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Archival description
University of St. Michael's College, John M. Kelly Library, Special Collections
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Zola Research Programs fonds

  • CA ON00389 F17
  • Fonds
  • 1873-2008

Fonds consists of documents relating to the Zola Research Program and the publication of the 10 volume "Émile Zola Correspondance" series, including project files, inventories, reference materials, photocopies of Émile Zola’s correspondence and other documents related to the project. The project files contained in this fonds document the development and activities of the Zola Research Program. Project files records include inventories of various letters, funding information, budgetary forms, donor agreements, publicity documents and summaries of the project written both by external entities (newspapers) and internal figures (members of the Program staff). Also included are supplementary documents that were collected to create a broader contextual framework. Each letter is be supported with annotations and background information on the correspondents, events or people discussed in the letters as well as the social and political state of France during the 19th century. While the collection of letters by Zola was the primary mandate of the project, along the way the Program collected a vast number of reference materials to broaden the perspective. This fonds contains the off-prints, various documents (both collected by Zola and collected by the Zola Research Program about various 19th century figures) and bibliographies. Books collected by the Program are now the basis of the Émile Zola Collection in the Rare Book Collection of Kelly Library.

The correspondence is composed mostly of photocopies of handwritten letters, post cards, cartes de visites, telegrams and typed transcriptions of letters. The correspondence is a mixture of professional and personal letters that discuss various matters from the publication of Zola’s main works to the birth of his children. It is clear from the various handwritings and documentation styles that multiple figures were involved in the processing of the letters. However, as a Research Associate and long-term member of the team, Dorothy Speirs was the primary figure creating, processing and cross-referencing the letters. This can be seen through the presence of her initials on most of the documents. Additionally, as Project Archivist Hélène Issayevitch organized the letters and maintained the record-keeping practices throughout. It is important to note that after the dissolution of the Zola Research Program in 1995, Speirs continued collecting reference materials and adding them to the collection. As a result, there are a number of documents contained within that extend outside the dates of the Program. The result of this continued research is an additional publication completed in 2008, in association with Owen Morgan.

This collection remains the largest repository of Émile Zola’s letters available in North America. In recent years, the descendants of Zola have divided the estate, including the letters, resulting in a dispersal of the documents. This collection represents the largest single collection of Zola’s letters that is accessible and open to the public. Additionally, this fonds contains a fountain of information on key figures in the Naturalist Movement of the 19th century, as well as other well-known artists, scholars, intellectuals and political and social figures, including J.K. Huysmans, Edmond de Goncourt, Gustave Flaubert, Édouard Manet, Alfred Bruneau, Paul Alexis, Henry Céard, Léon Hennique, and Guy de Maupassant - all of which can be found either through personal discussions in the letters or supplementary documentation. The hidden value in this fonds lies in the plethora of reference resources that are available. The fonds also houses a vast number of off-prints that explore various aspects of Zola’s life as well as the broader Naturalist community of the 19th century. Some other significant pieces include original 19th century illustrated theatrical pamphlets from the Théâtre Libre, various original newspaper clippings and original letters by Émile Zola, Alexandrine Zola, Paul Alexis and Jules Claretie.

Fonds is arranged into 6 series:

1) Project Files series: consists of a variety of records that document the development of the project over the years, including funding information, publicity and marketing documents, donor agreements, budgetary forms and some correspondence amongst various scholars.

2) Letters by Zola series: consists of photocopies of letters written by Zola between 1856 and 1902. This series also contains an original letter by Émile Zola, dated June 22, 1890 (File #107).

3) Letters to Zola series: contains photocopies of letters written to Zola between 1858 and 1902. This series also contains an original letter by Alexandrine Zola to Émile Zola, dated May 27, 1890 (File #248).

4) Letters by Contemporaries series: consists of photocopies of letters sent between Zola’s family and contemporaries. This series contains an original letter from Paul Alexis to Léon Hennique, dated September 19, 1887 (File #420).

5) Collected and Reference Material series: contains photocopies of documents about the project and the various correspondents in the fonds (documents written by or about Émile Zola, documents about his family and correspondents, off-prints of works written about Émile Zola and naturalism, project inventories of letters and bibliographies). Series contains a variety of original documents including newspapers and theatrical pamphlets.

