Skip to main content

Full text of "Librarian and dedicated bookman : University of San Francisco, 1947-1988 : oral history transcript / 1988"

See other formats


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 



William J. Monihan, S.J. 

LIBRARIAN AND DEDICATED BOOKMAN, 
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, 1947-1988 



With Introductions by 

Jeremy Cole 
Charles W. Dullea, S.J. 



An Interview Conducted by 

Ruth Teiser 

in 1988 



Copyright fc\ 1989 by The Regents of the University of California 



Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing 
leading participants in or well-placed witnesses to major events in the 
development of Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is 
a modern research technique involving an interviewee and an informed 
interviewer in spontaneous conversation. The taped record is transcribed, 
lightly edited for continuity and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. 
The resulting manuscript is typed in final form, indexed, bound with 
photographs and illustrative materials, and placed in The Bancroft Library at 
the University of California, Berkeley, and other research collections for 
scholarly use. Because it is primary material, oral history is not intended 
to present the final, verified, or complete narrative of events. It is a 
spoken account, offered by the interviewee in response to questioning, and as 
such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved, and irreplaceable. 



************************************ 

All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal 
agreement between the University of California and 
William J. Monihan, S.J., dated May 31, 1988. The 
manuscript is thereby made available for research 
purposes. All literary rights in the manuscript, 
including the right to publish, are reserved to The 
Bancroft Library of the University of California, 
Berkeley. No part of the manuscript may be quoted for 
publication without the written permission of the 
Director of The Bancroft Library of the University of 
California, Berkeley. 

Requests for permission to quote for publication 
should be addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 
486 Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720, 
and should include identification of the specific 
passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, 
and identification of the user. The legal agreement 
with William J. Monihan, S.J. requires that he be 
notified of the request and allowed thirty days in which 
to respond. 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as 
follows : 

William J. Monihan, "Librarian and 
Dedicated Bookman, University of San 
Francisco, 1947-1988," an oral history 
conducted in 1988 by Ruth Teiser, 
Regional Oral History Office, The 
Bancroft Library, University of 
California, Berkeley, 1989. 



Copy no. 









William J. Monihan, S. J. , about 1982. 



Photograph courtesy of 
Gleeson Library^ U.S.F. 



Acknowledgments 

The Bancroft Library, on behalf of future researchers, wishes to 
thank the following persons whose contributions made possible this oral 
history with William Monihan, S.J. Special thanks are due to Mrs. MacDonald 
Denman for her leadership in organizing the funding. 

Agnes Albert 

Arthur R. Albrecht 

Mr. and Mrs. R.S. Cathcart 

Jerry and Geraldine Cole 

John C. Coleman 

Gray Creveling 

Louise M. Davies Foundation 

Mrs . MacDonald Denman 

Alfred Fromm 

Mrs. John W. Gilpin 

Gleeson Library Associates 

R.L. Goldman 
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen G. Herrick 

Waring Jones 

Russell H. Keil 

Robert and Jane Lanctot 

Matt Lowman 

Franklin D. Murphy 

Elizabeth Walsh Nice 

Dr. Charles A. Noble, Jr. 

Mrs. George J. Otto 

Maria Elena Ratinoff 

Flora Elizabeth Reynolds 

Bernard M. Rosenthal 
Samuel R. and Marie -Louise Rosenthal 

A. Lois Scully, M.D 

Dr. and Mrs. R.S. Speck 

Mrs. Carl W. Stern 

Norman H. Strouse 

Anna Logan Sloan Upton 

Nancy P. Weston 

Mrs . Brayton Wilbur 

Joyce Lancaster Wilson 

Leah and Harold Wollenberg 

Foster and Sally Zaiser 



MONIHAN, William J., S.J. Librarian, bookman 

Librarian and Dedicated Bookman. University of San Francisco. 1947-1988. 1989 
vii, 108 pp. 

Jesuit schooling: novitiate, Los Gatos; Mt. St. Michael's College; Alma College 
(S.T.L., theology, 1946); philosophical interests; appointment as Librarian, 
University of San Francisco; the Gleeson Library: planning and financing; 
dedication in 1950; individual collections; booksellers: antiquarian, California, 
London and Paris; Lawton Kennedy, printer; Gleeson Library Associates; the great 
ideas symposia. 

Introductions by Jeremy Cole, and Charles W. Dullea, S.J. 
Interviewed 1988 by Ruth Teiser. 

Underwritten by Friends of William J. Monihan. 



San Francisco Chronicle 



SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 1996 



Rev. William Monihan 

The Rev. William Monihan, the 
University of San Francisco's di 
rector of library relations who su 
pervised the construction of Glee- 
son Library and was its first librar 
ian, died yesterday after a long ill 
ness. He was 81. 

Father Monihan a Jesuit for 
more than 60 years was Gleeson 
Library's chief librarian from 1947 
to 1964, when he was named direc 
tor of library relations. 

During his tenure, he attracted 
important collections and be 
quests to the library through his 
personal relationships with some 
of the world's greatest book collec 
tors. 

He was born hi San Francisco 
in 1914 and entered the Society of 
Jesus in 1932. He received his bach 
elor's degree in philosophy from 
Santa Clara University in 1936, his 
master's in philosophy from Gon- 
zaga University in 1939 and a licen 
tiate in sacred theology from Alma 
College in Los Gatos in 1946. He 
was ordained in 1945 and received 
his bachelor's in library science 
from the University of California 
at Berkeley in 1952. 

He is survived by his nieces, 
Mary Monihan of San Francisco, 
Christine Richardson of San Jose 
and Judith Lynch of Santa Rosa, 
and a nephew, William Monihan 
HI of New York. 

A vigil service will be held Mon 
day at 7:30 p.m. at St. Ignatius 
Church, 650 Parker Avenue, San 
Francisco. A funeral Mass will be 
celebrated Tuesday at 10a.m. at St. 
Ignatius, followed by a reception 
in McLaren Center, Room 250. In 
terment will follow at Santa Clara 
Mission Cemetery. Contributions 
may be made to Gleeson Library at 
the University of San Francisco, 
2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco 
94117-1080. 

. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS --FATHER WILLIAM J. MONIHAN 

INTRODUCTION by Charles Dullea, S.J. i 

INTRODUCTION by Jeremy Cole iii 

INTERVIEW HISTORY v 

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY vii 

FAMILY AND EARLY YEARS 1 

Family Origins 1 

Childhood 2 

St. Ignatius High School, 1928-1932 3 

Teachers' Influence 3 

The Sanctuary Society 4 

Courses 5 

Decision to Become a Jesuit 5 

Father Colligan's Influence 6 

Family's Reactions 7 

THE NOVITIATE, LOS GATOS , 1932-1936 9 

Entering the Order 9 

Basic Subjects 10 

Jesuits' Occupations 11 

Jesuits' Religious Duties 12 

Years as Juniors 13 

MT. ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE, 1936-1939 15 

Opening of the Mind 15 

Beginning of Interest in Libraries 17 

Education by Textbook 17 

Recreation 18 

Studies 19 

Summer School 20 

BELLARMINE COLLEGE PREPARATORY, 1939-1942 21 

High School Librarian and Teacher 21 

Research at the University of Santa Clara Library 22 

World War II 23 

ALMA COLLEGE, 1942-1946 25 

Environment and Library 25 

Far Eastern Affairs Project 26 

Ordination 27 

TERTIANSHIP 28 

UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, 1947 TO DATE 29 

Appointment as Librarian 29 

UC Library School 30 



Planning the Gleeson Library 32 

Visits to Other Libraries 33 

Designing the Library 34 

Financing Library Construction 36 

Meeting Other Librarians 37 

Moving into and Dedicating the Gleeson Library, 1950 39 

Father John McGloin's Contribution 39 

The Influence of the Honnold Library 40 

The Frank Drum Foundation 41 

Father Gleeson 45 

Participants in the Dedication 46 

The Sir Thomas More Collection 47 

St. Peter Canisius Day 50 

The Columbus Cartography Collection 51 

Building a University Library 52 

"A Collection of Private Collections" 53 

The Importance of Bibliography 54 

The Importance of Antiquarian Booksellers 55 

D. Steven Corey 57 

Special Collections 58 

Developing Gift Funds 59 

Booksellers 60 

David Magee 60 

English Book Dealers 64 

Warren Howell 64 

Jake Zeitlin 67 

Importance of Friendships with Booksellers 68 

William R. Fletcher 70 

Hans Kraus 71 

Paris Book Dealers 72 

Younger San Francisco Book Dealers 72 

Printers 74 

Lawton Kennedy 74 

Adrian Wilson 80 

Other Printers 81 

The Gleeson Library Associates 81 

The First Symposium 84 

Subsequent Symposiums 87 

The Donohue Rare Book Room 89 

The Sir Thomas More Medal 91 

The 1988 Symposium 92 

The Special Events Committee of the Associated Students 92 

"Go Out and Meet the Collectors" 93 

Working with the Directors of the Gleeson Library 96 

"The Utopia of the Gleeson Library" 98 

The Lone Mountain Library 98 

The Sutro Library 99 

On Being an Institutional Collector 101 

TAPE GUIDE 102 

APPENDIX 102a 

INDEX 103 



INTRODUCTION by Charles Dullea, S.J. 



Father William Monihan is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill Jesuit 
priest. It is difficult to describe him in a few words, to capture his 
essence with an easy stereotype. 

How about this for starters? Planner of the USF Gleeson Library in 
the late forties from the ground up, after visiting and surveying all 
the great university libraries in the United States. Enricher of its 
impressive collections by world-wide hunts for treasure trove among the 
booksellers and bibliophiles of the United States, England, the 
Continent and Japan. Patient, persevering builder, as Director of 
Library Relations, of its endowment over many years. 

Another aspect of his activity: originator, stimulator, moderator 
and guide of the annual University Symposium, since 1965 a feast of the 
mind and spirit for the Gleeson Library Associates and their friends 
from near and far. Some of the wide ranging topics: Dante, the Mind in 
Love; Liberty and Laughter: Cervantes, Rabelais and Jonson; Freedom and 
Authority: More, Erasmus and Luther; Asia. Man the Contemplative: 
Hinduism, Taoism, Zen Buddhism; Voyaging for Values: Francis of Assisi, 
El Cid, Joan of Arc; Remember to Live: Goethe, Humboldt, Beethoven. 

In these three-day Symposia, Father Bill has made countless people 
feel, as Keats says, "like some watcher of the skies, when a new-born 
planet swims into his ken." How about Father Bill as a mind- stretcher 
and spirit-quickener? 

Kevin Starr, in a memorable lead article last year in the San 
Francisco Examiner's feature section "Image," calls him "the penniless 
de Medici." This is apt. As a Jesuit vowed to poverty he answers to 
St. Paul's description of the apostles in II Corinthians, "poor, yet 
making many rich." 

Even before the first Symposium in 1965, Father Bill was bringing 
riches to many by quickening the spirits of USF students through his 
Special Events Committee, bringing to the campus lectures, cinema, music 
and art. A few of the attractions: historians Christopher Hollis and 
John Tracy Ellis, Henry Kissinger, Mortimer Adler, Leonardo da Vinci's 
drawings, Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutti," theologian Karl Rahner. 

A young septuagenarian with forty- two years of service to the 
university, he still has a student's youthful sparkle in his eye and a 
boyish grin of delight in life, especially when he is seized by a new 
idea. At home with all kinds of people, he is able to "walk with kings, 
nor lose the common touch," comfortable alike with doughty dowager and 
coltish teenager. 



ii 



"Renaissance man" Is a facile description and much overworked 
nowadays, but Father Bill truly merits it. He is interested in Just 
about anything you can mention- -the New York Stock Exchange, Oriental 
religion, San Francisco history, wills and trust instruments, the 
history of book making, Japanese flower arrangements, Greek philosophy, 
art of all kinds, Tai Chi, of which he is a daily practitioner- -you name 
it. 

But a man is more than what he does. Activities alone do not tell 
the whole story. They are just the tip of the iceberg. Beneath all 
these activities and interests is the man himself- -quiet , serene, 
intensely private, constantly positive and encouraging to others, upbeat 
and optimistic, with great peace of spirit in the face of difficulties 
and obstacles, tenacious of purpose, cheerfully and serenely brave in 
ill health, thoughtful and gentle in dealing with others. 

And going even deeper, a truly spiritual, prayerful man. Most 
profoundly, most simply and quintessentially: the priest, ambassador of 
Jesus Christ, mediator between God and man, mediating God's love and 
personal caring, and reflecting it, to thousands of God's children, his 
own dear friends. This is the Bill Monihan I have come to know and 
admire for more than fifty years. 



