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Archival description
University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library, Special Collections Series
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Sound Recordings series

Series consists of eleven audio cassettes of lectures and retreats given by Nouwen from 1985 to 1994. Specifically, there are two audio cassettes from a ALT Brugge Retreat on the topics of Prayer and Reconciliation. There are two audio cassettes which contain a Mass given by Nouwen on Compassion. There is one audio cassette titled "La Visitation" and another titled "Francais – Homelie – Houietie". There are also five audio cassettes of Nouwen leading a seminar on the Gospel of St. John while he was at L'Arche Trosly-Breuil.

Diaries, reading journals and day planners

Series consists of 29 diaries, dated reading journals and day planners created and preserved by Watson during her adult life. These materials contain fragments of her creative writing; drawings in graphite, coloured pencil and ink; reading notes and language exercies; collected ephemera; recordings of her daily activities and financial transactions; and reflections on her experiences, emotions, relationships and surroundings.
In general Watson kept confessional and reflective diaries from 1954/55 to about 1957. When she moved to Toronto in 1956 to persue her doctoral studies, Watson began to keep what can be best described as reading journals, dated notes pertaining to books she was reading interspersed with short diary entries regarding her correspondence, her observations of her surroundings and her academic experiences. After she moved to Edmonton to teach at the University of Alberta, and upon her retirement in Nanaimo, Watson's recorded thoughts become more infrequent. In her later life, Watson appears to have purchased commercial day planners to record her daily activities and financial translations.
It is apparent that Watson kept journals during her early teaching career in Cariboo Country in British Columbia. However, it seems she destroyed these at a later period.

Election materials

Series consists of flyers, posters, booklets, official forms and documents, correspondence, and newspaper articles regarding Patrick O'Neill's role as presiding officer at a polling station in the 1918 Irish election, his campaign in the 1920 election for county councillors, and his campaigns in the 1921 and 1929 general elections. Series also includes correspondence regarding the Boundary Commission, O'Neill's decision to take his seat in parliament in 1926, the creation of the National League of the North, and his decision to retire. Series is arranged chronologically.

Community Council files

Series consists of minutes of regular meetings and correspondence files of the Daybreak Community Council, established to permit participation by staff and core members in the key communication and decision making activities of the community.
The types of records include: incoming and outgoing correspondence; agendas and minutes of meetings of the council; special research reports; calendars; program proposals; event planning and administration documents.
Subjects found in the series include: Daybreak constitution; work programs; spirituality; celebration of holidays and community events; administrative and program analysis and restructuring. See file descriptions for more detailed content information.

Journals and notebooks

Series consists of two diaries kept by Wilfred Watson during his writing career and includes a diary created by Watson after 1958, and a second diary kept between 1984 and 1993.

Legal documents and administrative records

Series consists of original and copies of legal documents, forms, and other records pertaining to the incorporation of the New Catholic Times in 1976, materials documenting the structure of the corporation and its operating policies and procedures circa 1985, and job descriptions and terms of reference for committees within the organization after 1990. Series is arranged chronologically.

Manuscripts

Series consists of draft manuscripts and typescripts of more than 150 books and articles, forewords and introductions, sermons, and talks by Henri Nouwen. The date range of the materials is from 1956 to 1996. The series contains drafts of 49 of his articles and drafts of 41 books (Nouwen published over 300 articles and 39 books in his lifetime). In addition to handwritten drafts or typescripts some files may also include loose notes (usually background reading notes), galley and print proofs, administrative papers, correspondence regarding the materials, and photographs and artwork used in the process of publication.

The materials in the Series reflect Nouwen’s general writing process: for the most part he hand-wrote his works on foolscap or in hard-back journals, often he created reading notes pertaining to the subject he was writing on, drafts were typed by an administrative assistant and then circulated to friends and other readers for comment. He saved all of the drafts, often incorporating the notes made by himself and other readers, in order to create one final work.

Common themes present in the drafts include: spirituality, love, God, psychology, theology, relationships, prayer, ministry, and Christian life. Nouwen often reflected on his own spiritual journey and experiences in his works in journal form. This writing was often deeply personal and it is for this reason that some of the manuscripts and drafts are restricted from use, including Man at the Watershed, A Spiritual Journey, Taken, Blessed, Broken, Given (parts of which were published in Life of the Beloved), The Inner Voice of Love, Adam, and Sabbatical Journey.

With exception of the sermons, most material has been published. Eight transcripts have been identified as unpublished, including a book on Anton T. Boisen based on Nouwen’s doctoral thesis, a draft of a work about Nouwen’s friend Richard Alan White, and notes for a book Nouwen began in 1991 regarding the trapeze and the spiritual life as well as some of the restricted material listed above. See file descriptions for more information on each work.

