The Chesterton Library has moved to London

In 2019, after careful discernment, the Trustees of the GK Chesterton Library voted to enter into an agreement with the University of Notre Dame to secure the future of the collection. The full holdings — housed at the Oxford Oratory since 2013 — was transferred to Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway on Trafalgar Square, providing increased access to researchers and Chesterton enthusiasts. In addition to being a scholarly resource, the library will have a public-access exhibit for Chesterton fans visiting London.

The Trustees see this move to Notre Dame's London campus as the best way to further these aims and provide a safe and fruitful setting for the Library in Chesterton's home country. Mr Mackey, the original collector, is delighted about the move. "To watch as the trustees and Notre Dame have arranged the collection’s elevation to so prestigious a home as the London Global Gateway is, for me, warming beyond measure,” he said.

Notre Dame also seemed a fitting home for the collection given its unique history with G. K. Chesterton: Rev. Hugh O’Donnell, C.S.C., then president of Notre Dame, invited Chesterton to be a guest lecturer for six weeks in the autumn of 1930. At the end of Chesterton’s visit, Father O’Donnell conferred on Chesterton an honorary degree. In Maisie Ward’s biography of Chesterton, she recounts his response to receiving Father O’Donnell’s invitation to Notre Dame: “He was not certain where it was, but with a name like that, even if it were in the mountains of the moon, he should feel at home.”

Rev. Jim Lies, C.S.C., director for Catholic initiatives and outreach at the London Global Gateway said: “It is our sincere hope that Chesterton, and the many hearts and minds he has inspired, continue to feel at home at Our Lady’s University here in London.”

The University of Notre Dame (USA) in England plans to continue the biannual newsletter and existing social media accounts: follow along there to hear news about the inaugural Chesterton conference at the collection's new home on the 22-24 October 2020! 

Fr Jerome Bertram, Rest in Peace

†19 October 2019

The Trustees of the Chesterton Library were very saddened to lose one of their members—the Oratorian, Fr Jerome Bertram—shortly after the Library's move to London. Instrumental in the protection, organisation, and cataloguing of the collection in recent years, Fr Bertram is owed a great debt of thanks by all Chestertonians.
You can read more about this wonderful man here. Known for his rousing and riveting sermons, humility, and off-the-wall sense of humour, he will be sorely missed by all who knew him, myself included.

 Teresa Caldecott

Advisor to the Trustees of the G.K. Chesterton Library