About the Exhibit

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” —Aristotle

At the root of discovery—and indeed of higher education—is a thirst for knowledge, a desire to create … a yearning to understand that which no one has yet proven or explained.

This exhibit’s remarkable works, which University of Dayton faculty selected from hundreds of historically significant volumes to support the undergraduate curriculum, are not merely fruits of that yearning; they are a bedrock of modern inquiry into faith, philosophy, science, literature, art, music, and the social sciences.

In opening his library to the University, Dayton-area collector and philanthropist Stuart Rose has given our students, our faculty, and the community a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see firsthand the seminal works of some of the boldest, most courageous thinkers in ancient, medieval, and modern history.

While some of the authors and artists featured here did receive acclaim for their work in their lifetimes, many were reviled or rejected outright, their conclusions dismissed as heretic or impossible.

Today, we marvel at the impact of these great minds, uninhibited by the limitations of prevailing knowledge, of conventionality, of the status quo. May this exhibit inspire your spirit, engage your mind, indulge your thirst to understand … for many milestones lie ahead.

—Kathleen M. Webb Dean, University Libraries