18 September, 1989 

San Francisco, California 



Charles Dullea, S.J. 

Chancellor 

University of San Francisco 



iii 



INTRODUCTION by Jeremy Cole 





Not too long ago I was looking through the photo archives at 
the University of San Francisco and came across a picture of a 
serious young man with studious glasses, no wrinkles, and no grey 
hairs. The caption informs, "Fr. William Monihan at the 
dedication of the Gleeson Library Building, December 1950." I 
said to myself, "This can't be my friend, Father Bill. The usual 
smile and twinkling eyes with which we are all familiar are 
missing." (The occasion was, after all, very serious. Or, as I 
have now read, he was perhaps reacting to disappointment in the 
turnout because of the torrential rains that day.) 

Reflecting on this picture and what I have read in this 
interview, I realize that the picture shows Father Bill at a 
milestone in his life, which already included twenty years as a 
Jesuit. Although he had made many friends during his religious 
education and years of teaching, plus several years spent in the 
planning of the new library, most of the multitude of his present 
friends and associates had not yet met him; or if they did know 
him, it was in an entirely different context than through the 
librarian and bookman context in which he has been known for the 
past thirty-nine years. 

This new library building also marked a turning point for 
the University. In the years following the Gleeson Library 
building dedication, many new structures have been built (only one 
pre-1950 building remains). New curricula, new personnel, and, of 
course, thousands of new books have been added. Lady students 
have also been added, and intercollegiate football subtracted. 
Father Bill, in his new and rapidly expanding library, was at the 
center of a rapidly growing university, and was actively 
attracting new friends for it. 

I have had the pleasure of knowing Father Bill for more than 
twenty of those thirty-nine years, and they have been very 
pleasant years, indeed. The friends met through the Gleeson 
Library Associates, the entertaining and informative lecture 
series, the thought-provoking annual symposia on great ideas, the 
specially printed, very collectible keepsakes, the special 
festivities and new acquaintances connected with the Sir Thomas 
More Medal award, the creation of the Bernardine Murphy Donohue 
Special Collections Library, the great fun of the many bookish 
tours around the state- -all these events inspired by Father Bill 
have enriched my life as well as the lives of the many people who 
have come to the University of San Francisco from around 
the United States and the world. 



iv 



These people have included famous writers, great thinkers, 
book collectors, renowned printers, talented bookbinders, many 
students, and many interested people from both inside the 
University and beyond. I think that I can say without 
contradiction that they all have enjoyed the friendship which they 
have formed with Father Bill through their participation in these 
many activities. Conversely, I would have to say that he has 
very, very much enjoyed all of these programs and friendships 
formed. He has thrived on what has happened since he has been 
associated with the Gleeson Library, first as Librarian and then 
as Director of Library Affairs. 

Looking back over all the events since the Gleeson Library 
was dedicated, I am guessing that one event has brought him extra 
satisfaction. It was certainly unpredictable, considering some of 
the comments made at the time he put forward his plans for the 
library building. This would have to be the acquisition of the 
500,000th volume this last year. I think that even Father Bill is 
astounded at this occurrence, which many said would certainly not 
take place in this century. 



Jeremy Cole 



August 29, 1989 

San Francisco, California 



Jeremy Cole and his wife, Geraldine Kennedy Cole, became 
acquainted with Father Monihan about 1969 through Mrs. Cole's 
mother, Mrs. Gerald D. Kennedy. Mrs. Kennedy had become a 
patroness of the Gleeson Library and a friend of Father Monihan. 
Since then both of the Coles have been active in the Gleeson 
Library Associates. Each has served as president, and both have 
been members of the organization's board. They are among the most 
enthusiastic and contributive supporters of the library. 



INTERVIEW HISTORY 



Father William J. Monihan has played an influential part in the 
cultural life of the University of San Franicsco, which he joined in 
1947 and of the city of San Francisco as a whole. His leadership of 
the Catholic Art Forum, in a period when many new churches were being 
built and artists creating work for them, has been recorded in the 
Regional Oral History Office group interview, Renaissance of Religious 
Art and Architecture in the San Francisco Bay Area. 1946-1968 (1982). 

The encouragement of religious art is only one aspect of Father 
Monihan' s career, which has focused largely on the University library 
but included other activities such as parochial duties and creation of 
symposia at which people gather to celebrate ideas that have changed 
the world. His book-oriented travels have brought the University of 
San Francisco the respect of men and women in Europe and the Far East 
as well as throughout the country. 

The Regional Oral History Office has for some years hoped to 
document the life of this constructive religious man, but 
implementation was provided only in 1988. That spring Mrs. MacDonald 
Denman, a longtime friend of Father Monihan, met with Willa K. Baum, 
who heads the office, and Ruth Teiser, an interviewer who has known 
Father Monihan for a number of years. Mrs. Denman gave enthusiastic 
leadership to practical plans for carrying out the project. Soon a 
number of Father Monihan' s many friends had agreed to sponsor the 
interview, and tape-recording began early that summer. It was in a way 
an opportune time to interview a usually busy man, for he was confined 
to relative inactivity in the Jesuit residence infirmary because of a 
back injury. The interview sessions were completed just before his 
recovery and also a few weeks before he left for a sabbatical in 
France. In the interval he carefully edited the transcript. He had 
spoken thoughtfully, and he made no substantial changes but added some 
information. 

A number of people mentioned in this interview have been 
interviewed by the Regional Oral History Office, notably Warren R. 
Howell, Lawton Kennedy, David Magee, Albert Sperisen, and Adrian Wilson 
in the series on books and printing in the San Francisco Bay Area, and 
Albert Shumate as a physician and historian. An interview with Charles 
W. Dullea, S. J., past President and Chancellor of the University of 
San Francisco, was completed in 1985. 



VI 



Thanks for making this interview possible are due to Mrs. 
Denraan and those other friends of this quiet Jesuit who has been 
called a Renaissance man; to Paul Birkel, Dean of the University of 
San Francisco Library, and D. Steven Corey, its rare book librarian, 
for supplying information and encouragement; and to Father Charles W. 
Dullea, Chancellor of the University, and Jeremy Cole, a longstanding 
supporter of the Gleeson library, for their introductory comments. 



Ruth Teiser 
Interviewer/Editor 



Regional Oral History Office 
September 20, 1989 



Regional Oral History Office vli University of California 

Room 486 The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 94720 

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION 
(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 

Your full name W 1 L L | fr K^ TO'Stt t-f M k( I ^ A: AJ 
Date of birth M fr V . ^\^\^ Birthplace 

Father's full name W\ LI, I 
Occupation 



Mother's full name 



j4 



Occupation ^QUS^ U/ ( P (5 



Birthplace 



Your spouse 



Your children 



Where did you grow up?_ ^>f\ M ^^ X\r M C ('SO & ~> C A 
Present community _ "^> A~~ ' A/y 7^ _ 
Education ^A S/^W ^c C L A^A ^N 1 </ ') 



Occupation (s) 



jr>( es^-r^^ , ^ fx'A-Rv- ^^ 

Areas of expertise _ J 



y / Pc;tbL-te & G L-A-~T(O A/ 



Organizations in which you are active 



Other interests or activities Kg- L | <^. L o y $ y^-c.-pv Vj ( T'L &. 



FAMILY AND EARLY YEARS 
[Interview 1: 5 May 1988 ]## 

Family Origins 

Teiser: Where and when were you born? 

Monihan: Well, I was born in San Francisco at Hahneman Hospital. That's the 
building on California Street adjacent to Children's Hospital. I 
was born November 4, 1914. 

Teiser: Would you tell a little about your family? 

Monihan: My mother was a native of San Rafael. Her family moved to San 

Francisco, and as a family, they experienced the earthquake and fire 
of 1906. 

In 1906, my father, born in Chester County, Pennsylvania- - 
that's between Philadelphia and Delaware- -was an ambitious young 
man, and wanted to travel and find work. When he heard of the 
earthquake and fire, he said, "There must be jobs in rebuilding the 
city." He was a journeyman plumber. So he came out there, and he 
met my mother. He stayed as a boarder in their house. Eventually 
my mother and he became engaged and married, and they lived after 
their marriage on 19th Avenue near Fulton; thus my origins are in 
this part of the city. 

Monihan: I was baptized at Star of the Sea, which is on Geary Street about 
9th Avenue or so. It's also close by. I went to schools nearby 
here: Fremont Grammar School, Crocker Junior High School, and in 
1928 I went to St. Ignatius High School, the Jesuit high school. 



symbol indicates that a tape or a segment of a tape has begun 
or ended. For a guide to the tapes see page 102. 



Teiser: What other members of your family were there? 

Monihan: I was the youngest of three. My brother, Jack Monihan, was three 
years older. And my sister Alice was four years older. 

Teiser: Neither of them joined religious orders? 

Monihan: No. Both were married, and my brother had four children, and all of 
them are well established today. 

Teiser: Did your father and mother have special religious interests? 

Monihan: Nothing more than coming from solidly Catholic families, I think 

that's the only way to describe it. For instance, the significant 
thing to me as a Jesuit is that they were married on Hayes and 
Shrader at the then St. Ignatius Church, which was the temporary 
location of St. Ignatius Church and College after the earthquake and 
fire. 



Childhood 



Teiser: What were your early interests? 

Monihan: I would say they were not bookish- -or they were in a sense bookish, 
but I remember my mother when I was a little boy encouraging me to 
leave my reading and go play baseball with the boys. She wanted me 
to develop physically, that was a prime concern. So even though I 
perhaps can recall having an attachment to reading to some extent- - 
not voraciously at all she encouraged me to a normal physical 
development. 

Teiser: Were you a good athlete? 

Monihan: Not good, no. But I took part in baseball and other sports. Track. 
Nothing important. 

Teiser: You grew up just an all-around sort of person- - 

Monihan: Well, I hope so. 

Teiser: Did you do well in school, in grammar school and high school? 

Monihan: Well, I can't remember anything in grammar school or in junior high 
school that was significant except that I was quite interested- -I 
wanted to go on in shop activities. It sounds strange to me now to 
say it, because I'm certainly not today a practical person in any 
sense. But my mother wanted me to go to the Jesuit high school, and 
so I didn't finish the junior high school. 



St. Ignatius High School. 1928-1232 



Monihan: In 1928 I went to St. Ignatius High School, which was then on Hayes 
between Stanyan and Shrader. That was the temporary location of St. 
Ignatius High School, College, and Church between 1906 and the 

1920s. 

Teiser: Do I remember your saying once that you wanted to be an automobile 
mechanic? 

Monihan: Well, I can hardly say that, but I guess it's correct, because I had 
such a great teacher in shop at Crocker Junior High School that I 
wanted shop work at Polytechnic High School. 

Teiser: So you entered St. Ignatius in 1928? 

Monihan: Yes. 

Teiser: Were you glad to go there? 

Monihan: I don't remember any stress that I endured to enter the high school. 
I had some very good teachers, and I enjoyed my high school years 
very much. But we had only that one year at that Hayes Street 
building until the new St. Ignatius High School was completed in 
1929 on Stanyan Street. The Koret health and recreation center is 
being built now on that same site. So my second year of high school 
was there. 



Teachers' Influence 



Teiser: Do you recall which of your teachers you found interesting 
particularly? 

Monihan: Well, there was a Mr. Frank Collins, a lay person who meant a lot to 
me. He was going to law school and he taught high school to support 
himself. 

I would say the young Jesuit scholastics helped me. The word 
scholastics means a seminarian, not yet ordained a priest. They 
were, I think, a great influence on my life. They were teachers. 
They were only seven years older than we were, so they were young 
men. That meant a great deal to me, not that they did any 
persuasion on me, but their example was probably what attracted me 
to the Jesuit order. Just their presence, because they were young 
enough to take part in all sports with us, or picnics with us and 
boat rides, or all recreational activities, or while we were seated 
in the classroom. So during my four years at St. Ignatius, a major 
influence were the seminarians or Jesuit scholastics. 



Teiser: Just the kind of men they were, or the subjects they taught, or 
both? 

Monihan: Both probably; they knew what they were doing as teachers, as well 

as being inspiring individuals. The word inspiring sounds to me too 
pretentious a word, but in effect it came down to that. It was low- 
key inspiration. 

Teiser: Was there much stress upon religious studies? 

Monihan: Not any more than average. There was one course on religion, but 
the emphasis was not on religious studies. 



The Sanctuary Society 



Monihan: I think the significant part of my life in the earlier years was the 
joining what was called the Sanctuary Society. These were high 
school boys who served Mass, or served in any other religious 
function in St. Ignatius Church. My mother encouraged me to join 
that. 

