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Archival description
Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996
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Calendar files

Series consists of files containing correspondence and other material related to Nouwen's day to day engagements. Nouwen received dozens of invitations each month to give lectures or talks, lead retreats, preside at religious occasions, and provide spiritual direction. Requests came from a wide range of institutions, organisations and individuals, the majority having some sort of religious affiliation. Invitations from institutions included university divinity schools, seminaries, hospital pastoral departments, churches, and Christian retreat centres. Invitations from organisations included the National Catholic AIDS Network, the Ministry of Money, and the Archdiocese of Toronto. Invitations from individuals included requests for Nouwen to preside over masses, weddings, funerals, baptisms and ordinations, and those interested in personal spiritual direction. Such requests often came from priests, ministers, pastors, and chaplains. The majority of Nouwen's engagements took place in the Northeastern United States, Southern Ontario, and Holland. However, he also attended events in Illinois, Texas, California, British Columbia, Quebec, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Ukraine. After Nouwen's move to L'Arche Daybreak in 1986, files were created to plan and document special events associated with his role as pastor. There are files regarding community meetings, community weekends, assistant workshops, visits to other L'Arche communities and meetings of the International Federation of L'Arche.

The files were created between 1980 and 1996, however, the file titles themselves extend to 1998 because events were often scheduled two or more years in advance. There are no files for January 1982 to April 1985. The files from 1985 contain invitations only from March to August grouped by month. There are no files for June 1987 to May 1990. Approximately 74% of the files in the series are for June 1990 to August 1995. Their are only a small number of files for September 1995 to October 1998, this is likely because Nouwen was on sabbatical from September 1995 to September 1996. The files contain gaps and inconsistencies due to Nouwen's frequent movement between 1982 and 1986 as well as changes in Nouwen's support staff and their differing recordkeeping techniques.

This series provides an excellent overview of Nouwen's schedule of events and specific information regarding his participation at those events. Noteworthy are the handwritten and typed notes used for speaking engagements (some are unpublished) as well as copies of outgoing letters written by Nouwen.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

Course lectures, handouts, reading, and student notes

Sub-series consists of bound volumes of materials and loose documents created and used by Nouwen for his teaching positions various academic institutions in both North America and Europe. This includes reading notes, preparation notes, lecture notes, typed lecture summaries, course handouts and syllabi, many of which are heavily annotated by Nouwen. It also includes lectures, letters, notes, assignments and course evaluations produced by Nouwen's students and teaching assistants. In addition to the course-specific bound volumes, there are two bound volumes that are labelled as "miscellaneous class material" that relate to Nouwen's early career from 1959 to 1976.

Articles by Nouwen

  • CA ON00389 9.0-9.1
  • Subseries
  • 1960-1996, predominant 1974, 1976-1996
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Sub-series consists of published articles written by Nouwen between 1960 and 1996. A majority of the articles are dated between 1975 and 1996 probably because in 1975 Nouwen began transferring the articles for storage at Yale. The articles are in various formats including entire periodicals, offprints, clippings, and photocopies as originally saved by Nouwen. Specific publications include Pastoral Psychology, Sojourners, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Feu et Lumiere, The New Oxford Review, National Catholic Reporter, Weavings, and Zaken die God raken. Articles from church newsletters and other sources with limited publication are also included. In addition to featuring unique writings, the articles also represent published material that has been excerpted, condensed, adapted and reprinted from Nouwen's books, articles, and conference speeches. This sub-series contains only those articles written by Nouwen which he collected and does not contain all of his published articles as is evident by several incomplete article series.

Scrapbook 1965-1982

  • CA ON00389 9.0-9.6
  • Subseries
  • 1965-1975, predominant 1970-1972
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Sub-series consists of originals and photocopies of published articles written by Nouwen, about Nouwen, about his books, or kept by Nouwen between 1965 and 1982. A pen and ink sketch of Nouwen by Prof. Bainton during a lecture in 1972 is found at p. 35. All articles are described to the item level except for an article by A.C. Ramselaar, Nouwen's uncle, and the book reviews which are described at the file level. The book reviews include those for Intimacy, Bidden om het leven, Creative ministry, Een levende heenwijzing, and Met open handen.

Books contributed to by Nouwen

Sub-series consists of books written between 1974 and 1996 of which Nouwen co-authored, contributed a chapter, provided excerpts from his previously published works, or was interviewed. As well, Nouwen also provided introductions, forewords, prefaces, and recommendations to many books also included in this subseries. In addition to the books are photocopies of Nouwen's contributions to two other books not owned by the Archives. Paper notes and inscriptions within the books suggest that many of the books were given to Nouwen from the authors or publishers.

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.

L'Arche Trosly-Breuil fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1985-2008, predominant 1985-1986

Henri J.M. Nouwen was a close friend of Jean Vanier and was invited to join the L'Arche Trosly-Breuil and was an active member of their community from August 1985 to May 1986. His experiences at Trosly-Breuil are published in his work, "The Road to Daybreak". The fonds consists of eleven audio cassettes of lectures and retreats given by Nouwen. The fonds also contains one compact disc of photographs of various subjects, including Nouwen. The records range in date from 1985 to 2008.
The Fonds has been organized into two series:

  1. Sound Recordings
  2. Photographs

Arche Trosly-Breuil (Association)

Administrative records

  • CA ON00389 7.0-7.2
  • Subseries
  • 1966-1994, predominant 1983-1985
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Sub-series consists of administrative materials relating to activities which Nouwen performed as a university professor within the administrative and social frameworks of the academic setting.

Nouwen's education records and study notes

Series consists of research notes, papers and essays, and reading notes created by Nouwen throughout his own education. Series includes records related to Nouwen's advanced degrees in Psychology and Theology, including research for dissertations.

