[Letter of Indulgence from 12 Cardinals, to the Dominican Nuns of Unterlinde, Colmar]
A manuscript collective indulgence, written on vellum in the chancery hand used in Rome, granted to the nuns and giving them permission to display a famed painting of the Virgin Mary. Remission of the temporal consequences for sin could be obtained by visiting and viewing the painting on several feast days, including the Beheading of John the Baptist, St. Catherine, and St. Anne the Mother of Mary, all of whose images are portrayed around the border. This document itself would also have been on display on the feast days to announce the indulgence. This is a somewhat atypical example, and illustrates the variety of forms an indulgence might take. This item, along with several others in this exhibit, is part of the Burke Library’s Leander van Ess Collection, acquired in 1838 as the core library at the founding of Union Theological Seminary and which continues to be celebrated resource for the history of the book.