The series has been arranged into two sub-series:

    1. Books and articles
    1. Talks and sermons

Each of these sub-series has sub-sub-series, files, and items. They have been arranged chronologically.

Organizational records

Records document the foundation's mandate, activities, and history. They include the foundation's logo creation, "foundational statement", historic timeline, press cuttings, and newsletters.

Head of House and Regional Meetings

Series consists of 68 audio cassettes made during the course of Head of House meetings or Regional meetings of L'Arche International. The Head of House provides support for the Community Leader by taking direct responsibility for the home. The Leader administrates the overall community, but the Heads of Houses take on the responsibilities of the home for the Leader. The Community Leader regularly meets with Heads of Houses to hear details, issues, listen to questions, to make community announcements, and create a supportive community around any situations that may need support.

Papers of Father John O'Connor

Series consists of a collection of hand-written and typed manuscripts, poems, translations and radio transcripts created and accumulated by Monsignor John O'Connor, as well as his correspondence, collected ephemera (including news clippings, Christmas cards, posters, pamphlets, and small press publications) and research notes. The majority of the material relates to O'Connor's friendship with the author G.K. Chesterton, although O'Connor also translated Latin religious poetry and composed his own verse and wrote prose pieces on literature, Church history, morality, religion and philosophy.

Manuscripts

Series consists of handwritten and typed manuscripts of essays on Newman, as well as various draft chapters from his PhD thesis, "The Published and Unpublished Anglican Sermons of John Henry Newman : Prolegomena to an Edition" (completed in 1974), and two copies of the final thesis.

Bibliography working files

Series consists of research notes, index cards, correspondence and draft manuscripts of Feeley's bibliography on Marshall McLuhan. Also includes a draft paper of an article by Feeley on Plato and McLuhan.

History and Spirit of Faith and Sharing

The series consists of documents about the history and development of the Faith and Sharing Federation. This includes documents related to first retreats and the incorporation of the Faith and Sharing Federation as a registered charity. There is also material on the history and development of the regional groups. This includes correspondence from the regional delegates about the organization of annual retreats and meetings, 1972-1976, lists of attendees and representatives and newsletters detailing the activities of the regions. There is also a collection of annual reports for the period 1995 to 2002. There is also material on the organizational structure of the Faith and Sharing Federation and the North American Committee including a practical guide to the retreats and personal reflections on the Faith and Sharing movement by members of the North American Committee.

Incoming correspondence

Series consists of Fred T. Flahiff's personal correspondence, deposited with the library due to its relevance to Flahiff's work on Sheila Watson. Includes 53 letters from Sheila Watson, 3 letters and 34 pages of poetry and 20 illustrations in ink and pastel (17 of which are photocopied) from Wilfred Watson. Also includes letters from others: one letter from B.J. Mitchell; one letter from a Mike (last name unknown), regarding an entry on Sheila Watson in the UBC yearbook "Totem" from 1931; one letter from Douglas M. Gibson, publisher at McClelland and Stewart.

Thesis

Series consists of a draft of Teresa V. O'Neill's thesis and correspondence related to the thesis.

Correspondence

Series consists of Laurent and Colette Potvins’ correspondence with members and representatives of the Roman Catholic Church and Papal Commission on Birth Control before and durring the Commission's meeting in the summer of 1966. Correspondence includes letters from Church representatives nominating and appointing the Potvins to the Commission; letters regarding background information about the Commission, its structure, composition and sub-sessions; and the drafting and production of reports for the Commission.

Personal photographs

Series consists of Watson's personal photograph collection, including: photographs from the late nineteenth century belonging to her parents, Mr. C.E. Doherty and Mrs. Elweena Doherty; photographs, (some of which have been scanned), of Watson as an infant and child, along with her siblings and parents; pictures taken by Watson while teaching in Dog Creek, British Columbia, and while at the University of California, Berkeley taking a summer course; pictures taken by the Watsons while on vacation in Nanton, Alberta; pictures taken during the couple's year living in Paris, France; pictures of domestic activities and socializing while Watson was living in or visiting Edmonton, Alta., Toronto, ON, London, England and Vancouver, B.C.; photographs of Watson's nieces and nephews, and the children of her friends, particularly Barbara J. Mitchell, the sons of Diane and Frank Bessai and her godson Peter Bruckmann; and photographs of her pets. Also includes a number of professional portraits of both herself and her husband Wilfred.

A complete item list of the series can be found in Appendix of the finding guide.

