number of paintings no longer at the college, including one of St Charles Borromeo and a portrait of Mary Magdalene.
The college contains a large collection of antique furniture dating from the eighteenth to the early twentieth century. This includes bookcases, desks and wardrobes used by the professors and students, and also some fine pieces of furniture designed by Augustus Pugin, including a desk, and an Edward Pugin dining table. There is also a set of salon chairs and a post box originally used on the H.M.S. Berengaria, which was bought at auction by the college. Added to this is old furniture of a lesser value used around the work rooms and kitchens.
Other material held at Ushaw College includes numerous papal medals, a great seal from Queen Victoria, nineth-century Northumbrian coins, thirteenth-century coins, and Assignats from the French Revolution.
For details see http://reed.dur.ac.uk/xtf/view?docId=ark/32150_s2xg94hp53r.xml