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Archival description
Henri Nouwen fonds
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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 Circus material (excluding unpublished manuscripts which are located in the Manuscript Series)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

Materials regarding Thomas Merton

Sub-series consists of materials collected by Nouwen related to Thomas Merton. Sub-series includes newspaper articles, mimeographed letters from Merton, several copies of Merton’s manuscripts and several of Merton’s commercially produced audio cassette recordings of his talks to the monks and community of the Abbey of Gethsemani. Sub-series also contains Nouwen’s own records of the materials he collected on Merton. Sub-series also includes materials relating to Merton’s death in 1968 and homilies of funeral services held in his honour.

Articles by Thomas Merton

File consists of articles published by Thomas Merton. File includes three newspaper articles published in the National Catholic Reporter on January 18, 1967, September 6, 1967 and January 11, 1968, a copy of the article “Violence and Nonviolence in Albert Camus” published in Motive in February 1969 and offprint of an article published posthumously in Spiritual Life Spring 1969.

Letters by Thomas Merton

File consists of eight mass-mail mimeographed letters from Thomas Merton. File includes seven letters sent from the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky and one letter from Merton’s Asia trip, sent from New Delhi, India, November 9, 1968.

Manuscripts by Thomas Merton

  • CA ON00389 F4-12-1-14002-1, 14002-2
  • File
  • [mimeographed after 1968]
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

File consists of seventeen mimeographed copies of published and unpublished manuscripts written by Merton. Attached to several of the manuscripts are summaries of the work in Dutch. The file also contains a two page document describing Merton’s last recorded reflections and several of Merton's quotes by an unknown author. Mimeographed manuscripts have been arranged chronologically by the archivist and include:

File 14002-1:
“Isaac of Stella: An Introduction” - date unknown (38-238) 2 copies
“Is the World a Problem?” - April 1966 (38-238)
“Christian Humanism” - May 1966 (38-236)
“A Christian Looks at Zen” - July 1966 (38-237)
“Camus and the Catholic Church” - August 1966 (38-236)
“D.T. Suzuki: The Man and His Work” - August 1966 (38-237) 2 copies
“Love and Need: Is Love a Package or a Message?” - September 1966 (38-239)
“Three Saviors” - September 1966 (38-240)
“Faulkner and His Critics” - February 1967 (38-238)

File 14002-2:
“The Meaning of Malcolm X” - May 1967 (38-239)
“The Shoshoneans” - May 1967 (38-240)
“Camus: Journals of the Plague Years” - April 1967 (38-236)
“Openness and Cloister” - July 1967 (38-239) 2 copies
“The Hot Summer of Sixty-Seven” - August 1967 (38-238)
“Is the 'Contemplative Life' Finished?” - October 1967 (38-238)
“Conference on Prayer” - 1968 (38-237) 2 copies
“Monastic Experience and East-West Dialogue” - 1968 (38-239) 2 copies
“Merton View of Monasticism” - 1968 (38-239) (author unknown)

Materials about Thomas Merton

File consists of materials collected by Nouwen about Merton, including copies of various homilies given in Merton's honour and two reminiscences of Merton by Fr. Matthew Kelty from the Abbey of Gethsemani (unpublished) and by Sr. Marie of the Cross Korakurei, attached to Fr. Matthew Kelty's reminiscence is a summary in Dutch and annotations in Dutch in Nouwen's hand. File also contains a newspaper article called “To: Thomas Merton. Re: Your prophecy” dated August 30, 1967 and published in The National Catholic Reporter by Martin E. Marty and copy of a book review published in The National Catholic Reporter by Michele Murray dated December 21, 1966, called “Life Viewed Too Facilely”.

Materials created by Nouwen about the items collected on Merton

File consists of 34 typed 13 x 20 flash cards summarizing the material Nouwen collected on Merton, flash cards are in English. File also includes two typed summaries, in Dutch, of "Love and Solitude" and "The Monastic Theology of St. Aelred" as well as two black and white prints of Merton from 1941 and 1968.

