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   Thomas Merton Papers, 1923-1989

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Thomas Merton Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Bib ID:4079099 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Merton, Thomas, 1915-1968.
Title:Thomas Merton Papers, 1923-1989
Physical description:20 linear ft. (ca. 10,250 items in 41 boxes)
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection has no restrictions. The following boxes are located off-site: 21-40. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room..  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into 3 series:

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Description

Scope and Content

Correspondence, manuscripts, documents, photographs, art work, audio cassette, printed materials by and about Thomas Merton. The correspondence covers the years from his study at Columbia to his death in Bangkok. Among the cataloged correspondence are: Daniel Berrigan, Mark Van Doren, Luis Somoza, Jacque Maritain, Aldous Huxley, James Laughlin, Robert Lax, Grover Cleveland Smith, John Howard Griffin, William Henry Shannon and Victoria Ocampo. The extensive manuscript collection was assembled primarily by Sister Thérèse Lentfoehr, Mark Van Doren, and Robert Shepherd. Among the more significant manuscripts are: corrected typescript of THE SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN; fragments of his NOVITIATE JOURNAL; notebooks and journals used in THE SIGN OF JONAS; numerous draft of poems; most of his lecture and conference notes which he used while serving as master of scholastics and, later, master of novices. There is an extensive collection of mimeographed articles, many inscribed to Sister Thérèse Lentfoehr; four watercolors by his father, Owen Merton, and many humorous and devotional drawings by Merton; many photographs of Merton, as well as photographs taken by Merton. There is an audio cassette of the radio play by Bruce Stewart entitled ME AND MY SHADOW, produced by the BBC in 1989. The printed material consists of numerous clippings and some offprints, pamphlets, and books.

Series I: Cataloged Material

Subseries I.1: Correspondence

Subseries I.2: Manuscripts

Subseries I.3: Documents

Subseries I.4: Photographs

Subseries I.5: Art

Subseries I.6: Audio-Visual

Series II: Arranged Material

Subseries II.1: Correspondence

Subseries II.2: Manuscripts

Subseries II.3: Lectures and Conferences

Subseries II.4: Documents

Subseries II.5: Photographs

Subseries II.6: Art

Series III: Printed Material

Subseries III.1: General

Subseries III.2: Clippings

Subseries III.3: Reviews

Subseries III.4: Articles, Poems, etc.

Subseries III.5: Offprints

Subseries III.6: Offprints and Articles re. Merton

Subseries III.7: Books and Oral History

Series IV: St. Thérèse Lentfoehr Letters, Manuscripts, and Photographs

A 2011 addition to the Thomas Merton Papers consisting of letters, publications, memoranda, etc. sent to Bernice Power from Sister Theresa Lentfoehr.

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Using the Collection

Partially Offsite

Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions.

  The following boxes are located off-site: 21-40. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room..

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

Restrictions on Use

Permission to quote or publish must be obtained from Thomas Merton's literary executor, James Laughlin, New Directions Publishing Corp., 80 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10011. This permission is required for Ph.D. dissertations if they are microfilmed by University Microfilms or published in hard copy.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Thomas Merton Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Processed by Patrick Lawlor, 1990

Series IV added by Patrick Lawlor.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 26, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2010-02-16 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.
    2013-08-5 FA revised by PTL

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Audio cassettesPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Drawings.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Paintings.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Photoprints.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Poems.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
American literature--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Authors, American--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Berrigan, Daniel.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Catholic authors--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Catholics.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Clergy.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Griffin, John Howard, 1920-1980.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Laughlin, James, 1914-1997.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lax, Robert.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Maritain, Jacques, 1882-1973.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mason, Herbert, 1932-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Merton, Owen, 1887-1931.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Monks.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Ocampo, Victoria, 1890-1979.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Pennington, M. Basil.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Poets, American--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Religious literature.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Religious poetry.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rice, Edward.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Smith, Grover Cleveland, 1923-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Somoza Debayle, Luis, 1922-1967.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Van Doren, Mark, 1894-1972.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Thomas Merton (Father Louis), M.A. Columbia 1939, was a widely read Catholic author and social critic who lived as a member of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, the Trappists, from 1941 till his death in Bangkok in 1968.

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