Video recordings of Nouwen

Series consists of video recordings of Nouwen as lecturer, retreat leader, conference leader and television program guest. Many of these videocassettes were given to Nouwen by the organizers's of events in which he participated. There is one sub-series in this series: video recordings accumulated by Nouwen, and there are several sub-sub series. Multiple cassettes from a single event are available for Nouwen at Earlham College; Nouwen at Catholic Charities Volunteer Development Conference; Nouwen on Robert Schuller's Hour of Power; Video Recordings of 'Overal et Nergens' and Nouwen at L'Arche Stratford. The remaining videocassettes consist of thirty-three videocassettes of addresses, lectures, interviews and sermons given by Nouwen at conferences, retreats, churches and other locations from 1983 to 1996.

Sound recordings

Series consists of audio cassettes of Nouwen giving lectures at universities, speaking at churches, conferences and other engagements, parts of and complete books on tape and recordings from radio shows and interviews. Some of the material was professionally produced and some are amateur recordings.

Personal records, artwork and artifacts

Series consists of 21 files of address books, diplomas, medals, awards and honorary degrees; artwork and drawings by herself and others; rosaries and other items and objects belonging to Sheila Watson.

File list includes:

Box 61

  • 2006 01 952 Baptismal Certificate, 1909
  • 2006 01 953 Address book [after 1957]
  • 2006 01 954 Address book [between 1958 and 1961]
  • 2006 01 955 Address book [after 1978]
  • 2006 01 956 Address book [June 1961]
  • 2006 01 957 Address book [after 1962]
  • 2006 01 958 Address book [ca. 1979]
  • 2006 01 959 Address book [between 1978 and 1979]
  • 2006 01 960 Address book [ca. April 16, 1979]
  • 2006 01 961 Address book [ca. 1981]
  • 2006 01 962 Address book [after 1981]
  • 2006 01 963 Address book [between 1985 and 1993]

Box 62

  • 2006 01 964 Material regarding 1965 University of Toronto convocation, 1965
  • 2006 01 965 Documents and award regarding Canada Silver Jubilee Medal, 1977
  • 2006 01 966 Lorne Pierce Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, May 29, 1984
  • 2006 01 967 Correspondence and certificate from the Federation of British Columbia Writers, 1987
  • 2006 01 968 Honourary Degree, University of St. Michael's College, 1995
  • 2006 01 969 Doherty and Martin family records
  • 2006 01 970 Drawings and paintings by Sheila Watson [after 1948]
  • 2006 01 971 Drawings and paintings by other artists belonging to Watson
  • 2006 01 972 Personal effects and belongings [after 1941]

Ephemera

Series consists of ephemeral material accumulated by Watson in the course of her activities, including six photographs of unidentified persons and subjects, divided into four sub-series:

  1. Ephemera and memorabilia collected in Paris
  2. Blank postcards
  3. Loose notes, uninfected photographs, jottings and ephemera
  4. Ephemera found in Watson Library books

Collected materials

Series consists of material collected by Nouwen on topics, people, and issues of interest. Nouwen used this material for articles, books, lectures, talks, sermons, general interest, and as reference for his duties as pastor, friend, researcher, and writer. Includes journal articles, books, sound recordings, newspaper clippings, photographs, newsletters, and manuscripts. See sub-series level descriptions for more detail.

The series has been arranged in the following six sub-series:
1.12.1. Materials regarding Thomas Merton
1.12.2. Circus material (excluding unpublished manuscripts which are located in the Manuscript Series)
1.12.3. Collected articles
1.12.4. Collected audio cassettes
1.12.5. Postcards and icons
1.12.6. Materials regarding Seward Hiltner

Administrative resources files

Series consists of administrative resources files which were maintained for Nouwen by Nouwen's administrative staffs from 1983 to 1997. These files contain materials collected by Nouwen in order to assist him with his roles as pastor, writer, researcher, and friend. In addition to subject-based material such as newspaper clippings and brochures, it is evident that Nouwen's administrative assistants at Daybreak used these files to hold administrative material related to liturgical events such as Christmas, Lent, and Easter, as well as other aspects of Nouwen's duties in the community. These files were likely maintained as a resource for Nouwen regarding his daily work.

The titles of the files are taken directly from the file labels created by Nouwen and his administrative assistants, unless otherwise noted. The files are arranged by subject or topic (such as Latin America, Vincent van Gogh, or Abbey of the Genesee), are in alphabetical order, and materials within the files have been maintained chronologically. Many of the materials have been placed in this series because they contain annotations, either by Nouwen or an assistant, saying "File" with the subject or name or "File - Resource files."