6) Alphabetical Index Forms series: consists of biographical and contextual information on correspondents of Émile Zola, figures mentioned in the letters, or the main journals for which he wrote.

Zola Research Program

Files 5-18

These files consist of records created and maintained by the Zola Research Program staff throughout the life of the project. Types of records found in these files include publicity and marketing documents (including some newspaper articles), various summaries of the project, funding and budgeting documents, salary, benefits and stipend forms, mail order lists, book orders for the Joseph Sablé Centre for 19th century French Studies (post-project) and graduate student profiles.

Files 1-4

These files consist of records that document the various sources from which letters and documents were donated for the project. File #2 contains donation agreements for private French donors. The dates of these forms range from 1974 to 1988. File #3 contains an inventory of French libraries and journals that were visited throughout the course of the project. File #4 is a collection of references cards that outline the different public and private institutions that donated documents or letters to the project. These cards outline the name of the institution or figure, location, and a listing of the letters donated to the project.

Little Sisters of Joy fonds

  • CA ON00389 F19
  • Fonds
  • 1999-2019

The collection documents the Little Sisters of Joy and the part that Gila Margolin plays in it.

It is divided into five series:

  1. Organizational records
  2. Publications
  3. Concerts and Events
  4. Photographs
  5. Gila Margolin, personal

Little Sisters of Joy

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.

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").

Gila Margolin, personal

This series is divided into two main categories:

The first contains copies of Gila Margolin's family tree (Margolin and Bergson), as well as a copy of a family photograph.

The second contains ephemera from Margolin's travels (brochures, tickets, a tote), and correspondence.

Concerts and Events

This series is divided into two main categories:

The first contains audio recordings of Gila Margolin's concerts, music sheets and lyrics from her performances, and an audio recording by Jeffrey Houghton which depicts the origins of The Little Sisters of Joy.

The second contains promotional materials from events, mainly concerts and book launches. In many cases, concerts are given in the framework of book launches.

Photographs

Photographs document Gila Margolin's travels, friends, family, and concert performances.

Photographers credited throughout. Note that Kevin Low photographed all of the prints in the album.

Material from Louis J.M. ter Steeg

File consists of a business card for Louis J. M. ter Steeg and an advertisement for a publication (Civic Mundi) to which ter Steeg contributed an article, "Geloven in een tijd van individualisering."

Letters from Taizé

File consists of a letter from Br. Yan F. von Vlissengen a member of the Taizé community in France.

Letters from Marie Strain

File consists of letters from Marie Strain, founder of National Peace Day Celebrations (Concord, MA), one written from Jerusalem, and a short typed letter from Connie Ellis, Nouwen's administrative assistant.

Letters from Margareet Stelling

File consists of letters from Margareet Stelling regarding the Dutch translations of Nouwen's published works, and a long typed letter from Nouwen.

Letter from Connie Soth

File consists of a letter from Connie Soth, asking about Nouwen's experience publishing religious books, and a copy of her curriculum vitae.

Letter from The Snail's Pace

File consists of a letter from Betty Haywood on behalf of The Snail's Pace. The date of this letter is based on the contents of letters written in 1992 and 1993.

Letters from Jim Sherer

File consists of a letter from Jim Sherer regarding a reading guide he wrote for "Compassion: A Reflection on The Christian Life" which Nouwen co-wrote with Don McNeill and Douglas Morrison.

Letters from Rev. Stephen J. Sidorak, Jr.

File consists of letters from Rev. Stephen J. Sidorak, Jr. regarding his dissertation for San Francisco Theological Seminary titled "The Role of Religious Leadership in the Nuclear Debate", which Nouwen was supervising. Also includes correspondence with Dr. Warren Lee, Associate Director of Advanced Pastoral Studies at the seminary, Courtney B. Bourns, President of Peace Center of Connecticut (Hartford, CT), university administrative material, copies of newspaper articles regarding Sidorak, typed letters from Connie Ellis and Vincent Masi, Nouwen's administrative assistants, and a short typed letter from Nouwen. One letter is dated 1986 but has been retained in this file to maintain original order.

Letters from Pat Sibley

File consists of letters from Pat Sibley, including a long typed letter of recommendation by Nouwen to Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University.

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