Tapes of Thomas Merton talks

  • CA ON00389 F4-12-1-SR168, SR169, SR170, SR171, SR172, SR173, SR174
  • File
  • [after 1972]
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

File consists of seven audio cassettes of Thomas Merton talks given to the monks and the community of the Abbey of Gethsemani and later published by Electronic Paperbacks in 1972. The seven audio cassettes, from a published collection of twelve called "The Merton Tapes", include numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12.

Materials regarding the circus

Sub-series consists of materials collected by Nouwen about the circus with particular focus on the trapeze artists The Flying Rodleighs. Include books, articles, circus programmes and magazines. Sub-series also includes audio cassettes and typed transcripts of The Flying Rodleigh interviews carried out by Nouwen in November of 1991. Includes 12 audio cassettes, 1 videocassette and 15 volumes.

Collected circus articles

File consists of nine newspaper and magazine articles pertaining to the circus and the trapeze from a variety of Dutch, English and German newspapers dating from between 1991 and 1994. The magazine article, published in the New Yorker, April 20, 1992 was originally housed in a plastic folder with a sticker on the front stating 'Our far-flung correspondents' / "One-ring mud show" / From "The New Yorker" April 20, 1992.

Collected circus materials

File consists of a variety of materials related to the circus. Includes book lists in Dutch, sketches, a print price list, a copy of an excerpt from the book ‘A second birthday’ by William Stringfellow referring to the circus and a postcard picturing The Flying Rodleighs in action. The postcard is a promotion of the 1995/96 Wereld Sterren Circus. The file also consists of a long typed letter to The Flying Rodleighs from Nouwen dated May 14, 1991.

Circus decoupage

File consists of individual circus colour prints cut from a larger piece of paper, possibly wrapping paper, and glued to 8.5 x 11 sheets of white paper. File also includes a section of the larger paper the individual prints were taken from.

De Piste Magazine subscription

  • CA ON00389 F4-12-2-14008-1, 14008-2, 14008-3, 14008-4
  • File
  • 1993 - 1996
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

File consists of thirty-five magazines from ‘De piste’, a monthly Dutch circus serial which dates from 1993 to 1996. The collection is not complete as several months are missing. File also consists of a letter from the Club van Circusvrienden Nederland regarding his membership to the club and the ‘De Piste’ subscription. Three of the magazines are still in the plastic mailing wrap and address to Nouwen at Daybreak. The magazines have been arranged chronologically by the archivist and each year is housed in separate folders. The collection of 'De Piste' magazines includes:
Folder 14008-1
May, July/August, September, October, December 1993 with the letter of subscription
Folder 14008-2
January through December 1994
Folder 14008-3
January through December 1995 with two copies of March
Folder 14008-4
January through December 1996 with October missing.

Photocopied section of books

File consists of photocopied sections of books relating to trapeze work. All but two of the photocopied sections are from the Gemeentebibliotheek in Rotterdam, the other two sections appear to be copies taken from the books that Nouwen had in his collection, "Circus" and "The love of the circus". The photocopied sections of books from the Gemeentebibliotheek are: "Mémoires de leotard", "Le grand livre du cirque", "Here comes the circus", "Step right up: The adventure of circus in America", "The American circus: An illustrated history", and "Circus".

Circus programmes

File consists of six circus programmes dating from about 1993 to 1996. Three of the programmes are in German, two from ‘Circus Barum’ (ca. 1993 and ca. 1996) and one from ‘Der Grosse Asiatiche Circus’ (ca. 1993), three programmes are in Dutch from ‘Kerstcircus Ahoy 1994/1995’, ‘Wereld Sterren Circus 1995/1996’ and 'Circus Carré 1995'.

Materials about the trapeze by Steve Gossard

File consists of two versions of “A reckless era of aerial performance: The evolution of trapeze” a self-published book by Steve Gossard on the trapeze. The first book was printed in 1991 and bears an inscription to Nouwen from Gossard and the second is printed in 1994. Both books contain the article “Frank and the great leapers” by Gossard, published in Bandwagon, July/August 1990.

