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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