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

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.

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.

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.

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

Books by Nouwen

Sub-series consists of hard and soft cover books or booklets written by Nouwen or containing Nouwen's words, published between 1969 and 1996. The Archives has a variety of editions, printings and translations of his books. It is not certain how Nouwen obtained most of the English versions since, other than a handful of presentation copies, few were personally inscribed to him. Although it may be presumed that some were publisher gifts, since many of the books still have their price tags, it is possible that they were purchased by Nouwen or his associates. The books have been arranged chronologically, with editions and translations of the same books kept together. The books are described at the item level.

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.

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

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.

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.

Ephemera and artifacts

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

Financial files

  • CA ON00389 6.0
  • Series
  • December 1980 - December 1997, predominant August 1986 - September 1996
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Series consists of Nouwen's financial files dating from 1980 and 1997, predominantly from 1986 -1997. Prior to 1986 Nouwen's personal accountant kept the majority of Nouwen's records and likely discarded them after the mandatory seven years retention period. The records from this time period are therefore minimal and consist primarily of financial overviews, cash books and American bank and retirement accounts and insurance files. After 1986, the records become more detailed and voluminous, including files about Nouwen's income (stipends, donations and royalties), expenses, taxes, insurance, retirement plans, credit cards and bank accounts.

The files were created and kept by various secretaries and financial secretaries that Nouwen hired to control his complicated and extensive financial accounts. In the mid-1970s Nouwen hired Joe Sarno as his personal accountant. Sarno was responsible for Nouwen's income tax returns, American bank accounts and retirement funds until 1994 when Nouwen decided to consolidate his accounts to Daybreak. Carol Plantinga served as his financial secretary from the mid-1970s to 1986. From 1983-1985 Nouwen's assistant Peter Weiskel also worked with the financial files. At Daybreak, Connie Ellis took on the roles of both administrative assistant and financial secretary. After Ellis' became ill in 1992 Kathy Christie became Nouwen's administrative assistant and Lydia Banducci was hired as his financial secretary. Christie remained with Nouwen until his death in 1996. In 1993 Banducci was replaced by Margaret Sutton. Sutton remained in this position until 1997. In 1994 Nouwen began to consolidate all his financial and accounting information at Daybreak. Completing Nouwen's 1994 tax return was Sarno's last responsibility as his accountant. In 1996 Sutton arranged for all the records created and kept by Sarno to be transferred to Daybreak. Nouwen began transferring his accounting to account manager Alka Vijan at Canada Trust in 1994.

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

Guides

Sub-series consists of one leader's guide to Nouwen's book Letter's to Marc about Jesus. The book was produced by the publisher of Nouwen's book as a learning aid. Through a series of questions and exercises it attempts to help the reader gain in their own spiritual life through Nouwen's book. The book has been described at the item level.

Henri Nouwen fonds

  • Fonds
  • 1910-1997, 1964-1996 predominant

Fonds consists of 15 series:

  1. Manuscripts
  2. General files
  3. Calendar files
  4. Personal records
  5. Publisher files
  6. Financial files
  7. Teaching materials
  8. Nouwen’s education records and study notes
  9. Published works
  10. Video recordings of Nouwen
  11. Sound recordings
  12. Collected materials
  13. L'Arche Daybreak administrative files
  14. Ephemera and artifacts
  15. Photographs

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

Interviews of and articles about Nouwen

  • CA ON00389 9.0-9.3
  • Subseries
  • 1974-1996, predominant 1983, 1987-1996
  • Part of Henri Nouwen fonds

Sub-series consists of published articles representing interviews of and articles written about Nouwen between 1974 and 1996. The articles are in various formats including entire periodicals, offprints, clippings, and photocopies as originally saved by Nouwen. Specific publications include Harvard Divinity Bulletin, Catholic Times, Katholiek Nieuwsblad, Trouw, and Zaken die God raken. Articles from church newsletters and other sources with limited publication are also included. This sub-series does not contain all of the published interviews of and articles about Nouwen as is evident by several incomplete article series.

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)

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)

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.

Nouwen, Henri J. M., 1932-1996

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