As Brother David Steindl-Rast nears his 90th birthday, we are thrilled to announce that he has donated his voluminous archives to the Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (SCUA).

Monk writing

In the summer of 2015, Br. David signed an agreement to have his personal collection of writings, correspondence, audio-visual materials, drawings, and photographs retained, catalogued, digitized, and preserved by SCUA. As Br. David’s collection continues to grow and benefit from shipments from friends around the world, we are so grateful to have these precious belongings coming together in one, centralized and specialized location.

The Department of Special Collections is a center for research into the history and impact of social change, with archives from many movements and leaders including, W.E.B. Du Bois. With substantial holdings documenting African American history and culture, organized labor, movements for peace and social justice, and the history of agriculture, SCUA houses over 35,000 rare books, hundreds of thousands of photographs, and approximately 45,000 linear feet of archives, including nationally significant manuscript collections. Brother David’s unique history as an activist and spiritual leader is of great interest to all those working at SCUA, and they are as delighted about the partnership as we are!


As Br. David’s collection, currently circa 1928-2015, continues to be catalogued and digitized, it will be freely open to the public for research and scholarship. We also expect there to be public exhibits, colloquia and events featuring his life’s work. We look forward to informing you about these opportunities as they arise.

In March, 2016, the staff of A Network for Grateful Living took the opportunity to visit SCUA and to see for ourselves the inspiring extent of Br. David’s prolific archives, and the impressive commitment of all those now carefully preserving them in perpetuity.


Robert Cox, SCUA Director, Kristi Nelson, Margaret Wakeley & Aaron Rubinstein, SCUA Archivist

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Br. David Steindl-Rast