A funny incident occurred. On the first night I came to St. 
Ignatius Church to join the society, I went through an initiation 
[laughing]. I came home with a black eye. My mother said, "Where 
did you get that?" I said, "Well, they gave me an initiation in the 
Sanctuary Society." So the bigger boys took this younger kid- -and I 
was smaller in height than the average and they gave me a going- 
over. I came home with a black eye. 

But I had good times in that Sanctuary Society, in sort of a 
club-like atmosphere. The scholastics again were a center of this. 
So there, the reactions upon a young boy were not religious 
reactions, but rather doing things together, either basketball or 
swimming or boat rides or whatever. 

Teiser: Let me go back to your black eye. Did anyone get punished? 

Monihan: No! No! Not at all. This was just living. The experience of 

life. This happens when you come into a school, or you get hazed; 
you get an initiation by the order of kids. 

Teiser: You didn't take it as hostile? 

Monihan: No, I guess I didn't. At that age, from my second year of high 

school on to my graduation, my greatest pleasure was wrestling with 
my classmates. Just like a boy, you know; he likes wrestling with 
his fellows. So every morning before class I'd be wrestling out in 
the corridor with somebody. And of course, if there were people who 



Monihan: were stronger than I, I began to respect them and stay away from 
them. It was really just an enjoyment of being a young man, I 
guess. 



Courses 



Teiser: 



Monihan : 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 



Were there certain subjects that interested you particularly in the 
high school? 

No, but in retrospect Latin probably did attract me. 1 don't know 
why, because after I entered the order at Los Gatos in 1932, I was 
told that I had a very good preparation in Latin. And I remember 
being able to speak in a very limited way as soon as 1 entered the 
order. Not that it attracted me, but apparently I had good 
teachers. I will say that there was no subject that interested me, 
nor did I have any great teachers . But 1 remember over the years 
meeting many book collectors, and hearing that their high school 
years were very important in forming their interests. I can't say 
that for myself. There was no historian or English teacher or 
physics or chemistry teacher that inspired me, in the sense of 
learning. But I undoubtedly have it, because I've had it all my 
life, this desire to know. 



I gather you had not many electives. 
art or things like that? 



You probably didn't get much 



No, that was a big lack. I would have loved to have had basic 
drawing or lettering, those things in later life that attract me so 
much. All the book arts have attracted me. As a book collector for 
the University of San Francisco, I've emphasized the history of art 
a great deal . 

But for the most part, you had science and--? 

Science, and I was not good at it. I think that's probably because 
I didn't have the right teachers. I think anyone can learn anything 
if they have the right teacher. I didn't have the right teachers 
for chemistry and physics and biology. 



Decision to Become a Jesuit 



Teiser: How, then, did you happen to decide to enter the Society of Jesus? 

Monihan: Well, for the reasons I mentioned to you, the example of the Jesuit 
scholastics, and maybe three or four of the priests in the Jesuit 
community at USF inspired me. 



Father Colligan's Influence 



Monihan: 



Teiser : 
Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan : 



One was James Colligan. He was an industrious individual who wrote 
small books, historical studies or liturgy. I was engaged by him to 
proofread his books at thirty- five cents an hour. 

Father Colligan was the father minister- -that's a title in the 
Jesuit community. Father minister was number two in command in the 
community, the man who takes care of all your needs such as 
clothing, travel, money, anything of that sort. 

And how did you as a high school student come in contact with him? 

I don't know. I would say probably because he had a speech 
impediment as well as I had, and have to some extent. I would say 
that that might be it. But- -oh. I worked as a switchboard operator 
in a Jesuit residence. That would be his responsibility to hire me, 
and then other jobs came from that. 

You worked part of the time in high school for money to help your 
expenses? 

I guess so, except that I wasn't aware of it. I wasn't aware of it, 
but my family were quite poor. These were the Depression days in 
America, and I only later on did realize how poor my family was. My 
father was a plumbing contractor, and so his income was very small. 
Undoubtedly my income helped me, and I don't know what my mother 
said about it, because obviously I didn't pocket it myself in my own 
bank account. So, as you say, it was probably an assistance to the 
family. 



I've taken you away from Father Colligan. 
had then hired you to do proofreading. 



You were saying that he 



Teiser: 



Proofreading for his small books. They were not pamphlets, they 
were like small studies he would do. He had various projects he was 
interested in, and he would write them up. I would say a lot of 
them were historical studies. He was a great support to me. 

If I had been at USF, I would have hired at least a college student 
rather than a high school student to read proof. How did you 
happen to- -you must have shown some ability? 

I don't know. I am unable to answer that. Why he chose me, 
and--. I would say it was a period of at least a year, because it 
was not a short time that he employed me to do this for him. 
Apparently I satisfied what he needed. 

Were you interested in doing it? Did you enjoy it? 



Monihan: I did. I've always--! think I've been blessed with curiosity. 
That's I think the greatest natural gift a person can have. It 
drives you on to know. 

Teiser: To get back to my question that I led you away from- -your decision 
to enter the society of Jesus was influenced by your coming to know 
such men as Father Colligan? 

Monihan: Father Colligan, Father Cody- -Alexander Cody; Father Edwin McFadden 
was another one. I just want to emphasize that these people were 
available to me , I knew them. They were not trying to sell me 
anything, or trying to persuade me to do anything. I would say 
because I joined the Sanctuary Society, that had probably the 
biggest influence on my wanting to become a Jesuit. That would mean 
that I would be a high school boy assisting at Mass and other 
religious services of the church. 

Teiser: Did other boys in the Sanctuary Society become Jesuits? 
Monihan: Oh, yes. That was, I would say, a feeding ground for Jesuits. 
Teiser: Some of your contemporaries? 

Monihan: Yes. I think that contemporaries who are with me in this house [the 
Jesuit residence at the University of San Francisco] right now were 
members of that Sanctuary Society. 



Family's Reactions 



Teiser: What did your family say when- -did you tell them, or--? 

Monihan: Well, I told them, and there was no opposition; it was sort of an 

indifference. If this was what I wanted to do, they wanted me to do 
it. 

Teiser: Does it take financing? Did it draw upon them at all? 

Monihan: No, it didn't. It is surprising in retrospect; a dowry of some sort 
was not needed. In those years, in fact I think even subsequently, 
no financing was necessary on entering the order. 

My mother was a major influence. I want to say this: that as 
a person she had, and I think I have today, a curiosity to know-- 
curiosity to learn, and to travel. Of all the members of the 
family, I would say her example of inquiry was a major formative 
influence . 

Of course, she was quite interested in my entering the Jesuit 
order, but she was devastated when I actually did. Was 



8 

Monihan: devastated in the sense of emotionally, when the day came of leaving 
the home and entering the order. So all the way through my years as 
a Jesuit until her death in 1955, she was very supportive and had 
the right reactions. When I was ordained a priest in 1945, she said 
something to the effect, "Does he know what he's doing? Does he 
know what he's doing?" So these are, in that sense, a realism, a 
staying down to come to grips with reality; outside of any emotional 
thing, she was a very down-to-earth person. She was a major 
influence to help me to respond to the beauty in the world. She was 
not a book person, not a reader, though she did read. But it was 
that spirit of openness to the world; 1 think that was a very 
significant thing in my life. 

Teiser: Was it a matter of pride to your family that you became a priest? 

Monihan: Obviously, it was. I never knew it, I never can point to any time 

where it would be any trouble--! know instances where this pride has 
been such a significant theme in the family that one of the sons 
became a priest; I would say not so for my family. I could have 
left the order at any time, and I think my family would have taken 
it in stride, not been humiliated if I left the order. 

Teiser: They must have had a great deal of faith in you. 
Monihan: Yes. I never thought of it that way. 






THE NOVITIATE, LOS GATOS , 1932-1936 



Entering the Order 



Teiser: When you decided to enter the society of Jesus, did you go then 
immediately to the novitiate? 

Monihan: Well, yes; that was July 30, 1932. 
Teiser: Had you finished your high school studies? 

Monihan: Finished my high school studies, and graduated. At the end of July I 
entered the order. I don't recall any elation or doubt, just a 
normal transition to make. Something drew me on to do it; I can't 
describe what that pull was. I could feel the pull to enter the 
order. 

There was a lot of comradeship among the young men I was with. 
There was a ritual of the last cigarette. [laughter] You would 
have it out at the gate of the building where the novices lived. 
They draw a big circle with a circle in the center of it, so that if 
you could throw a cigarette butt in the center of the circle, you 
would get one more smoke. That was the ritual. 

I was only in the novitiate less than two weeks and I 
overturned a horse and wagon. [laughter] Someone said, "Can you 
drive a horse and wagon?" I said, "Sure!" It was all right until I 
made a hairpin turn where the pig-pens were [laughing]; I was thrown 
off the wagon into the pig-pens, and the horses ran down the road. 
I thought for sure I was going to be thrown out of the order. 

Teiser: Will you describe the novitiate? 

Monihan: Well, in Los Gatos up in the hills there -- 

Teiser: It was called the Sacred Heart Novitiate? 

Monihan: Sacred Heart Novitiate, and it was a piece of property which was 

acquired in 1888 by the order as a gift. The novitiate was formerly 



10 

Monihan: near Santa Clara College. Since they needed sources of income, they 
established a vineyard and a winery. This is typical of religious 
houses, to have to have sources of income. I would say, just making 
a general estimate, that there were something like ten to fifteen 
acres of property. In addition to the large single institutional 
building, there was a farm, there were chickens, pigs, vegetable 
gardens, and orchards. The hills were covered with grape vines. 

The novices during the first two years we trained were the 
workers --to harvest the grapes, to work in the gardens, pick prunes, 
and anything that needed to be done. I don't know how much money 
they made off the income, but I'm sure it wasn't very much. These 
were the Depression years. 

I was there at the novitiate as a scholastic for four years. 
Two of those years were what we call basic training, being a novice; 
two years the humanities. 



Basic Subjects 



Teiser: What was involved in basic training? 

Monihan: Basic training was learning the history of the order, learning the 
spirituality of the order, largely from such sources as the 
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The constitutions of the 
society- -I 've never been sure why they're called in the plural, 
constitutions, but they have always used that term. We read the 
history of the society, the lives of illustrious people; greatly 
stressed was the learning of Latin and speaking of Latin. I'm 
speaking about my time as contrasted with this decade now. And we 
had some academic studies in humanities, but not much. So our 
training was really along these lines related to tradition, which I 
call basic training. It was related to tertianship, which is the 
very last year of Jesuit training, a sort of wrap-up of what you 
learned when you began. Tertianship being the third year, and the 
first two years being the novitiate years. 

[tape interruption] 

Teiser: So your other studies were, you said, history and constitutions of 
the society, and then what? 

Monihan: Then the biographies of illustrious Jesuits. Then we read basic 
spiritual writers. For example, Alphonsus Rodriguez- -that was on 
ascetical theology- -and then we were constantly reading 
Thomas a" Kempis. 

There would be a lot of conferences with the master of novices. 
My master of novices was Francis Seeliger, who was a major influence 



11 

Monihan: in my life, major influence. He was of San Francisco origin, the 

son of a butcher in San Francisco. I figure he was the right man at 
the right time for me. 

Teiser: What sort of influence? What did you become that you weren't going 
to become because of him? 

Monihan: I should just tell you this rather intimate thing which I think 

should be recorded. I think one of the higher superiors felt that 
my speech impediment was an impediment for me continuing on in the 
order. Father Seeliger decidedly disagreed with that. I would say 
I would not be a Jesuit today if not for him and his intervention 
and insisting that I had potential. He said to me, in Latin, "We 
expect great things from you," which is enough to lift someone up. 
So he saw in me potential for doing the work of the order. 

Teiser: The work of the order, as you saw it then, was what, so far as you 
were concerned? 

Monihan: Was something to do with education, 
[tape interruption] 



Jesuits' Occupations 



Teiser: Did you ever have any idea of being a missionary, for instance, 
rather than teaching or doing anything else? 

Monihan: I did volunteer in my period at Mount St. Michael's to go to China, 
but I think that the spirit of the order is that no matter what 
you're doing, you're an educator always. Even though you would be a 
missionary, the tradition of the order was education. Look at 
Jacques Marquette, an illustrious example. Marquette was a 
missionary with very high ideals as an explorer. So his discovery 
of the Mississippi River with Joliet follows the Jesuit stamp. 
Whether you're a missionary or not, you pursue it with broader, 
deeper educated roots than you would otherwise do. Jesuits have 
always been basically teachers. 

Teiser: What would have been other options open to you besides teaching in a 
regular educational institution or being a missionary? 

