Saint Louis University

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Father Walter J. Ong, S. J., on November 30, Saint Louis University Libraries Special Collections has announced the opening of the exhibit, "Happy Birthday, Father Ong."

Father Ong, who was a member of the SLU faculty for nearly 50 years, is considered the most outstanding scholar ever associated with the University.

Walter Ong, S.J.

The exhibit, located on level two of Pius XII Memorial Library's Anheuser Busch wing, features numerous documents, photographs and books from Special Collections' Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection.

Curated by University Archivist John Waide, the exhibit will be on display during regular library hours through Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.

Saint Louis University Libraries Special Collections is the repository for the Walter J. Ong Manuscript Collection. This collection documents the thought and work of one of the most important intellectuals and scholars of the 20th century. It includes Father Ong's academic files, personal correspondence, class and lecture notes, research materials and related items; housed with Rare Books is his personal library of over 1,600 volumes, some with significant annotation.

The manuscript collection also includes press copy typescripts of some of Father Ong's books, off-prints (both his and others), a number of lecture typescripts (some of which have never been published in any form), some source material, audio recordings, and nearly 200 slides taken by Father Ong as he traveled through Europe. The bulk of the collection consists of items donated to the University in August 2004 by the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus, as per Father Ong's request.

Also in the collection are unpublished articles and lectures, audio and video recordings of Father Ong, library cards from around the world, souvenirs from his trip to the 1929 Boy Scout World Jamboree, correspondence with family, friends and colleagues, textbooks with his notes taken while a student, sketches and drawings, hundreds of photos and slides of Ong, family, friends and places he visited, and personal items.

To learn more about the Ong collection, with access to a detailed finding guide and digitized materials, visit the University Libraries website, or contact University Archivist John Waide at 314-977-3091 or