Nouwen graduated from St. Aloysius College Gymnasium on June 12, 1950. He studied at the minor seminary at Apeldoorn from 1950-1951 before entering the Diocesan Seminary at Rijsenburg, Holland in 1951. He studied Philosophy and Theology while in the seminary from 1951-1957, and was ordained on July 21, 1957. Nouwen studied Psychology at the University of Nijmegen from 1957-1964. He spent two years at the Menninger Clinic as a Fellow in Religion and Psychiatry from 1964-1966. From 1970-1971, Nouwen returned to the University of Nijmegen to pursue a doctoral degree in Theology.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

Scrapbook 1956, 1958

Sub-series consists of four original published articles written by Nouwen in 1956 and 1958. All articles are described to the item level. Two articles are copies of those found in the other scrapbooks. It appears that Nouwen prepared this scrapbook while studying at Nijmegen (1957-1964) and gave it to his mother in July 1975.

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.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

L'Arche International/Internationale Collection

  • Fonds
  • 1968 - 2004

Collection consists of audiovisual materials featuring recordings of events given by and used by members of l'Arche International/Internationale. This material includes 1708 audio cassettes, 37 videocassettes, 8 film reels, and 78 audio reels. Much of the material features recordings created at L'Arche retreats internationally, such as the Covenant Retreat, Renewal Retreat, and Faith and Light Retreat. Prominent speakers include Jean Vanier, Henri Nouwen, Joe Egan, Robert Larouche and Sue Mosteller.

The majority of the audio files feature Jean Vanier, usually speaking at retreats. The film reels are recordings made and collected by L'Arche Daybreak, and feature a CBC film on Daybreak (from 1970), pilgramages and trips made by Faith and Light and Daybreak. There is also a film reel of Jean Vanier.

Collection has been arranged into eight series:

  1. Head of House and regional meetings
  2. Covenant retreats
  3. Faith and Sharing
  4. Federation meetings
  5. Assistants' retreats and meetings
  6. L'Arche Renewals
  7. Other events, talks, and speakers
  8. Audio reels and film reels

Collection also includes a binder which functioned as a catalogue for many of the cassettes that were housed at l'Arche Daybreak until 2004 and 2006. This binder is located in series 7.

Arche (Association)

Books and articles

Sub-series consists of draft manuscripts and typescripts of many of Nouwen's published and unpublished books and articles, including forewords, introductions and afterwords for other authors' books. The sub-series represents Nouwen's writing process, from miscellaneous notes and journal entries to galley and print proofs. Some articles contain subject matter later published in Nouwen's full-length books; links between them have been made where appropriate.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

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.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

Personal records

Series consists of records of a personal nature which were created and kept by Nouwen throughout his life. These materials are arranged into sub-series and files which reflect the main value of that grouping of personal records.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

Publisher files

Series consists of correspondence and other material related to the business of publishing. The files provide the researcher with detailed and comprehensive information about the genesis and publication of most of Nouwen's books, as well as biographical information about Nouwen the writer, the business man, and the man.

The files may include: business correspondence discussing book ideas, titles of books and other issues, including copies of outgoing letters containing Nouwen's response to all stages of publication; business documents such as draft manuscripts, revised manuscripts with annotations, responses to manuscripts by editors and other readers, draft illustrations and mock booklets for design purposes, galleys, page proofs, royalties and advance statements, original publisher/author agreements and contracts; personal correspondence between Nouwen and his editors. The files also contain outgoing correspondence by Nouwen's various assistants over the years, including Connie Ellis, Kathy Christie, Lydia Banducci, Margaret Sutton, Peter Weiskel, Joseph Sarno, Carol Plantinga, Deborah A. Hawkins and Vincent Masi.

The files relate primarily to book publication, however, they also contain material about the publication of articles and audiocassettes, video, material related to requests from publishers for endorsements, forewords and introductions to the books of other writers, and in some cases, especially in the General Publisher files sub-series, requests for permission to publish parts of Nouwen's work and translation rights to his books. Correspondence can be found from publishers in the Netherlands, the former East Germany, Belgium, England, France, Spain, Poland, Italy, South Africa, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

With the exception of the General files, these files represent the major publishers that Nouwen worked with from 1973 to 1996. Although the files contain material on all books published up to Nouwen's death, since his first book was published in 1969, it can be presumed that some of the correspondence and documents from 1969 to 1972 are missing.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

Teaching materials

  • CA ON00389 7.0
  • Series
  • 1966 - 1985, 1994; predominant 1971 - 1981
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Series consists of materials created by Nouwen for use in his capacity as a professor and instructor. These materials include notes for lectures, reading notes, class lists, handouts for students, class schedules, course evaluations, audio recordings of lectures, and records related to the administration of courses.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

Published works

Series consists of published works written and collected by Nouwen during his lifetime. Although there are some of his earliest writings dating from 1956, the series is predominantly dating from 1970 to 1996.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

Book reviews

  • CA ON00389 9.0-9.4
  • Subseries
  • 1972-1996, predominant 1981-1996
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Sub-series consists of published articles as well as bookstore advertising, and transcripts of radio reviews regarding Nouwen's books, audio cassettes, and booklets. Also included are book reviews mentioning Nouwen's forewords and a book of which Nouwen was a contributing author. The articles are in various formats including entire publications, clippings, and photocopies as originally saved by Nouwen. This sub-series contains only those articles which Nouwen or his office collected.

Books about Nouwen

Sub-series consists of four books written between 1985 and 1994 about Nouwen or containing a chapter about Nouwen. The two books written in 1994 represent student theses-like material on Nouwen's life. The other two books reflect on the lives of many individuals; Nouwen is represented in one chapter of each book. The books have been described at the item level.

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