Monihan: Administration. I'm glad I never got into it, except being head 
librarian. Administration would be the other thing. But the 
important thing in the Jesuit order is that the individual can 
develop his own job. Now, there was not the liberty in the 1930s 
ar j 1940s for individuals of my generation to do that, but it is 
ti 2 for today as it was true in the past history of the order, 
where the individual says, "I would like to do this, I would like to 
do that, and I think I have resources to do so." So an individual's 
project could make one's life. 



12 

Monihan: You take Teilhard de Chardin, who was a paleontologist. Now, that 
came out of his teaching in Cairo or in France. He really led a 
life almost away from the order most of his life as a 
paleontologist, working for various international foundations on 
discovery of ancient man and so on. So there are niches for the 
Jesuit with an individual project. 



Jesuits' Religious Duties 



Teiser: This is something that is well known to everyone within the order, 
but just for the record for those of us who don't know about it, 
what are then the religious duties along with these occupations? 

Monihan: Well, these are left pretty much to the individual. For instance, 
from 1971 on, I've been a chaplain to a congregation of sisters 
called the Society of Helpers. That means Monday through Saturday I 
say Mass for them every morning at seven o'clock. I still do. For 
instance, I a friend of Anne England, a doctor in library 
science from UC Berkeley; she's a Carmelite nun in San Rafael. 
Because of my friendship with Anne, I go there once a month to say 
Mass. 

In the 1940s and 1950s, I would give a group retreat to sisters 
anywhere, wherever an assignment would be open. That has lapsed now 
in favor of the individually directed retreat. During the 1940s, 
'50s and early '60s, I would go out on Sunday to say two Masses in 
parishes in the city. 

Teiser: Would those be parishes which didn't have a regular--? 

Monihan: They had staff; but, you see, it was because the eucharistic fast 
meant that we wouldn't say Mass after twelve noon, and you would 
have to be fasting from midnight on. That no longer applies. So 
then you would have staff, but they would not be available to take 
care of all the Masses needed. I would usually say the nine and ten 
o'clock Mass at various parishes. 

These examples of religious "duties" are not duties at all; 
they are individual choices. We volunteered to help when needed. 

Teiser: Could you get by with very few of them? 

Monihan: Oh, sure. I could have said, "No, I can't do that." But the average 
person would do it. Now, because you can say Mass at any time-- 
afternoon, evening, night- -instead of people going to Sunday Mass 
they could have a Saturday night Mass. So there are many 
combinations. The Vatican II council of the early 1960s made 
tremendous differences in this, regarding religious service. 



13 

Teiser: We can come back to this later, but you have certainly lived through 
a great deal of change in the church. 

Monihan: Oh, yes. Wonderful change! Horrible change! 
Teiser: Back to the novitiate -- 

Years as Juniors 



Monihan: During the second two years we're called Juniors. When you enter in 
the junior year at the novitiate, you take your first public vows of 
poverty, chastity, and obedience. Then you begin intensive academic 
work for the bachelor of arts degree. During that time I taught 
myself to read French, and I got credit for it because I was able to 
pass satisfactorily examinations with a dean of studies. 

Teiser: Learned all by yourself? 
Monihan: By myself. 
Teiser: My word! 

Monihan: Well, I could not say I read it perfectly, or well, but I was able 

to come to the point of reading an article in a magazine and passing 
that examination. 

Teiser: Difficult. Did you study hard? 

Monihan: Not particularly. I felt that the academic training we had in my 
period was not good. Other people in other decades would have 
better training than I did. I felt my training in Greek was very 
poor. It was emphasizing vocabulary, grammar, sentence structure, 
and so on, rather than the literature and language end. 

Teiser: I was recalling this morning other men who'd entered religious 

orders whom I had interviewed, and one was then Brother Antoninus, 
William Everson, who spoke of the discipline of learning to pray. 
That may have been characteristic of his order; does that apply? 

Monihan: Well, that is a very difficult question to answer, because learning 
to pray is such a developmental thing that it's not like learning a 
skill. It pertains to each decade or each year of your life, and 
you're certainly given ways of meditation. But I would say it left 
much to be desired. [pause] In looking back, my memory of those 
years is not good. Some of my confreres can remember everything 
they were taught. They can always quote. I can't. But I would say 
the training in prayer and in meditation was mediocre at the best. 
What I'm trying to say is that the real education that takes place, 
and this is one of my points of philosophy of these years I'm in 
now, is that what each one develops inside themselves is what 
counts, not what one receives from the outside. 



14 

Monihan: I have a dear friend I meet with every year in Phoenix, Arizona, who 
has chosen Emerson as her favorite author. He was the writer who 
stressed the value of an inner life. I agree with her completely. 
Emerson's "inner life" compares with my ideas of reflection and 
recollection. 

Teiser: Did you actually get a B.A. degree? 

Monihan: And an M.A. in philosophy from Gonzaga in 1939; an S.T.L. in 
theology from Alma College in 1946; and a B.L.S. [Bachelor of 
Library Science] from UC Berkeley in 1952. 



15 






MT. ST. MICHAEL'S COLLEGE, 1936-1939 



Teiser : 



Monihan: 



By then you did know you were going into teaching, 
any effect upon what you did next? 



Did that have 



I was simply following the long black line, as we say. I simply 
went on, moved in 1936 from Los Gatos to Spokane to Mt. St. 
Michael's, in Hillyard, Washington. Hillyard is a suburb of 
Spokane . 



Opening of the Mind 



Monihan: But the important thing is that at St. Michael's philosophy was an 
opening for me to education in the sense that my mind, I felt, was 
boxed in at Los Gatos; and now 1 had an opening of the mind to 
learning through studying such scholastic writers as Thomas Aquinas, 
reading Augustine, and reading the textbooks in cosmology and 
psychology and the history of philosophy. Those were very, very 
good years . 

Teiser: Did you have good teachers there? 

Monihan: I'd say I had good teachers, and one exceptional teacher. One 

teacher who taught cosmology and taught it in a humanistic fashion, 
which meant that he would give you examination questions well ahead 
of the examination date. He would say, "Now, bring in to the 
classroom any notes, any textbooks, anything you want, but you have 
to answer these questions." Lovely way of making demands upon the 
mind. 

Teiser: What was his name? 

Monihan: His name was Leo Martin. I think, Ruth, maybe you in your looking 
back on your years, can point to one teacher, do you have one 

teacher? 

. 

Teiser: Well, a few. 



16 

Monihan: Very few. If I could say there was one teacher that I had that 

meant a lot to me for intellectual growth, it would be Leo Martin. 
Because he really made the student use his mind. Others thought he 
was terrible; I thought he was magnificent. 

II 

Teiser: Did they think that Leo Martin was too hard a teacher? 

Monihan: I would say that for some reason, emotional reasons or whatever, 
they didn't click with him. I remember that Aristotle would send 
students home because there was no feeling between student and 
teacher. But there was feeling between me and Leo Martin. 

Teiser: Is that a good place to stop for the day? 
Monihan: Yes. 



[Interview 2: 9 May 1988] 



Teiser: You finished the first interview speaking of Father Leo Martin of 
Mt. St. Michael's. 

Monihan: Oh, yes. 

Teiser: You said that it wasn't so much the subject matter, but how Father 

Martin taught. We often ask peopleabout their good teachers, but we 
don't often ask them about their bad teachers. What makes a bad 
teacher? 

Monihan: A bad teacher is one who simply follows the textbook, either a 
textbook or the notes that he has used in former lectures. It 
always seems, by contrast, that Father Martin operated independently 
of notes. So I would say that a bad teacher is one who is not 
inspired by his subject matter enough to t~y to give a fresh 
presentation each time. 

The ideal teacher in my mind, who has the minimum of creative 
ability, will discard his notes from previous occasions and speak 
freshly and enthusiastically about the subject matter. 

Teiser: That means having to prepare anew each class. 

Monihan: Yes. And here is where the great honesty of Father Martin occurred. 
He sometimes would come in the classroom and lecture for fifteen 
minutes only out of an hour's lecture, and say, "I'm very sorry, 
that's all the time I have to prepare." He worked and worked and 
worked and worked, and all he could come up with of substance was 
fifteen minutes worth, which was very enlightening to me. These are 
rare individuals, rare individuals. 



17 



Beginning of Interest in Libraries 



Teiser: Well, it was there that I think you told me earlier you first became 
interested in libraries. Can you tell that in some detail? 

Monihan: Yes, I'd be happy to. The library at this house of studies had 

closed stacks. The only access to the library was through the card 
catalogue. I didn't like that one bit. I volunteered to get on the 
other side of the desk somehow, because I wanted to have immediate 
contact with the books. So I became one of the clerical assistants 
in the library. 

That was an indication of my appetite for books. Not that I 
was a voracious reader, but I wanted to have complete access to the 
entire holdings of the library. 

Teiser: Was it a good library? 

Monihan: No. It was a mediocre library, looking back on it. It had a lot of 
older works probably of some importance, but the monographs of 
recent decades were lacking. I would say in retrospect that they 
were not searching for books that would enrich the library holdings. 

Teiser: They were, I suppose, just gathering books that were related to your 
studies there. 

Monihan: Yes. 



Education by Textbook 



Monihan: You see, basically the training- -this is in the 1930s now, 1936 to 

'39- -the training was largely based upon textbook presentation, with 
the exception of Father Martin. Those authors who were in any way 
in an adversarial position to the textbook presentation did not get 
very much attention. In retrospect, we felt that was a great 
defect, because if we disagreed with Kant or Hegel, or Fichte, or 
any of these authors, we should have had access to not only their 
writings in the original language but to monographic studies on 
their thought. So I feel this was a lack. I feel that if books are 
on the shelves, even though they're in foreign languages, and even 
though they are specialized studies, there are going to be some 
students who will be attracted to delve in, and that's where 
education takes place. 

This was towards the end of the period of scholasticism in the 
Roman Catholic seminaries where St. Thomas Aquinas was the supreme 
authority. There were many others- -there was Suarez , there was John 



18 

Monihan: of St. Thomas --but Thomas Aquinas held sway. He was a brilliant 

thinker, no question about it, but you always felt that our diet of 
Thomas Aquinas was too rich, and too consistent. For educated 
people, one must use a major thinker such as Thomas Aquinas, but not 
exclusively. 

Teiser: What now is the similar training? 

Monihan: Well, today in the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, which is 
part of the Graduate Theological Union, there is much wider 
presentation of thought. And so for the more talented students, 
they can really delve into subject matter as widely and deeply as 
they want to. It's a broader, more liberal education, not in just 
the humanities but a liberal education in free inquiry. 

However, having said that, I think I said in our last interview 
that my period of three years in Spokane opened my mind. I really 
felt that I was opened to education for the first time. The years 
at Los Gatos were, by contrast, night as compared with day. I 
myself did a master's thesis on the history of the mind. 

Teiser: Heavens, that's a big subject. 

Monihan: It was. Well, we were living at a time in the 1930s when behavioral 
sciences were really to the fore, and the phenomenology in one form 
or another had come to the attention of the learned world. But I 
was given complete freedom to do my own inquiry, and being a junior 
librarian I could inquire as much as I wanted to. And I had a lot 
of fun doing it. 



Recreation 



Teiser: Did you have other duties in Spokane too besides your school? 

Monihan: No, none whatsoever. 

Teiser: You didn't have to prune grape vines, or-- [laughs] 

Monihan: No, there were winter sports and summer sports. No, I had no labor 
duties like I had at Los Gatos. I had good companions among the 
young men of the northwest. We were guests of the Oregon Province, 
and that included Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon. So I 
enjoyed that association with them very much, as well as our own 
California confreres. 

Teiser: Do you still have friends among your schoolmates there? 

Monihan: Yes. I don't see them very often, but when I see them, it's a great 
opportunity to renew acquaintance with each other, and fondness for 



19 

Monihan: each other with a good spirit among us. I didn't know anything 

about winter sports , but I learned some winter sports . I was never 
a good sportsman, but I liked sports. I was never a good ice- 
skater, or skiier, but I liked to learn what I could. 



Studies 



Teiser: Did you specialize in any particular studies at Mt. St. Michael's? 

Monihan: No, I didn't. I would say I stayed in the center lane of 

philosophical studies and, as I mentioned to you, I enjoyed them 
immensely. My memory is not good, but having had access to library 
stacks, undoubtedly I did pursue other special interests. I will 
say that we had science there, we had physics, probably biology and 
chemistry. These were the college years after bachelor's, going 
towards master's. My master's was in philosophy. 

I'm sorry that I did not have inspiring teachers in the 
sciences. I feel that this is one of the lacks in my education. As 
a librarian, I've been collecting history of science as steadily as 
I possibly can. 

Teiser: Were you acquainted with any other libraries besides the one at Los 
Gatos and that at Mt. St. Michael's? 

