TORONTO, March 24, 2010 -- It is with great excitement that the Special Collections and Archives of the Kelly Library announce the recent acquisition of more than 2500 audio and visual cassettes and reels from LArche International/Internationale. Founded by Jean Vanier, the Canadian humanitarian and philosopher (once a teacher at St Michael's), LArche is an international organization which creates communities for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them.
From its first community, founded in France in the Roman Catholic tradition in 1964, more than 130 other communities have been established in various cultural and religious traditions around the world.
The donation includes recordings of talks, retreats, interviews, and LArche gatherings from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s. In addition to rare and early footage of Jean Vanier, the material includes talks by Mother Teresa, Fr. Richard Rohr, Sue Mosteller, csj, and other prominent spiritual leaders.
In addition, the donation includes recordings of retreats held by Faith and Sharing Federation, a sister organization to LArche, founded by Vanier as well as the Richmond Hill, Ontario community of LArche Daybreak, supplementing the archives of both these organizations already held by the Kelly Library.
With financial assistance from the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust, fragile material (including an interview with Vanier from 1968) will be digitized immediately to ensure long-term preservation and access.