Thomas More College Becomes Caretaker of G.K. Chesterton Archive in Oxford

by Thomas More College on September 2, 2008

For Immediate Release
September 2, 2008
Contact: Charlie McKinney
Phone: (603) 880-8308, ext. 21
Mobile: (603) 913-5939
Email: cmckinney@ThomasMoreCollege.edu

MERRIMACK—The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts recently became the caretaker and custodian of an important private archive devoted to the late Catholic apologist, poet, and novelist G.K. Chesterton.  The collection includes Chesterton’s books, drawings, and personal belongings.

Through this effort, scholars and students from around the world will have opportunities for in-depth research into Chesterton’s life and writings.  The library is maintained by the College’s Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford, England, directed by Stratford Caldecott. Under Caldecott’s supervision, the collection is being professionally catalogued by the librarian of St. Benet’s Hall.

“There is no doubt that Chesterton is one of the giants in modern Catholic intellectual history.  Maintaining his library is a great honor to Thomas More College, and we hope to utilize this resource to help spread the Gospel message and the teachings of the Catholic Church deep into modern culture,” said Thomas More College President Jeff Nelson.

Originally created by Mr. Aidan Mackey and preserved by the G.K. Chesterton Institute at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, the collection features a range of materials, including first editions of Chesterton’s works, books by and about him in many languages, books annotated and drawn in by him, materials documenting the Distributist movement with which he was associated, and a large collection of original artwork, as well as objects such as his walking sticks, hat, typewriter, and rosary beads.

Plans are in place to expand the collection, and the College has agreed to a partnership with the Fathers of the Oxford Oratory for the long-term establishment of a Chesterton Study Center at the heart of the city, in the proposed new library-wing at the Oxford Oratory Church of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, for which a major Appeal has now been launched.

Chesterton is one of the best-known and most beloved Christian writers and is considered a central figure in the golden age of Catholic writing in England – the heart of the Catholic Literary Revival initiated by John Henry Newman (founder of the English Oratory) in the 19th century.

The Center for Faith and Culture was established at Thomas More College in 2008 to help recover and build upon the rich legacy of Catholic and Christian humanism associated with figures such as John Henry Cardinal Newman, G.K. Chesterton, Christopher Dawson, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R.Tolkien. Through publications and short courses, the Center aims to foster a “new springtime” of Christian faith in the 21st century and a “culture of life” spoken of by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts is a four-year college that provides the rising generation with an education that forms them intellectually and spiritually within the Catholic intellectual tradition and with full fidelity to the Magisterium.  Additionally, the College has launched entrepreneurial new centers that seek to advance the teachings of the Catholic Church beyond the confines of its campus.  These centers include the Vatican Studies Center, the Center for New England Politics and Culture, the Caroline Gordon Program, and the Center for Faith and Culture in Oxford, England.

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If you would like to schedule an interview with President Jeff Nelson or with the Director of the Center for Faith and Culture Stratford Caldecott, please contact Charlie McKinney at (603) 880-8308, ext. 21 or by email at cmckinney@ThomasMoreCollege.edu.

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