Monihan: No, not at that time. Nor was I interested in other libraries. 

Teiser: You were interested in that library, but did it lead you into 
thinking that you would make your career--? 

Monihan: No, not at all. Because early in my career, I thought of 

international education of some sort. I can come to that at a later 
time in the interview. 

Teiser: Well, at least that was the beginning of your career. 

Monihan: It certainly was. It showed an instinct, and that is quite 
fascinating to me to know not what I thought but what I did 
instinctively. 

Teiser: Was the librarian there someone you admired? 

Monihan: Not really. 

Teiser: You didn't have heroes easily. 

Monihan: No. 

Teiser: So, when you finished there, you got an M.A. , is that right? 



20 

Monihan: M.A. , yes. 

Teiser: And that was awarded by Gonzaga? 

Monihan: Awarded by Gonzaga. 

Teiser: Although you hadn't studied there, or used their facilities? 

Monihan: It was an affiliation between the seminary and Gonzaga University. 

Teiser: Did you go directly, then, from there to Bellarmine? 

Monihan: Yes. My fall semester of '39, I went to San Jose to Bellarmine 
College preparatory. That's where I spent three years. 

Summer School 



Teiser: Did you have periods when you went home for vacations or anything of 
the sort? 

Monihan: Well, in the Jesuits we don't go home for vacation; we have vacation 
together as Jesuits. I came to St. Ignatius High School in San 
Francisco and lived in the classrooms here with other young Jesuits. 
I attended summer school. But that summer school of 1939 was a 
noted occasion to me, because Father Martin D'Arcy, an eminent 
Jesuit thinker from England, author of many books, was giving a 
course at the University of San Francisco on the Nichomachean ethics 
of Aristotle. That was different from Father Martin's approach, but 
nevertheless, because this man was so widely acclaimed in England, 
it was in itself a liberal education. He was very entertaining, and 
although he stayed to the text of the Nichomachean ethics, it was 
truly an exciting course. 

Teiser: Was he a Jesuit? 

Monihan: An English Jesuit. Truly an eminent man, and at his prime. 

Teiser: That was between Mt. St. Michael's and Bellarmine? 

Monihan: That was summer school. That would be the end of June to the end of 
July. 

Teiser: Then you went straight to Bellarmine? 

Monihan: Then we went on vacation as scholastics to Phelan Park in Santa 

Cruz. I would see my family, but it would not be like going home 
and spending vacation with them. 

Teiser: Your school years were more interesting to you than your vacations, 
clearly. 

Monihan: Yes. 



21 



BELLARMINE COLLEGE PREPARATORY, 1939-1942 



High School Librarian and Teacher 



Teiser: When you went to Bellarmine, what were your duties there? 

Monihan: Well, I was made high school librarian, and that was a joke in many 
ways. The then library was a kitchen, and it was as filthy as you 
could imagine any short-order kitchen could be. So I set to work 
cleaning this relatively small room in not a very accessible place 
to the students, and I don't know where I got the money, but I put 
in new flooring, put drapes in, light fixtures, painted it, 
absolutely made it spic and span. And then I asked for the approval 
of the principal to buy books [laughs], and there was no money to 
buy books. So it was sort of a joke. There were a certain number 
of books that were already in the library, but it was a big joke. 

I simply had the title, and not very much more. Nevertheless, 
I continued on for three years as high school librarian of this 
preparatory school. I taught Latin- -mainly freshman or sophomore 
Latinelocution, religion, probably English- -simple subjects like 
that. Because of difficulties with disciplining these high school 
boys, I didn't feel that I was too well adapted to that kind of 
life. I didn't complain, I didn't say I didn't want to do it, but 
in retrospect I was not successful in running a classroom. 

[phone interruption] 
Teiser: Do I remember that Bellarmine attracted problem boys? 

Monihan: Yes. Because it had a dormitory, we got a lot of problem children 
who needed special attention. They were from families in various 
parts of the country, epecially California, but when you get boys in 
a dormitory at a high school, they are usually boys that have some 
difficulty at home in some way or another. I hope I'm being fair in 
saying that, but I think that's something close to the truth. 

Teiser: So disciplinary problems might have been greater there than most 
high schools. 



22 

Monihan: Yes. 
Teiser: What did you do about it? 

Monihan: Well, I was not a prefect- -prefect is the Jesuit language--! was not 
a prefect in the dormitory so I didn't have the immediate 
responsibility there. But in the classroom, especially the 
sophomores were very difficult to handle. Sophomore in high school 
is when the boys are ceasing to be children and beginning teen-age, 
and I assure you it was difficult. 

Teiser: They don't necessarily want to learn at that age. 

Monihan: No, they don't, and they also like to challenge the older people. I 
had very good relationships with students, though, outside the 
classroom. I did things with them, went on picnics with them, I got 
them to organize activities at local parishes. I went to the 
Mexican pueblo and brought our students out there to play baseball 
with the local Hispanics. So I had a lot of relationships with the 
students outside of the classroom. 



Teiser: You were saying that you had a very good relationship with the 
students. 

Monihan: Yes, a scholastic is only about seven years older than the high 

school students, so I had a very easy relationship with them. You 
could enter into their sports, could enter their play- -almost 
anything they were doing. So it was a wonderful experience to be 
with these young people. But yet, in looking back, it was not my 
way of life. It was not my permanent occupation. 



Research at the University fo Santa Clara Library 



Teiser: Did you have access to other libraries there in San Jose? 

Monihan: Yes. The University of Santa Clara library was by no means a great 
library, but on Jesuit history they had sources that interested me. 
I became interested in a Jesuit known as Joseph Bayma, who was a 
scientist, and who wrote The Elements of Molecular Mechanics. 
somewhere about the 1860s, 1870s. He was the rector president of 
St. Ignatius College in the 1860s on Market Street. That's where 
the Emporium is today. 

For some reason or another I became interested in him and did 
extensive search into sources of his life. I wasn't doing this for 
publication; I was just doing this because I wanted to do it. I 
still have the notes somewhere of my Joseph Bayma searches. I would 



23 



Monihan: go up to Santa Clara and I would work on Joseph Bayma, where I would 
have a chance again and again and again. 

Teiser: So that was your second big research job, I suppose, after your 
master's thesis? 

Monihan: Yes, I would say that. But I took to it naturally, and I liked it; 
it was attractive to me. 

Teiser: Did you still think you were going to teach international relations? 

Monihan: Well, to move ahead on that a little bit, during World War II a 
number of talented, competent Jesuits were in San Francisco from 
other countries, especially from Asia, and as a scholastic in 
theology at Alma College, I developed with a confrere a program 
called the "Far Eastern Affairs Program." This was trying to train 
business people in the knowledge of Asian affairs, especially of 
China. That's skipping ahead to the period of 1942 to '46, the Alma 
College years. 



World War II 



Teiser: Well, staying with Bellarmine for a moment, you were there through 
the war? 

Monihan: Yes, especially during the Pearl Harbor. 

Teiser: What was the effect of the war upon such institutions? 

Monihan: Except frequent blackouts- -those are things that we think of more 
than anything else. It was intellectually not a stimulating place 
at all. The most stimulating thing was to be with these young 
people. And some were extremely talented. 

Monihan: There was one young man who, as a prank, when he learned from the 

newspaper that when this United States mint was completed on Market 
Street and Duboce, that no -one could break in, well, he broke in. 
[laughs] Not to steal anything, but to prove he could break in. 
And then he called the security officers when he was in there, so he 
was guilty by that prank of a federal offence. But he was also a 
boy who could read Latin and many other languages; exceptionally 
talented. He and I became friends. 

I probably could think of many others from foreign countries, 
or just talented people. And also, I think I had an influence on 
some young people on becoming Jesuits. 



24 



Teiser: 

Monihan: 

Teiser: 

Monihan: 

Teiser: 

Monihan: 

Teiser: 

Monihan: 



Teiser: 

Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



Did the war take away some of your fellow Jesuits to become 
chaplains? 

Yes, one. A priest there did become a chaplain. But my age were 
all so young we were not priests yet, so it didn't affect us very 
much at all. 

And your students were too young for the services. 

Yes. 

Did you have any kind of ROTC? 

I'm sure we did, but I don't remember at all. 

So in 1942, did you move on to another category? 

Yes, I moved on to another category. When I was in Spokane I took 
education courses at Mt . St. Michael's and at Gonzaga. I continued 
on through the summer of '42 at UC Berkeley, taking two courses in 
education. One of the great blessings of my life was not to get 
locked into education. I did like being at Berkeley and going to 
school, but education courses are vapid, vapid- -just not with very 
much content at all. 



So that decided you that way? 



Those 



Yes. I entered Alma College in the fall semester of 1942. 
were good years intellectually, but looking back, the best 
intellectual years I had were in Spokane at Mt. St. Michael's, 
possibly because it was the opening of the mind. 

The period at Bellarmine was pre-set, wasn't it? It wasn't anything 
that happened there that made you move on in 1942? 

No. You had to be approved within the order to go on to theology. 
You were still in training, you were still a plebe in the sense that 
you were still a candidate for the order. You were definitely a 
Jesuit, but you were not fully approved. Regency- -that's the Jesuit 
language for that. And in my time, regency was a very important 
period of Jesuit training. I would say, in my experience, that it 
was important because as soon as I began to teach in the classroom, 
the students were saying, "Are you going to still use that language, 
those words we don't understand?" I was speaking philosophy 
language. The high school students didn't understand it at all. So 
It was a great benefit having had that philosophical training, and 
then going down to high school boys again. It's considered to be an 
integral part for the Jesuit training, those three years of regency. 
I agree, it was. They were difficult years for me, but they were 
good training years. 



25 



ALMA COLLEGE, 1942-1946 



Environment and Library 



Teiser: So then, you went next to Alma College. 

Monihan: Alma College was nearby; it's not too far from Lexington Dam on 
Highway 17, going towards Santa Cruz. It was a nice piece of 
property. We, the Jesuits, purchased it in 1933 from the Tevis 
family- -a large estate. It was up in the mountains. 

The library was better than average, because one of the 
teachers was a great book hunter and developed a nice library. 

Teiser: Who had developed it? 

Monihan: One of the teachers, Father Francis Sheerin, developed the library. 
He was a teacher-librarian, or professor-librarian, but he was a 
good book hunter. He went on trips to Europe to buy books. So he 
was a better than average librarian among the Jesuits. 

I'm happy to have spent my four years there, although I do see 
the benefits the young men have today of being in Berkeley in the 
University of California complex. 

Teiser: Berkeley is now similar to what Alma College was? 

Monihan: Yes. It's the successor. The Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley 
is the successor to Alma College. 

Teiser: What's happened to Alma College? 

Monihan: Well, it ceased completely as a Jesuit institution. The property is 
still there, but we've leased it out to some school. In the 1960s 
this was an international movement to have the seminary training 
more in the environment of a university. So it was partly fad and 
partly good sense- -fad because everyone was doing it; we were 
keeping up with the Joneses everywhere in the world. On the other 



26 



Monihan: hand, I myself felt that I had an advantage being up in the hills of 
Los Gatos at Alma College, and having my theology there. 

Teiser: You were really isolated there, were you not? 

Monihan: Very isolated, very isolated. Intellectually, I do see the great 

advantage of being in a complex such as the University of California 
has now. You do have Protestants, Baptists, Episcopalians, 
Dominicans, Franciscans, and so on, all on one hill up there in 
Berkeley. 

Teiser: At Alma College, did you specialize? You mentioned international 
affairs and the Orient. Was that where you started that? 

Monihan: No, that was not a specialty; that was just an inspiration. 
Teiser: Did you specialize in anything in your studies? 

Monihan: No. I just stayed for my central core of courses, and we finished 
up the fourth year with an oral comprehensive, which takes in not 
only all the four years of theology but the three years at Mt. St. 
Michael's. So it's a grand comprehensive. And in my days it was in 
Latin. You're examined in Latin. It's easy, because I did it my 
whole life, it's not unfamiliar to me. But it was quite an exercise 
to go through, to be able to answer on any subject that you had over 
the seven-year period, separated by three years of regency. 

Teiser: I should say. How many people examined you? 

Monihan: Three, I think. I think I got along all right. I won't say I did 
the best, but I didn't do poorly. 

Teiser: Did you feel that in general your Alma College years were 
worthwhile? 

Monihan: I would say moderately worthwhile. But not supremely. 



Far Eastern Affairs Prolect 



Teiser: But the Far Eastern Affairs project was in addition to your studies? 

Monihan: Well, what happened was just my own imagination. I saw with a 

confrere, Father Tom Sullivan, that we had during the war years in 
San Francisco some very talented Jesuits from all over the world. 