Ephemera and artifacts

  • CA ON00389 F4-14
  • Series
  • [1957 - 1996], predominant 1980 - 1996
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Series consists of ephemera and artifacts collected by or given to Nouwen throughout his lifetime, including awards and honorary degrees, materials kept in his office and home, promotional materials, artwork, postcards, religious artifacts, and personal artifacts.

Series has been arranged in the following seven sub-series according to their function:
1.14.1. Awards and honourary degrees;
1.14.2. Contents of Nouwen's office;
1.14.3. Promotional material for lectures, workshops and special events;
1.14.4. Collected artwork;
1.14.5. Personal effects;
1.14.6. Postcards, cards and prints;
1.14.7. Religious artifacts.

Photographs

Series consists of colour and black and white photographs (including negatives) accumulated by Nouwen, and colour slides taken by him and others. Photographs not taken by Nouwen were gathered mainly from friends and acquaintances through correspondence, over a period of approximately 30 years. The photographs were stored by Nouwen and his administrative assistant(s) in files, or displayed on one of several large bulletin boards Nouwen used in his office and photograph albums compiled. Some photographs that arrived with correspondence were kept in the General Files series with their letter of origin, while others which were not clearly attached to a letter were separated and added to this series.

Subject matter depicted in the photographs include professional portraits of Nouwen; Nouwen in both his professional and private capacities at: the Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools, and at L'Arche Daybreak (leading church services, at birthdays and Christmas celebrations), religious events (baptisms, first communions, ordinations and weddings); as well as his travels to Peru and Bolivia, the United States, France, and other countries; and with his family in the Netherlands both as a child and as an adult. Photographs also depict Nouwen's friends, their families, and L'Arche Daybreak assistants and core members. In addition, a large number of photographs in this series (approximately one fifth), document Nouwen's time spent in Germany with a flying trapeze troupe, The Flying Rodleighs.

Slides were taken by Nouwen of Martin Luther King, Jr’s civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, AL, in March 1965; of the University of Notre Dame; vacations, including a trip to Greece; and of Nouwen with Rodleigh Stevens of The Flying Rodleighs in 1995.

This series is arranged in three sub-series:

1.15.1. Photographs Accumulated by Henri Nouwen
1.15.2. Early Personal Photographs
1.15.3. Photograph Albums

The series include both file- and item-level descriptions. Photographs and slides are arranged in chronological order where possible.

Documents of the Secretary, North American Committee

The series consists of a copy of the original list of the Faith and Sharing Federation fonds produced by Madeleine Seguin, August 15, 1994. Also includes documents relating to the deposit of records to Archives Deschalets, Ottawa, in 1993-1994 and the donation of the records to University of St. Michael’s College in 2004.

Séguin, Madeleine

Research and reference material

Series consists of bound and loose leaf research and reference notes handwritten and typed by Douglas Ellory Pett relating to his thesis and extensive research on the early Anglican sermons of John Henry Newman. Includes detailed bibliographic entries on published works; meticulous notes on biblical references used by Newman in his sermons; transcriptions of Newman's correspondence and archival records; as well as notes on contemporary accounts of Newman's preaching activities.

Manuscripts and drafts

Series consists of Watson's written material, including early drafts, manuscripts, typescripts, page proofs, metatext and relevant correspondence with editors, including the following sub-series:

  1. Novels
  2. Short stories
  3. Poetry
  4. Non-fiction

Research and reference material

Series consists of notes, reports, essays, pamphlets, articles and clippings created and accumulated by the Potvins in the course of their research surrounding birth control and the Papal Commission on Birth Control. Some material was mailed to the Potvins by birth control and contraception specialists. It is unknown if the material was sent to all members of the Commission, if these reports were requested by the Potvins in preparation for their participating in the Commission, or if the material was collected for their general research.

General files

Series consists of more than 16 000 letters received by Henri Nouwen between 1964 and 1997. Some files include photographs and other printed material sent to Nouwen as enclosures. In some instances, a copy of Nouwen's typed letter of reply is also included in the file.

Covenant Retreats

Series consists of 248 audio cassettes made during Covenant Retreats. L’Arche recognized that the word “Covenant” is close to describing the spirituality of the organization; that God wanted to ‘make a covenant’, a bond and commitment to the people of Israel. For assistants that begin to see l’Arche as a vocation, and want to make a longer term commitment and see themselves being called to be at l’Arche by God, there are retreats that support them in that spirituality. These Covenant Retreats provide a space for those that have announced, or are considering, their Covenant and provide support for those Assistants. The Covenant Retreats happen about once a year in Europe and North America where most of the l’Arche communities are, and happen less frequently in India, Central America, South America, Africa, India, etc.

