Monday, July 18, 2005

Below is a provisional schema for the Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection. Chances are I will reorganize this plan as the year progresses. While I'll probably continue to refer to the collection as the Walter J. Ong Collection, its formal name is the Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection. It's also been given the provisional collection number DOC MSS 0064. Assuming that doesn't change (it probably won't, but it could), the prefered/suggested citation for the collection will be Saint Louis University Archives DOC MSS 0064. The planned schema:

Series 1: Scholarship
   A. Publications
   B. Unpublished/Unfinished
   C. Lectures
   D. Research Materials/Sources
   E. Personal Bibliography Cards
   F. Source Note Cards
   G. Source Bibliography Cards
   H. Lecture Note Cards

Series 2: General Files
   A. General Files
   B. Correspondence ((see also 1A: Publications, 2A: General Files, Series 5: Invitations, Series 8: Offprints Given to Walter J. Ong, and 9: Conference Sessions and Classes on Walter J. Ong)
   C. References
   D. Unfiled

Series 3: Teaching Note Cards

Series 4: Retreat and Sermon Note Cards

Series 5: Invitations

Series 6: Address Cards

Series 7: Ephemera
   A. Library Cards
   B. Passports
   C. Pocket Calendars

Series 8: Offprints Given to Walter J. Ong

Series 9: Conference Sessions and Classes on Walter J. Ong

Series 10: Documents about the Walter J. Ong Collection and Project

Series 11: Saint Louis University Archives Walter J. Ong Personality File

Series 12: Material Given to Saint Louis University Archives
   A. Publications on or about Walter J. Ong
   B. Offprints

Series 13: Audio-Visual Collection
   A. Audio tape (cassette)
      i. Walter J. Ong’s
      ii. Given to Saint Louis University Archives
   B. Audio tape (reel)
   C. Phonograph record
   D. Photographic print or negative
   E. Photographic slide
   F. Video tape

Series 14: Computer/Digital Data Collection
   A. Compact disc
      i. Walter J. Ong’s
      ii. Given to Saint Louis University Archives
   B. Floppy disc
   C. DVD

Series 15: Microforms Collection
   A. Microfilm roll

Series 16: Objects Collection
   A. Art object (three dimensional)
   B. Art object (two dimensional)
   C. General object

Series 17: Publications Collection
   A. Book
   B. Newspaper
   C. Serial
   D. Pamphlet

Updated: 19 July 2005

Archives | Walter Ong | Walter J Ong | Walter J Ong Archives

Monday, July 11, 2005

Tonight debuts the first episode of Guns, Germs, and Steel, a three-part PBS show based on the book of the same name. If you miss it, episode one repeats later this week. (Your local station's dates and times and dates may vary.)

From the PBS Web site:
Based on Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, Guns, Germs and Steel traces humanity's journey over the last 13,000 years – from the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century.

Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest to understand the roots of global inequality.
Read more.

NPR's Talk of the Nation featured Jared Diamond today in a program titled "Jared Diamond: The Rise and Fall of Civilizations".

Cross posted to Machina Memorialis.

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I finished off the unfiled material today and tackled a box the Jesuits had labeled "Invitations." Inside were 7 ream-of-paper-sized cardboard boxes and a microfilm box. The 7 boxes were all labeled "Invitations Accepted and Not Accepted," had dates on them, were numbered 1-7, and had a note explaining that the file was not complete but close to it, and that the invitations were in reverse chronological order (Fr. Ong placed the newest one on top of the pile and when a box was full he started a new box). The boxes are as follows:

  • Box 1: 1954-66

  • Box 2: 1967-72

  • Box 3: 1973-77

  • Box 4: 1978-82

  • Box 5: 1983-86

  • Box 6: 1987-88

  • Box 7: 1989-(97)

The last box was never officially closed but there's nothing after 1997.

The invitations are for guest lectures, contributing to collections or participating in conference panels, requests to review articles, books, and tenure files, requests to apply for jobs, offers of visiting or permanent positions, etc.

The second to last letter (or second letter added to the file) is from Fr. Reinert, President of Saint Louis University from 1949-1974. Written in 1958, Fr. Reinert tells Fr. Ong that both he and the deans of the university, while pleased with his excellent work, are concerned that he was spreading himself too thin and that he should stop giving presentations to non-scholarly groups and focus on his field of speciality: "Hence it is urged that in spite of the numerous requests you endeavor to confine your outside activities to those directly related with your field and to intellectual groups with recognized status." One can only be thankful that Fr. Ong did not take their advice. I should note that I have it on good authority that Fr. Ong and Fr. Reinert were friends and that the tone of the letter is somewhat chastizing, it is clearly written out of concern for a junior faculty member (Ong got his Ph.D. in the spring of 1954 and began as a professor at SLU that fall). (Unrelated to the letter are some comments written by Fr. Reinert about Fr. Ong.)

The microfilm box contains 7 rolls of film, none of which are very large. The label on the box states that they are "Microfilm of Renaissance book pages, most, if not all, from European libraries," which of course means that they were most likely filmed for his dissertation work. It's hard to read the cramped and faded handwriting on the covers to the individual film roll slots, and since everything I can consult is still in storage until we get the shelves back in, I may be misspelling something. From what I can read, they are:

  • Zwinger, Theodor. Theatrum humane vitae

  • -Erasmus. Apophthegmes
    -Ravisius Textor. Officina
    -Ravisius Textor. Specismen epithetorum
    -Maffeirs, Raddade. [Commontoiaum] Ad Julium II

  • Imaga primi saeculi, SJ (Engraved title page)

  • Ramus, P. Professio regia (selections)

  • Rutimulier, M. Idea methodica (select pages)

  • Illustrations related to Ramism

  • Portraits (Ramus, etc.)

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I moved back into my workroom yesterday. We got me a real desk to add to my worktable, so I now have drawers to store things in, and I kept two of Fr. Ong's filing cabinets as well. I don't need nearly this much storage space, but the tops of the cabinets provide much needed counter space.

The work room itself, or at least the half of it that doesn't house the pre-1800 printed books looks nice. The once light brown walls are now off-white and the orange-tan cork tile has been replaced with speckled white tiles which are all shiny from the layer of wax. Overall, the room is much brighter. We'll see how that changes once the ranges of books and boxes are back in place.

Next week the powers that be will discuss the layout of the room and I may need to move my desks and tables to accommodate but hopefully not. Once everything's figured out, I'll finally get a computer set up at my workstation.

I'm nearly done doing my first past through Fr. Ong's unfiled material. Some of the last items I'm working looking at are papers on his desk (as opposed to papers filed in his desk). This includes a tray of correspondence, most but not all of it, Christmas cards from 2001. It looks like he'd been using all this to put together a Christmas card list.

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