Teiser: How did they happen to be here? 



27 



Monihan: Well, by the accident of the war, they were here and they couldn't 
get back to their own countries, to Germany or to Japan or to China, 
whatever. War sort of isolates one, so that you don't move very 
much. 

It was good to think of what American businessmen would do 
getting ready to do business with Asia in the post-war period. So 
that promptly gave rise to my interest in international economics. 
I had also a very vague interest in going to Harvard to pursue that. 
It wasn't a driving passion on my part, but it was an interest in 
doing so. 

When I was actually appointed librarian at USF, in the spring 
of 1947, it wasn't a great disappointment not to go to Harvard. I 
was assigned here. 

Teiser: What had you done with this project, then? 

Monihan: Well, the only thing--! wrote up a paper called "Far Eastern Affairs 
Program," and presented it to the administration here. I was at 
Alma College, and the administration here received it, accepted it, 
and put it into action. It lasted until peacetime, and then it all 
fell apart, with all the personnel returned to where they were from. 

Teiser: Probably gave them some good ideas, still. 

Monihan: They're doing it right now. They're starting a new program with the 
Pacific Rim studies. 



Ordination 



Teiser: You were ordained while you were at Alma? 

Monihan: Yes, ordained in the third year. I have no explanation why we were 
ordained in the third year, except that it had been done for a long 
time. So I was ordained in San Francisco at the cathedral on 
O'Farrell and Van Ness Avenue. 

Teiser: Then known as "new St. Mary's." 

Monihan: It was the old St. Mary's. Not old St. Mary's on California and 
Grant Avenue, but the previous St. Mary's to the cathedral now on 
Geary Street. 

That was a very important family celebration. It's a high 
point in the Jesuit experience. So then your final year of 
theology, you have some priestly duties of helping out in parishes 
occasionally during holidays, Christmas or Easter. 



28 



TERTIANSHIP 



Teiser: What is tertianship? 

Monihan: Tertianship is an attempt on the part of the order to give you the 
final touches on the Jesuit spirit. It's the last hurrah, the last 
attempt to give you that inspiration: what it means to be a Jesuit. 
And that's usually nine months. In my time it was from September 
until May. It was, in my time, at its lowest period of the program, 
so it didn't realize the potential that is there. With other 
personnel, it could have been a great thing, but in my time it was 
pro forma. 

Teiser: Where did you serve it? 

Monihan: In Port Townsend, Washington, which is on Puget Sound, a ghost town. 

Teiser: There were some pictures of it in the Sunday San Francisco paper 
yesterday, in the travel section. 

Monihan: Were there? Well, now it's a resort and restaurant town, and you 
can come and stay overnight, have nice meals, and all that. So 
that's where I spent my final year of Jesuit training. 

But part of the Jesuit training is to send you out during Lent 
to some near or far mission to work as a priest. 

[interruption] 

During Lent, I went to Big Sandy, Montana, to help out in a 
parish with a Dutch priest. I don't know why I was sent there, 
because he could have got along very well without me. The 
temperatures got down to forty below, and then when I left it was 
jumbo mud, so I couldn't move around very much. But it was then 
when I got the letter from California saying that I was librarian at 
USF. 




William J. Monihan, S. J., ca. 1950. 



Photograph courtesy of 
Gleeson Library _, U.S.F. 



29 



UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO, 1947 TO DATE 



Appointment as Librarian 



Teiser: Why do you think it was decided that you should come to USF? 

Monihan: I would say because Father William Dunne was then president of USF, 
and he told the superiors in the order that he wanted me. 

Teiser: How had you come to know him? 

Monihan: Well, he was my rector at Los Gatos. In my Sacred Heart novitiate 
years. Father William Dunne was rector of the house there, so he 
knew me. There was a vacancy as head librarian, because the man who 
was in wanted to get out. He chose me and asked for me, that's how 
I came . 

Teiser: Had you had any library work in between? 

Monihan: Just the fragments I've mentioned to you, being at Mt. St. 

Michael's, being at Bellarmine, being in theology for these short 
periods as assistant librarian or cleric librarian, that's all. But 
the idea was and it's a typical army or Jesuit waywe'll put you 
in the job and you get your training later. 

Teiser: [laughs] I neglected to ask you if at Alma, where there was this 
better library, whether you had had any experience in it? 

Monihan: Well, I had experience in it, yes, because I think I was very 

attached to that library. I read the stacks. I read the stacks a 
lot. This man Sheer in, who purchased so many of its books, had some 
wonderful books. And so my appetite was aroused. 

a 

Teiser: We were speaking of the library at Alma College. You said that 

there were substantial scholarly works. Were they the first that 
you had come in contact with? 



30 



Monihan: I would say the first of that quality, yes. They were in all the 
major European languages, and English and Latin. In a sense, 
Francis Sheerin became my exemplar, so that I followed him later in 
doing what he did, and going to Europe, especially to Louvain, and 
getting advice of a competent librarian there. Father Sheerin 
bought duplicates there and got advice from a Father De Ghellinck, 
the librarian. Father Martin gave me the chance to buy important 
duplicates; he gave great help in bibliography. 



UC Library School 



Teiser: This brings you, then, to USF. Do you want to say anything more--? 

Monihan: I do . I want to say something about my arriving at USF. I 

immediately applied to the University of California, Berkeley, to 
the school of librarianship. I took the entrance examinations and 
languages and so on, and I began my library degree work immediately. 

The Jesuit whose place I was taking at USF was Joseph 
Schechtel. He for personal reasons wanted to do something else. I 
took his place in July of 1947. 

I think that if there's a time to conclude today, this would be 
the time to do it. Because next I'll go into my time at USF. 



[Interview 3: 14 May 1988] 



Teiser: We got just to the beginning of your years at the University of San 
Francisco last time, July, 1947. 

Monihan: Yes, that was the beginning of the fiscal year. 

Teiser: And you enrolled in the library school at Berkeley that same autumn? 

Monihan: Yes. 

Teiser: What were your duties here at the same time? 

Monihan: Well, it was really an orientation with the staff, getting to know 
the staff, and the staff was very small. I had one cataloguer, one 
acquisitions librarian, I think one serials librarian, one 
circulation librarian, one secretary. It was the minimum staff you 
can imagine . 

The location of this library, which was on the third floor of 
what is now called Campion Hall- -and only a fourth of the third 



31 



Monihan: floor --did not house all the volumes. I would say maybe not more 

than twenty- five thousand books were available to the public at that 
location. Campion Hall in those days was called The Liberal Arts 
Building, and the entrance faced Fulton Street. Inside were 
administrative offices and classrooms, and the third floor was the 
college library. 

Teiser: So you came and got acquainted? 

Monihan: That's about what it came to. It so happened that that July was the 
occasion of the American Library Association meeting in San 
Francisco. So I immediately got into if not a businesslike 
atmosphere, a party spirit of attending meetings. 

Teiser: Did you, then, at the American Library Association meet for the 

first time a lot of your fellow librarians? Did you make friends? 

Monihan: Well, certainly I did. I probably met a great number, because I 

took as many of the library staff as I could to the meetings. Now, 
whom I met I don't remember at all, but I felt it was important for 
all of us to be acquainted with as many as we could. 

Teiser: You must have had a terribly busy schedule, going to library school 
and serving as librarian here for a time. 

Monihan: Yes, it was. I was going to say it's the Jesuit way, like you say 
it's the army way. You get an assignment, you get your training 
later. As I mentioned to you in the last interview, there were 
advantages to it, to be going to library school and to be 
administrator of a small college library at the same time. There 
were advantages, and among them would be the opportunity to speak 
with people who could give me answers to questions that were facing 
me at that time at USF. 

Teiser: Whom did you work with especially in the library school at Berkeley? 
Monihan: Well, the great Edith Coulter. 
Teiser: She was still active? 

Monihan: She was there. I say "the great" Edith Coulter, and great having 
italics. What a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful woman. You knew 
her? 

Teiser: Yes. Not well, but I had lunch with her occasionally. 

Monihan: When I arrived in '47, the Drum Foundation was already operating, and 
income from the foundation was already coming in. I had an 
opportunity to buy the national catalogue for France for $2,000. I 
asked Miss Coulter. 



32 



Monihan: With a twinkle in the eye, she said, "You'd better get it. You 
won't get it at a better price. It's a lot of money, but get it 
now." She advised on other things which came up in reference and 
bibliography. I would say that without even knowing it, I realized 
the importance of reference and bibliography in a library. 

Teiser: When you went to library school--! don't know enough about library 
school to know whether people specialize, or do you just take a 
general course? 

Monihan: Well, people take a general course, because in those years the 

basics were bibliography and reference, cataloguing, book selection, 
and so on. So it would not be geared to special libraries or be 
geared to university libraries or public libraries. That's why, all 
in all, it was a pretty good training. 

Teiser: Were you a full-time student? 

Monihan: Oh, no. I was a part-time student. I got permission from the dean, 
Perry Danton, to take a part-time program. I think each semester I 
took two courses, but no more. 



Planning the Gleeson Library 



Teiser: So you continued for a time, then you dropped out for a time? 

Monihan: I dropped out at the end of the fall semester, which means it was 
Christmastime. The reason was that Father William Dunne, the then 
president of the university, put into my hands the Pflueger drawings 
for the future Gleeson Library, which was more like a building one 
would build in 1930 than one would build in 1950. Sort of a modern 
renaissance-style building, with our great hall, Memorial Hall, and 
so on. 

So I brought these in the fall of 1947 to Joyce Backus, who was 
then director of libraries at San Jose State University library, 
then called the college library. She gave me criticism, but I-- 
probably on her advice- -thought it necessary to go elsewhere in the 
country to find out what other people were doing or about to do or 
just had completed in the way of a library. So I came back to the 
administration and explained how necessary it was for me to drop out 
of library school and get criticism from other people, because we 
were on the verge of building a building. 

It was decided that I should be allowed to do that, and I would 
take at least six weeks in the early spring of '48 to do that. My 
duties as head librarian were certainly curtailed, not only because 
of library school work, but also because of my focusing upon the new 
building. 



33 



Teiser: May we discuss the building? You knew what the goal was, I assume; 
you knew what your desired end result was to be. 

Monihan: Yes. I must have early on gotten the idea, or gotten permission 
from Father Dunne, to plan for the future, whatever size we would 
need. It was later that Father Dunne said that we should plan to 
spend at least $1 million. We had never spent that kind of money. 
We didn't have the money then. 

Timothy Pf lueger was the man who made these drawings , probably 
for Father Gleeson. Milton Pflueger was the one I dealt with. 
Timothy Pflueger was the one who did the 450 Sutter building, the 
Aztec -style building, and the telephone building. But I knew 
through reading that a number of institutions were planning 
buildings . 



Visits to Other Libraries 



Monihan: One focus of my attention was the Washington State College Library 
at Pullman, Washington. My first stop on the trip was a very 
significant visit, because it turned out that the present exterior 
of the Gleeson library building was modeled on that of the 
Washington State College Library. I went back there at least two or 
three more times to check with them. 
i 

I made a report to the regents of USF when I returned from this 

trip of five to six weeks. I tried to do it in as professional a 

way as I possibly could. I want to give you the highlights, those 
who helped the most. 

I went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, and John Burchard was a then-director of 
libraries at MIT. He was a trained architect. To my knowledge, he 
was not a trained librarian. But he met with me for two hours on 
the day of my arrival, and brought in a man named Tate, who was his 
associate, and discussed our plans, and stressed how important it 
was to plan for the future . 

He said, "Can you come back to see me tomorrow? Can you stay 
over?" I said, "Yes." He, with his large architectural paper and 
pencil, designed what is today the foyer of Gleeson Library. He was 
the most generous man; I was overwhelmed with his kindness. So he 
became a lifelong friend, and later on he became the moderator for 
the first symposium. A lovely, lovely human being; a man of truly 
great stature, too, who had the marvelous experience of inviting 
Winston Churchill to commencement at MIT. 



34 



Monihan: That was one high point. Another high point was visiting at Harvard 
with Keyes Metcalf , who was then director of libraries at Harvard. 
He was so friendly, so open, and gave me a lot of kindly advice. He 
had been very active nationally in library building planning. In 
fact, wrote a book about it. 

The last one I want to mention is Julian Boyd. He's a 
historian who edited papers of Jefferson. He said to me, because it 
was Princeton's plan, that the modular was the only plan that would 
suit the present and future needs of a college library. So that 
became one of my principal recommendations to the regents and Father 
Dunne when I came back. It was accepted. We were the first library 
building on the West Coast to follow the modular plan. 

