James Ford Bell Library

Welcome to the James Ford Bell Library

Are you curious? Have you ever seen, read, or touched a 600-year-old book?

The Bell Library makes history come alive through its collection of rare books, maps and manuscripts that focus on trade and cross-cultural interaction before ca. 1800. Our premier collection illustrates the ways in which cultural influences expanded worldwide, with a special emphasis on European interactions. The James Ford Bell Library, its collection, and its innovative programs support scholarship and education at all levels, and enrich our community by advancing understanding of this global heritage, making the world we live in more meaningful.

Bell Library Partners with CLA to Win Major Grant

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the College of Liberal Arts a $600,000 start-up grant to develop the conceptual and programmatic foundations for a new Consortium for the Study of the Pre-modern World. The James Ford Bell Library joined with two CLA centers, the Center for Early Modern History and the Center for Medieval Studies, to form the new Consortium, which plans to bring together pre-modern students and scholars from across the University and beyond to think, discuss, and create in innovative ways. One of the Consortium projects is the "Pre-Modern Digital Workshop," led by Bell Library Curator Marguerite Ragnow with the aid of a grant-funded graduate assistant.

J.B. Shank (History & Center for Early Modern History) served as principal investigator on the proposal, with Andrew Scheil (English & Center for Medieval Studies) and Marguerite Ragnow (James Ford Bell Library) as co-investigators.

New Video Promotes the Bell Library as a "Jewel in the Crown" of the University

Map Total Climbs to 21,611!

As of January 1, 2014, the number of maps revealed in the Bell Library's book collection has risen to 21,611! You can visit UMedia now to see these maps as they are added, as well as other maps in our collection: Bell Digital Collection

NEH Logo

This project is made possible through funding by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The National Endowment for the Humanities: Because democracy demands wisdom. "Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities."

Convento y Hospital de Refugio, Lima, Peru

Account Book, Convento y Hospital de RefugioAccount Book, Convento y Hospital de Refugio

Manuscript Account Book, 85 leaves. September 1723 - June 1793

This 18th-century account book contains monthly totals of accounts payable and receivable for the convent and hospital, plus details of monies received from rents and benefactions (donations). Also included are records of patients (often indigent, among them present and former enslaved persons), the length of their stays, and the cost of their treatment and maintenance. Two audits from the Padre Prefecto also appear in the folio.

Officially known as the Convento y Hospital de Santa Toribio de Refugio de Incurables de la Religión Bethlehemitica de la Ciudad de Lima, “Incurables” was run by the Bethlemite order. The order was founded in the mid-seventeenth century by Pedro Betancourt, and eventually operated small hospitals in present-day Mexico and a number of Latin American countries, including Peru. Incurables served as a convalescent hospital for patients to whom other hospitals would not provide care, though Spaniards were also treated there. The brothers collected rents from land on the island of Callao, as well as rent from a house on Trinidad Street and a store (pulperia). The Sisters of Mercy took over the hospital in the mid-nineteenth century, a product of the appropriation of Church property during the independence period.

What's Happening

To facilitate access to Bell Library materials, we have compiled a list of all Bell Library materials that are not yet part of MNCAT...

Beginning Monday, May 12, 2014, the Bell Library's hours will be Monday - Friday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

"The Ojibwe People's Dictionary is a searchable, talking Ojibwe-English dictionary that features the voices of Ojibwe speakers.

O. Meredith Wilson Library
309 19th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Get directions »
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 4:30pm
Weekends: Closed
Details »
Phone: 612-624-1528
E-mail: jfbell@umn.edu
Connect to Us:
Connect to the James Ford Bell Library through Facebook