Executrix correspondence

Series consists of correspondence with researchers and the Public Record office of Northern Ireland regarding Patrick O'Neill's political papers, as well as genealogical information and newspaper articles relating to Patrick O'Neill's political career, the Crown Hotel, and Teresa O'Neill.

Photographs series

Series consists of one audio compact disc dated April 19, 2008. The CD contains photos taken of L'Arche, including photos of Jean Vanier, Henri Nouwen, Barbara Swanecamp, L'Arche Trosly Breuil, Père Thomas, Pope John Paul II, core members, and assistants. CD was created for the memorial service of Barbara Swanecamp.

Literary Drafts/Writings

Series consists of Wilfred Watson manuscripts, typescripts, drafts and notes regarding his writing, poetry, plays, short stories, miscellaneous papers and publications. Specifically, the series contains handwritten notes regarding an unknown philosopher; a typescript and published copy of the essay "McLuhan's collective wordplay"; manuscripts of poems; and a reflection paper titled "Mettre en conte le dream".

Community files

Series consists of correspondence files collected from a number of sources within Daybreak. Where possible, the source of the file has been identified in the file level description. The files document a wide range of activities and programs in the community.
The types of records include: incoming and outgoing correspondence re: community events and activities; minutes of meetings; research reports; newsletters and publications; articles and news clippings.
Subjects found in the series include: Dayspring II; training and retreats for assistants; Daybreak and L'Arche anniversaries; Jean Vanier events; Walkathon and other fund raising events: The Woodery and other work programs; spiritual life; Children’s Home project; admission of core members; and the administration of houses.
See file descriptions for more detailed content information.

Publications

This series includes two books written by Gila Margolin, "The Moving Swan" (2006), and "Where the Woods Meet the Water" (2014). There is one copy of the former and three copies of the latter, one in French ("La où les bois côtoient l'eau").

Correspondence with Marshall McLuhan

Series consists of 12 letters to James Feeley from Marshall McLuhan. The letters are predominantly from 1962-1965, but there is one letter from 1977. The series also consists of five letters from Feeley to McLuhan between 1964 and 1965.

Meeting minutes and reports

Series consists of agendas, minutes, reports (including budgets and other financial statements), proposals, and other materials prepared for meetings of committees and groups within the New Catholic Times. Series is divided into the following sub-series: 1. Membership and Board of Directors' meetings 2. Publishing Group meetings 3. Staff meetings.

Correspondence with constituents

Series consists of Patrick O'Neill's correspondence with constituents, supporters, and government ministers in his role as MP for County Down (and later Mourne division) regarding the concerns of his constituency, including: inquiries relating to pensions, licenses, and agricultural subsidies; filling appointed and hired positions such as Postmaster, Inspector for Ministry of Education, or members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary; amendments of acts and bills (relating to public utilities, transportation, agriculture and fisheries, for example); issues such as temperance and gerrymandering; and matters relating to the development of nationalist politics, such as the creation of the National League and the activities of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians. Series also includes notes, official documents, and newspaper articles regarding the affairs of his constituency. Series is divided into the following sub-series: 1. Correspondence with constituents, 1926-1928 2. Correspondence with constituents, 1935-1936. Sub-series are arranged alphabetically by correspondent or subject. Although Patrick O'Neill sat in parliament from 1921-1938, this fonds contains only correspondence records for the years 1926-1928 and 1935-1936. It is not known at this time where the other records reside; some may be found at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Sketches/Artwork

Series consists of drawings created by Wilfred Watson; the series is comprised of seventeen ink, pastel, crayon, watercolour, gauche and graphite drawings. The majority of these drawings are figurative and most likely from the period when Watson was living in Nanaimo, B.C.

General Correspondence

Series consists of Watson's correspondence with others. It has been divided into two sub-series; namely:

  1. Outgoing Correspondence
  2. Incoming Correspondence

Correspondence that relates directly to Watson's writing, publishing, academic responsibilities, editorial projects and collaborations have been filed in appropriate series, namely Manuscripts and drafts series; Publishing and business correspondence; Professional activities material series; Teaching material series; and Student material series.

Deceased Core Member files

Series consists of the key admission, personal documentation, program and medical records of Daybreak core members (residents).
The types of records include: personal documents (birth certificates, medical cards, passports, etc.); admission documents; member annual review reports; individual learning program reports; special event and unusual occurrence reports; incoming and outgoing correspondence with support professionals; medical/dental treatment forms and reports; medication records; financial and legal records.
Subjects found in the series include: Daybreak work programs; medical care; psychological and behavioral reporting.
See file descriptions for more detailed information.

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