Now, basically the modular plan means that you have no bearing 
walls other than around the elevator, the main stairs, and the 
lavatories. The building is supported by pillars every 22 1/2 feet. 
All this was part of the planning. When I came back to San 
Francisco, Milton Pflueger had a plan already drawn up, which was 
very much like the Washington State College plan. So I was quite 
pleased and flattered that he had understood what I was trying to 
get at. We worked together very well. 



Designing the Library 



Monihan: I want to make a footnote on this. An architect asks the client, 

"What do you want?" The client or the client's representative must 
tell the architect what he wants. And this is so important! You 
cannot expect an architect to plan a building for anybody; the 
client must work hard. I worked every day on one or another aspect 
of the Gleeson Library building for a whole year: the flooring, the 
acoustical ceilings, the light fixtures, the amount of moisture that 
would transfer from the ground into the building, or the amount of 
sound transfer between walls, the decibels of sound. So I worked on 
every aspect I possibly could, with Pflueger 's encouragement and 
direction. We got along very well. 

Teiser: Well, I've heard architects complain that clients make unreasonable 
demands. Your architect must have had a great deal of respect for 
what you were advising. 

Monihan: Yes. But I was truly a freshman; I was truly a beginner in every 
sense. But before I went out to get information, Pflueger would 
say, "We need to know this, we need to know this, and we need to 
know this." And so I went to work on those projects. I would say, 
"I'm going to do it this way," and he said, "Sounds good to me; go 
ahead and do it. " 








Architect Timothy Pfleuger and Father Monihan with model of Gleeson 
Library building, 1950. 



Photograph courtesy of 
Gleeson Library^ U.S.F. 



35 



Teiser: What sort of a man was he? 

Monihan: Very calm, with a great deal of deliberation in his voice. Very 

willing and anxious to listen to new ideas. I was getting new ideas 
from various parts of the country, and we were living in the postwar 
period, and this was what was happening. The reason why the 
Firestone Library at Princeton called for a modular plan was because 
those older buildings like the Sterling Library at Yale, the Widener 
at Harvard, were older- style buildings with fixed walls, with 
grandiose rooms. You couldn't do anything with them. But this way, 
you could. 

The way it turned out, it was not completely flexible, because 
the air conditioning was designed for a definite number of people in 
every room. Well, if you changed it from a reading room to a 
classroom, which we did, it's quite different. The third floor 
became the law school for about fifteen years. 

Teiser: Was that planned initially? 

Monihan: It certainly was not. It was over my dead body. But it was 

absolutely right, it absolutely made sense. We couldn't use the 
space immediately. 

n 

Teiser: Would you describe the building as it was completed? 

Monihan: As I recall --the figures that come into my mind- -it was a building 
of 92,000 square feet. Our former library had only 9,000 square 
feet. We planned five floors; the basement was largely storage. As 
you came into the building, the first floor to the left was a 
lecture room. Straight ahead was the circulation desk. These were 
the very earliest opening years of the library. 

The administration demanded that it be a closed- stack library, 
and this was something that I had no choice over. But, happily, we 
were able to adapt very quickly, because in a matter of two to three 
years we were an open- stack library. 

So the books, when we entered the building in the fall of 1950, 
really occupied only the first and second floors. We had only 
50,000 volumes. As you know, today we have 500,000 books. 

Teiser: How did you get the money for the library? 



36 



Financing Library Construction 



Monihan: Well, this was a miracle in the sense that no fundraising was 

needed. That sounds incredible, but Father Richard Gleeson was the 
man around whom the library was built. He was a well -beloved Jesuit 
father who was known to many people in San Francisco. On October 6, 
1937, there was a banquet for him at the Palace Hotel for his 
diamond jubilee. That's sixty years as a Jesuit. Florence 
McAuliffe, William H. McCarthy, Dan Murphy, and several others of 
the business community determined that they wanted to do something 
in honor of their friend. 

They said- -we have the correspondence of that banquet- -"Let's 
do something for our friend. Let's start in right now; each one of 
us can contribute a thousand dollars." This was the 1930s! Each 
one contributed a thousand dollars. 

Father Gleeson was asked to promote the cause. So by his death 
in 1945, there was an accumulation of about $300,000.* That was a 
lot of money. It was considered to be enough to complete the job. 

Then it so happened to our good fortune that James and Delia 
Walsh- -as I recall, Mr. Walsh was the secretary to the Flood estate. 
He or his widow, Delia Walsh left a million and a half [dollars] to 
be jointly divided between USF and Santa Clara. That gave us some 
$750,000. Together with what Father Gleeson had, that was $1 
million. 

There were a few other small bequests that came in, significant 
enough to give us working capital around $1,115,000 or $1,120,000. 
So in that way, there was no fundraising necessary. Extraordinary. 

Teiser: You then had adequate funds to do just what you had originally 
planned? 

Monihan: Yes. After I got back from the trip east in 1948 and presented this 
to the regents of the university, then the money came in from the 
Walsh estate. We were then ready to build. The cost of the 
building was $10 a square foot, which is incredible in today's 
prices . 

Teiser: Did the faculty have input? 

Monihan: I'm sure they did in an informal way, but not formally. I felt that 
what I spent my time on were specific problems- -floor coverings, 
electric lighting, and so forth. I want to emphasize that I did 



*See also p. 45. 



37 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 
Teiser: 
Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan : 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 



this as a lay person, because I would go to libraries that had 
fluorescent lighting that wasn't working, and ask, "What did you do 
wrong?" These were questions I would ask all over the country of 
people who found trouble. 

Someone --it could have been anyone: faculty, friend of the 
university said, "Don't forget that there's a lot of moisture on 
the top of that hill at USF." So working with Pflueger, we planned 
a double slab of concrete in the basement of the building. We had 
one floor of concrete, and then we had tar and paper, and then a 
second slab. 

Now, we have had problems with leakage, but not directly from 
that floor. Around the edges of it, yes, over on the extremities of 
all that slab. But to show you how successful it was, we did not 
give a double slab floor to the boiler room, and the water just 
pushed that floor straight up. So I want to emphasize that I took 
notes; anyone who advised me, I took notes: Be careful of this, be 
careful of that. 

Then you stayed out of library school for how long? 
Three semesters. And that's a long time. 
How many libraries do you think you visited? 

Well, I'm going to say thirty-five. I don't know, about thirty- 
five. I was pretty much on the run; I was going from place to 
place, and in those days we traveled by train. I went to Lincoln, 
Nebraska, to Iowa, to Colorado to any institution where one of the 
leaders in library planning worked. So I got first-class advice. 

You didn't attempt to look at older libraries and see what was wrong 
with them? 

Well, only recent older libraries. I would say, "What mistakes did 
you make? What would you like to have done if you had it to do over 
again?" I really tried to plan in terms of what we had. We had no 
rare books at that time, no question of a rare book room. 

In your mind, did you have that in the future? 
No, I'm not that smart. 



Meeting Other Librarians 



Teiser: Did you make friends with librarians during this? 



38 



Monihan: Oh, I did. I made gifts of California wine to Mr. Burchard of MIT. 
Yes, I had many friends who helped me. Consequently, when the 
library was completed, I was the host to an endless succession of 
people who wanted to look at the library. 

Teiser: When you went back to library school, then, you must have gone back 
with a little more insight than most students. 

Monihan: I would say that. 

Teiser: Did you focus your interests, then, at all? 

Monihan: No. My assignment was a college library, and consequently the whole 
emphasis of library school courses was directed towards that. But I 
never considered myself a technical librarian, which is cataloguing 
and so on. Because my work started out in the very beginning with 
library building planning, in contact with all the library people, I 
think I took naturally to what we call "public relations." 

Teiser: A useful part of being a librarian. 

Monihan: Well, it certainly fitted my talents. I felt it was very important. 

Teiser: So by the time that this library was dedicated, December 3, 1950, 
you were through library school? 

Monihan: No, I wasn't. I got my bachelor of science in library science in 
'52. 

Teiser: You continued part-time? 
Monihan: I continued part-time. 

Teiser: Did the opening of this library then change your activities a good 
deal? 

Monihan: It certainly did, because I did not give a great deal of attention 
to the specific departments in the library. I didn't have time to 
supervise cataloguing or acquisitions. I was entertaining people 
from all over the country who wanted to see this new building. 

This is one of the reasons why I got into library relations, 
because I was never, as Father Schechtel, my predecessor was, a 
technical librarian who knew cataloguing in and out, who knew 
circulation in and out and so on. I never knew this. Instead of 
learning the bottom, I learned from the top, and I didn't learn very 
much. But I did know people, and I liked people. 

Teiser: Did you have a ready-made staff, then, doing these technical things, 
or did you choose your own? 



39 



Monihan: Well, I had a ready-made staff, but by the time we moved into the 
new building I had chosen new people. The others had quit or gone 
on to do other things . 



Moving Into and Dedicating the Gleeson Library. 1950 



Teiser : 

Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



The first job, I guess, was moving the books in? 

Yes. You see, in St. Ignatius Church there is the second level 
above the sacristy, and that was the storage area for the college 
library. We moved the college library books over to the Gleeson 
Library. That's why I say the maximum number of books that we had 
on entering on the day of dedication was 50,000 volumes. That might 
have been stretching it, too.* 



I should ask a little more about the dedication, 
that? 



Who presided over 



Well, I suppose Father William Dunne, the president, presided. The 
board of regents were there, my mother and father were there. It 
was a day of pounding rain, heavy, heavy rainstorm. There was a 
Bishop, Thomas K. Gorman, who spoke. He was a friend of Father John 
McGloin.** He gave a special talk and suggested that one of the 
objectives for this Gleeson building would be to collect the history 
of the Roman Catholic Church in California. It was something that 
was certainly Father McGloin' s prime concern, and I hope that I 
contributed something towards that end. 

I don't think that a library can say what it's going to 
collect. It is very important to remember that you collect because 
of opportunities. You do not collect by sitting back in your chair 
and saying, "Let's do this and let's do that," because you may never 
have the opportunity. You might get fragments- -anyone can collect 
fragments --but to get a whole library of a private individual that 
becomes a research library, that is rare. You can't anticipate 
that. 



Father John McGloin' s Contribution 



Teiser: I should ask you to characterize Father McGloin and his position in 
relation to the history of the-- 



*See also p. 47 . 



40 



Monihan: Well, Father McGloin was then at the beginning of his career as 
USF's historian of San Francisco and California. He was very 
successful, had a nice personality, communicated well. He had large 
classes and everyone looked to him for guidance. He was also the 
archivist for the university, but I would say that his primary 
interest was California history. 

Teiser: He accumulated quite an archive, did he not? 

Monihan: Yes. And I would say that people like Dr. Albert Shumate helped him 
a lot in those regards. 

Teiser: That is not now part of the library, I believe? 

Monihan: It is in part, insofar as Father McGloin has turned over to the 
Gleeson Library certain segments of those collections. I think 
Father McGloin was instrumental in our getting the Peter Yorke 
papers.* This was a priest in the diocese of San Francisco who was 
very active in the labor movement. 

Teiser: Part of your job must have been to assess what you had and try to 
fill in wanting areas? 

Monihan: Yes, it was. When I looked at the few books on the shelves on the 
day of dedication on December 3, 1950, I determined that I would do 
everything I could to get the unimportant books off the shelves and 
good quality books on the shelves. 



The Influence of the Honnold Library 



Mohihan: My model was David Davies of the Honnold Library at Claremont. He 

was my model, my exemplar. I was down there during the fifties, and 
I saw quality books on those shelves, stack after stack after stack. 
I knew what I was looking at. I could see quality, and that's what 
I wanted. 

These were not necessarily expensive books, these were not rare 
books; these were open stacks at the Honnold Library. But, my 
golly, they were marvelous concentrations of fine collections. I 
saw also a separate little building that the Bacon Library had at 
the Honnold. That was a rare book library of first class, but I was 
satisfied watching David Davies with his general stacks. 



*Father McGloin died August 2, 1988. 



41 



Monihan: So instinctively, one way or another, before the years moved on very 
fast, I was getting into the marketplace and buying books that we 
needed. 



The Frank Drum Foundation 



Teiser: How did you buy them? 

Monihan: Well, one of the benefits was that Frank Drum Foundation. You see, 

we only had dedicated the Gleeson building when the Korean War broke 
out, and a lot of our students left to go into the service. Lo and 
behold, the library budget was cut in half-- 

H 

Monihan: The administrators cut all budgets, because the student body was 

down so low. Well, I didn't know what to do. My emotions were not 
to get angry. The Drum Foundation income was always there, but it 
was not clearly designated as to what Mr. Drum wanted. Mr. Drum was 
alive at the time. But the administrators were pressed for money, 
so they wanted me to use the Drum Foundation for ordinary 
acquisitions. That's something that Drum did not want. 