Interview typescript with Jon Griggs

File consists of an unbound copy of the typescript of the interview with Jon Griggs, catcher for The Flying Rodleighs, by Nouwen which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel. Throughout this typescript Jon's name was incorrectly transcribed as John.

Interview typescript with Johan Jonas (Joe)

File consists of an unbound copy of the typescript of the interview with Johan Jonas, referred to as Joe, a catcher for The Flying Rodleighs, by Nouwen which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel.

Interview typescript with Jennie Stevens

File consists of an unbound copy of the typescript of the interview with Jennie Stevens, the wife of Rodleigh Stevens and a flyer in The Flying Rodleighs, by Nouwen which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel.

Interview typescripts with Karlene and Kailene Stevens

File consists of an unbound copy of the typescripts of the interviews with Karlene Stevens, the sister of Rodleigh Stevens and a flyer for The Flying Rodleighs, and Kailene Stevens, Karlene's daughter, by Nouwen which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel.

Interview typescript with Karlene Stevens

File consists of an unbound copy of the typescript of the interview with Karlene Stevens, the sister of Rodleigh Stevens, by Nouwen which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel. This copy is the same draft as the draft in 14015, but it has different annotations.

Interview typescripts with Rodleigh Stevens

File consists of an unbound copy of the typescripts of the interview with Rodleigh Stevens by Nouwen, which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel and which consists of two audio cassettes' worth of interview. File 14016-1 is the typescript of Tape 1 and file 14016-2 is the typescript of Tape 2. Throughout these typescripts Rodleigh Stevens' last name was incorrectly transcribed as Stephens.

Complete interview typescripts with The Flying Rodleighs

File consists of an unbound compilation of the all of the typescripts of the interviews with The Flying Rodleighs by Nouwen which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel. File also contains a copy order slip with a label on the back stating: The Flying Rodleighs Tapes / First draft, transcribed by Connie, corrected by Flying Rodleighs.

Complete interview typescripts with The Flying Rodleighs

File consists of an unbound compilation of the all of the typescripts of the interviews with The Flying Rodleighs by Nouwen which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel. These typescripts contain annotations in an unknown hand, presumably one of the Stevens (Karlene Stevens), and some annotations by Nouwen.

Complete interview typescripts with The Flying Rodleighs with corrections

File consists of an unbound compilation of the all of the typescripts of the interviews with The Flying Rodleighs by Nouwen which occurred in November of 1991 in Kassel. The typescripts were originally housed in two three ring binders; the first binder, found in file 14018-1, was labelled: The Flying Rodleighs Tapes / Karlene Stevens / Rodleigh Stevens (2 tapes) / (Text corrected by Amanda - 10.6.92). The second binder was labelled: The Flying Rodleighs Tapes / Jennie / Johan Jonas (Joe) / Jon Griggs / (Text corrected by Amanda - 10.6.92). The typescripts are the corrected versions of files 14017-1 and 14017-2.

Handwritten notes on the technical aspects of The Flying Rodleighs trapeze act

File consists of a bound notebook containing Nouwen's handwritten notes about the technical aspects of The Flying Rodleighs trapeze act for Circus Barum taken in May 1992. The note book includes descriptions of the individual tricks of the trapeze act, sketching of the riggings, descriptions and history of the costumes, an outline for Nouwen's book on The Flying Rodleighs and the circus, and a description of Nouwen trying the trapeze in June 1993.

Typescript of the technical aspects of The Flying Rodleighs trapeze act

File consists of two copies of a typed version of the technical aspects of The Flying Rodleighs trapeze act which includes the descriptions of the individual tricks of the trapeze act and the description and history of the costumes. The typescript was originally housed in a three ring binder labeled: Technicalities of trapeze movements. File also consists of handwritten notes, in Nouwen's hand about the chronology of his encounters with The Flying Rodleighs from April 1991 through to June 1993 and a chronology of the history of The Flying Rodleighs from 1982 through to May 1991.

