International Borders and Language Barriers are no Match for the Foley ILL Department

First page engraving from the Vita Sancti Augustini Eximii in aere Universo orbi

April 28, 2022
Jess Fenander, Foley Library

Foley Center Library’s Interlibrary Loan Department (ILL) receives a plethora of requests, varying greatly by topic. Frequently, the most challenging requests are those that are owned internationally; this has become more prevalent with the impact of COVID-19 on the sharing of resources across borders. One such request initially appeared unfillable; a word infrequently used in Foley’s ILL Department. The requested resource is owned by one library, La biblioteca nacional de España, or The National Library of Spain. Not only this, but it is stored in their archives, making it a more difficult resource to gain access to. A poor-quality scan of this specific resource, published in 1758, has been used by Dr. David Oosterhuis of the Classical Civilizations department in the instruction of his class on Saint Augustine. Not only does this connect to Gonzaga University’s Catholic history, but is an impactful class taken by many undergraduate students. With the goal of going above and beyond for our patrons, Jess Fenander-Foley’s Interlibrary Loan Assistant-contacted the Archives department in Spanish with hopes of obtaining a better scan of this resource. Resource sharing frequently creates opportunities for cross-cultural dialogue and exchange that is sought out at every opportunity in our ILL Department. Amazingly, they not only sent a beautiful scan of this resource, but also updated the publicly available scan for free access to this resource. The new and improved scan can be found on the Biblioteca Digital Hispanica site, which showcases the incredible illustrations and Latin text that give this resource beautiful, historical value.