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John M. Kelly Library

Nouwen Archives: About the Archives

The Henri J.M. Nouwen Archives and Research Collection

The Archives consists of more than 50 linear meatres of material created and accumulated by Henri Nouwen in his lifetime. The Archives includes: drafts of manuscripts, more than 16 000 incoming letters, over 200 sound and video recordings, lecture notes and handouts, adminstrative files from L'Arche Daybreak, business correspondence and other material related to Nouwen's publishers, photographs, research material collected by Nouwen on Anton T. Boisen, Seward Hiltner, Vincent Van Gogh, Thomas Merton, and the Circus, as well as a complete set of his published books (including translations), and a comprehensive collection of articles published by Nouwen between 1957 and 1996.

There are 15 series in the Henri Nouwen archives:

        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
        11. Sound recordings
        12. Collected materials
        13. Administrative resources
        14. Ephemera and artifacts
        15. Photographs

Learn more about the Nouwen Archives: Finding Guide | Henri Nouwen Archives publication by archivist Gabrielle Earnshaw.
Learn more about Henri Nouwen’s legacy at Henri Nouwen Society Website.


Research Collection

The Research Collection includes materials relating to Henri Nouwen which were collected by the Archivist and other individuals with an interest in maintaining Nouwen’s legacy. There are nine series in the Research Collection:

  • Material by Nouwen
  • Material about Nouwen
  • Materials mentioning Nouwen
  • Reviews
  • Newsletters
  • Nouwen events, promotional material, programs and souvenirs
  • Publisher materials (ie. catalogues and advertisements featuring books by Nouwen)
  • Reference files
  • Audiovisual material

Included in the Research Collection are those letters and materials collected as a result of the Nouwen Letter Project. Together, the Archives and Research Collection serve to promote the legacy of Nouwen’s writing, teaching and life.


Mandate of the Archives

The Archives exists to:

  • Collect and preserve archival material created by and about Henri Nouwen.
  • Collect and maintain a library of books, articles, interviews and other published material by and about Henri Nouwen, as well as reference material, artifacts and memorabilia that documents the life and work of Henri Nouwen.
  • Arrange and describe materials according to archival principles and make them accessible to the general public on a regular basis, unless access is restricted.
  • Provide adequate and appropriate conditions for the storage, protection, and preservation of archival material.
  • Provide regular reference services to individuals, organizations, or other groups interested in the activities and holdings of the Archives.
  • Provide educational and outreach programs whenever possible to increase public awareness and knowledge of the life and work of Henri Nouwen.


History of the Archives

The material in the Henri J.M. Nouwen Archives and Research Collection was donated to the John M. Kelly Library at the University of St Michael's College on January 19, 2000 by the Literary Executrix of Nouwen's estate, Sue Mosteller, C.S.J.. The donation included more than 124 linear feet of material from L'Arche Daybreak as well as 29 linear feet of material originally deposited by Nouwen at the Yale Divinity Library. The Archives and Research Collection was officially opened on September 21, 2000.


Contact Information

The Archives is located on the second floor of the John M. Kelly Library, University of St Michael's College, 113 St. Joseph Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 1J4. View Campus Map.
The Archivist for the Henri Nouwen Archives is Gabrielle Earnshaw. She can be reached at:
Telephone: (416) 926 1300 x3405
Fax: (416) 926 7262


Hours of Operation

The Archives is open Tuesday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-noon and 1:00-3:45 p.m. Please call ahead (416 926 1300 x3405) or email to make an appointment before your visit.


Donating Material to the Archives

The Archives actively pursues and accepts donation of material by or about Henri Nouwen. Letters, notes, audio and videocassettes, transcripts of talks, manuscripts and other material would be of great interest and value to the Archives. Please contact the Archivist to discuss your interest further. See the Henri Nouwen Letter Project for more detailed information about our ongoing efforts to collect and preserve material by Nouwen.