Typescript interviews and technical aspects of The Flying Rodleighs trapeze act

File consists of a bound photocopy of the complete corrected typescripts of the interviews with The Flying Rodleighs and of the technicalities of the trapeze typescript. The typescripts are bound in three volumes; "The Flying Rodleighs I", interviews of Karlene and Rodleigh Stevens, in file 14021-1, "The Flying Rodleighs II", interviews with Jennie Stevens, Johan Jonas (Joe) and Jon Griggs and "The Flying Rodleighs III", the technicalities of the trapeze act, in file 14021-2.

Big-top circus

Item consists of an illustrated children's book given by Jutta Ayer to Nouwen about the circus.

The English circus

Item consists of an illustrated book collected by Nouwen about the history and development of the circus in England.

If I ran the circus

Item consists of an illustrated children's book given to Nouwen. The book is a part of the Dr. Seuss series.

The love of the circus

Item consists of an illustrated book collected by Nouwen revealing the behind the scenes look at the circus.

Night after night

Item consists of a book given to Nouwen by the author. The book is a work of fiction.

Sacred Clowns

Item consists of a book collected by Nouwen. The book is a work of fiction and a murder mystery about a group of sacred kachinas or clowns.

A son of the circus

Item consists of a book collected by Nouwen. The book is a work of fiction and mentions dwarf clowns.

Under the trapeze

Item consists of a book collected by Nouwen pertaining to the circus. This book is the true and unembellished account of the last original old-fashioned all-American independently owned and operated family circus. The book was purchased at Borders Book Shop already signed by the author.

Sound recordings of Nouwen's interviews with the Flying Rodleighs

File consists of twelve audio cassettes containing the audio recordings of the interviews with The Flying Rodleigh members and Nouwen from November 1991 and May 1992. SR176 v.1 and SR176 v.2 are of Nouwen recording his thoughts and impressions regarding the Flying Rodleighs and their trapeze act.

SR176 v.1 - Flying Rodleighs Part 1 & 2
SR176 v.2 - Flying Rodleighs Part 3
SR176 v.3 - Jon -- History Jonathan
SR176 v.4 - Johan Jonas - Nov. 15/91
SR176 v.5 - Johan Jonas Interview @ Nouwen and talk with Kailene (Karlene Stevens' daughter)
SR176 v.6 - Jennifer Stevens; Lombart
SR176 v.7 - Karlene Specks [sic] About Costumes
SR176 v.8 - Karlene: History
SR176 v.9 - Rodleigh: 1st tape both sides
SR176 v.10 - Rodleigh - 2nd tape both sides
SR176 v.11 - Description of Trapeze act by Rodleigh
SR176 v.12 - Steve (2): H. Nouwen

The greatest show on earth

Item consists of a videocassette of The Greatest Show on Earth produced by Cecil B. DeMille and distributed by Paramount Pictures in 1952.

Collected articles

Sub-series consists of more than 70 articles collected by Nouwen for his research, writing, speeches, as reference for his duties as pastor, and for general interest. The sub-series consists of newspaper, magazine and journal articles as well as copied chapters from books and three manuscripts.
It is not known the exact purpose or reason these articles were kept, therefore, the archivist has arranged the sub-series in alphabetical order by title of the article. The articles in this series were likely collected and kept by Nouwen. There are other articles in 1.8.13. Henri Nouwen fonds - Administrative resources files. There are three files with a collection of articles (14081, 14082, 14083). These articles were likely given to Nouwen and so were filed with resources when they came in with letters.

An act of faith that could liberate Sarajevo

Item consists of a copy of a newspaper article called "An act of faith that could liberate Sarajevo", by James Carroll. The article is about faith, religion, Roman Catholic Lent, Muslim Ramadan, the Orthodox Church's Great Fast and the situation in Sarajevo.

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