It must have been 1955 or '56--I'm jumping now aheadthat 
Frank Drum had his attorney draw up a letter designating the 
purposes of the income from his foundation. That was to be used for 
purchase of books over and above what was required by educational 
accrediting associations. So as to help us to do what we were 
ordinarily not able to do, not help us to buy the bread-and-butter 
books for the library. 

This caused some anguish between the administration and myself, 
but the letter, once it was written by Drum's attorney, Howard Finn, 
was clear, and it has become the primary document ever since. 
Mr. Drum died in 1960, and I had contact with him all of these 
years. There was one period during the Korean War, 1951-1956, where 
the income from the Drum money went directly into the ordinary 
budget for the Gleeson Library acquisitions. Drum said to me again 
and again, "I want to see a report on the use of my funds." 

I said, "Frank, please tell me that in writing for the guidance 
of the administrators." So that's why this letter came, and it 
caused quite a bit of anguish. Because look: I had won a victory, 
and the president, Father John F. X. Connolly, was not pleased. But 
Frank Drum was a veryI'm speaking as a librarian- -enlightened 
benefactor: "You do your new books in this field or that field you 
must have. But if you have a chance to acquire a library, acquire 
something special that you ordinarily couldn't have access to; this 
is what it's for." 



42 



Teiser: So it was that that gave you your opportunity to make your first 
notable acquisition? 

Monihan: Yes. Many notable acquisitions, smaller ones. But as I'm speaking 
to you now, I must say that I don't recall Frank Drum making any 
contribution toward the purchase of the Thomas More collection. 

Teiser: I was going to ask if you want to start next time with the Thomas 
More collection. 

. 

Monihan: Yes. Let's do that, because that would be 1951. The reason why I 
would like to conclude on this, the connection is it would seem to 
me that the Thomas More Library, the $8,000, would be a logical use 
of the Drum money, for something over and above what we could 
acquire. But it was not. My mother and father's money bought that 
library. 

Teiser: We'll start with that. 



[Interview 4: 18 May, 1988] 



Teiser: You were speaking of the Frank Drum bequest. For one thing, you 
mentioned the importance of specifying in a bequest- -was that it? 

Monihan: Yes. What the donor wanted to achieve. May I go back and give 
something of the history of this foundation? 

Teiser: Will you tell a little about Frank Drum, too? 

Monihan: Yes, I will. I have nothing in writing about the biography of Frank 
Drum. I would have loved to have had some sketch. What I have is 
tradition. 

Frank Drum was the son of a man who was the founder, or at 
least one of the founders, of the American Trust Company, and of the 
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, so he was a man of great financial 
skill. As far as I know, Frank, Jr., was inheritor of the estate of 
his father. 

Now, my Frank Drum is Frank G. Drum. Father William Dunne, a 
man of great leadership and great imagination, who was the president 
of the university when I came in 1947, had a great capacity for 
friendship, and Frank Drum became one of Father Dunne's very close 
friends. I want to emphasize that Frank Drum, Jr., was both a 
studious and pious man. He would ask Father dunne for tutors in 
Latin and Greek, or in other subjects, and he would ask for a 
spiritual father to guide him in his own religious life. So he was 
a very good man in every sense. 



43 



Monihan: He belonged to the best clubs in San Francisco- -the Pacific Union 
Club, and probably the Bohemian Club. I want to emphasize that 
Father Dunne and he had a great friendship. I was able to learn 
that the origin of the Frank G. Drum foundation was this: Frank 
said to Father Dunne, "I do not want to build any buildings for you. 
I want to do something different, something that will be of lasting 
importance, that will not be a concrete building. Would you think 
about that?" 

Father Dunne said, "Yes, I'll think about that." And he came 
back to Frank Drum and said, "Frank, I think an endowment for the 
library would be a marvelous idea." This by way of footnote shows 
the marvelous insight that Father William Dunne had, because in 1947 
the college library was a very small affair. For him to say that at 
that time showed tremendous vision for the future. 

Anyhow, Frank Drum accepted Father Dunne's recommendation, and 
he established a foundation with the Wells Fargo Bank, and selected 
as trustees Marshall Madison; Howard Finn, an attorney; Dr. Edward 
Morrissey; and several others. I could probably think of some 
others, but they are deceased now. Anyhow, it was something of a 
surprise to Father Dunne that Frank established this foundation 
outside the university, not inside the university. So it was a 
living trust. 

Frank intended it to be something of significance. Now, this 
differs from the Drum Foundation, which is another foundation 
established at Frank Drum's death in 1960. The Drum Foundation 
received the residue of Frank's estate of several million dollars. 
But this foundation, the Frank G. Drum Foundation, to my knowledge 
started in 1946 with $200,000. And the purpose of it was to assist 
the USF library to purchase books that it would ordinarily not be 
able to acquire. It sounds very simple, but that requirement has 
been very difficult to interpret over the years. 

It was somewhere in the early 1980s or the latter part of the 
1970s that the trustees of the Frank G. Foundation voted to go out 
of existence and transfer the entire sum of money to USF. So it's 
part of our portfolio, and the university library dean, Paul Birkel 
at present, is advised to report each year to the other foundation 
in care of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro on the uses of the Frank G. 
Drum Foundations fund. So no longer an outside foundation, it 
became a fund. When it is outside the university we call it a 
foundation; when it's inside the university we call it a fund. 

This fund began in 1946, and today the capital sum is $2.5 
million. How did this happen? Well, Frank Drum was a benefactor of 
a girls' school in the Northwest, and that school failed. One of 
the articles of the gift was that should the school fail, that 
capital sum would return to the Frank G. Drum Foundation. There 
were other increments that added to this foundation, and I can't 
recall what they were. But there are very few institutions, and I 



44 



Monihan: mean prosperous and affluent institutions, in the United States that 
have an endowment fund as we have. I believe our endowment fund 
today is $3.25 million. 

But here you have two individuals, Frank Drum, the donor, 
Father William Dunne representing the University of San Francisco, 
working well together, communicating well. Mutual confidence. 
Over the years, the Gleeson Library has grown enormously and 
substantially and deeply, because we have the Drum Foundation. 

Now, let me say by way of compliment to the managers of USF, 
some of the income is retained each year to put back into the 
principal, so that it's a guard against inflation, and so our 
principal is rising all the time. The market value of the total 
library endowment is today about $3.25 million, and this is partly 
because the university has wisely taken some income and put it into 
the principal. 

Teiser: At whose discretion, then, were the funds used for books? Who 
decided which books? 



Monihan: Well, the dean of the library is the one who finally decides. 
Actually, when Frank Drum wrote this up in 1960, I was head 
librarian, and I was named as the one to decide. Father William 
Monihan, librarian of USF, decides. I tried, not only during Drum's 
lifetime, to decide according to his intentions, or I would test my 
choices with Drum. "I did this, I did that, how does it sound?" 
"Yes, fine, fine, that's just what I wanted." But he did want a 
report, and he needed it for tax reasons on what the uses of the 
funds were. But the key to it is, it's to be used to acquire books 
over and above what the average accrediting agency would require of 
the university library. 

It is subject to a good deal of interpretation, I'd say. 

It is very difficult to interpret, but I would say that on a 
practical level, those who were head librarians and Paul Birkel, is 
now head librarian and the dean of the library*--! think have done 
very responsibly. I'm present as an overseer, not with any right, 
any authority, but I know what Paul Birkel is doing and I approve 
what he's doing. And I've done in some part the same thing. 

Teiser: These are beyond "required reading" books? 

Monihan: Yes. Well, another way of looking at it is retrospective 

collecting: books which we should have acquired in the 1920s or 
'30s or '40s or '50s, which we didn't acquire. This is one of the 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 



*About four years ago, the administration decided to raise 
Mr. Birkel's position to the dean's level. W.J.M. 



45 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 



Monihan: big uses for the Drum Foundation. Complete runs of periodicals, 

which we should have acquired years ago, we can acquire now with the 
Drum Foundation. Very expensive. And so on- -there's an endless 
number of things. We call it enrichment of the collection. 

Well, that came along about the right time, didn't it? 

Precisely, it did. It came at exactly the right time. There were 
many things that happened at the right time. The money for the 
Gleeson Library building, preceded by the money for acquisitions- -it 
was a very happy coincidence. 

Teiser: By the time the dedication of the Gleeson Library came around, I 
guess you had been able to buy some of the books, then, with the 
Drum funds? 

Monihan: Well before then. I mentioned the French National Catalogue. I 
bought a copy before the Gleeson Library building opened up. 

Teiser: Was that with Drum funds? 

Monihan: With Drum funds. And Edith Coulter would advise me on other things 
to acquire. As soon as I came in in '47, they said, "There is extra 
gift money for you to use; use it!" And also I was admonished by 
Drum for not using it. "Use that money!" 



Father Gleeson 



Teiser: I should ask you about the naming of the library. 

Monihan: Well, there seemed to be no question of the naming of the library, 
because the money, roughly $300,000 which was gathered before World 
War II, was gathered in honor of Father Gleeson. His friends wanted 
to do something for him, so at that famous banquet at the Palace 
Hotel, October 6, 1937, they pretty much determined that they wanted 
to follow his wishes and build a library. 

Teiser: Had he taught? 

Monihan: No, he was pretty much a person with a job similar to my job, public 
relations and fundraising. See, there was a tremendous debt on the 
building of the church. The church was completed in 1914, and that 
was- - 

Teiser: That's St. Ignatius? 

Monihan: Yes, only eight years after the earthquake and fire, and it became a 
tremendous debt . 



46 



Monihan: So he put on public events in the church on Palm Sunday, and tried 

to collect money to preserve the church in our hands, rather than it 
going into the hands of the bank. His whole life was that of 
administrator, and he would not be considered a bookish man or a 
librarian. As contrasted with Joseph M. Gleason who gave his 
library to Lone Mountain. 



Participants in the Dedication 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 

Teiser: 
Monihan: 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



The dedication, then, was a celebration? 

Yes, it was. It was not a gathering of a large number of people, 
simply because it was a day of heavy, torrential rains. 

December 3, 1950, I have. 

Yes. Torrential rains. But the regents were there, my parents were 
there, Archbishop Mitty was there, and we had a formal blessing of 
the building with the archbishop. Father Carroll 0' Sullivan was the 
rector, and he was involved in that. 

#* 

The rector in those days was not only the superior of the Jesuit 
community, but also the chairman of the board of the university 
trustees, so he had a special role to play. Father Dunne was 
president, but he was president of the university without having the 
supreme authority on the board of trustees, although he was a 
member. 

This was not, in retrospect, a good arrangement, because it 
seemed to invite conflict, and it did invite conflict. But I would 
say that Father 0' Sullivan and Father Dunne got along quite well. 



You brought up the name of Archbishop Mitty. 
was he? 



What sort of person 



Teiser: 



Well, he was a man of very few words. He had been in the military, 
as a chaplain, and seemed to have acquired characteristics of the 
military man. He would accomplish any services you wanted from him, 
but he was a man of not very many extra words. He was not 
enthusiastic, for instance, about the completion of the library 
building. He just had a task to do and he did it, and went home. 
So that was it. 

[tape interruption] 

At what point in the building's construction did you dedicate it? 



47 



Monihan: We had moved everything into the library between the summer and the 
fall of 1950. So when everything was in place, they chose December 
as the occasion for the dedication. 

Teiser: How large a staff did you have to begin with? 

Monihan: Well, I would say that I had a staff in 1950 of around twenty 

people, but it didn't last long. As I mentioned, the Korean War 
came, and I had to slash positions and funds and everything else. 
That was a great tragedy for the library. People that I felt were 
well -chosen for the jobs had to be let go. 

Teiser: You at that time occupied only two-- 

Monihan: Two floors, and the Sky Room. The Sky Room, which we called the Sky 
Room because the Pfluegers had done the Mark Hopkins, and they had 
the Top of the Mark, so this was the top of the bookmark. We used 
the lounge, but we didn't use the third floor. We used some 
exhibition space up there, but it immediately became evident that 
wherever you have a vacuum of space, someone's going to fill it. 

The dean of faculties, Father Raymond T. Feely, was the one who 
insisted that the law school be moved from what was then called the 
liberal arts building, or today Campion Hall, into the third floor 
of the library. The law school was just as cramped as the library 
on the third floor of Campion, so it was very badly needed, but it 
was over my dead body that they moved in. Nevertheless, I could see 
no way to get around it, and I just couldn't hold on to empty space. 
The fact of the matter is that it did preserve the library intact, 
so that in the future the whole building could be used, as it is 
today, and today it's inadequate space. 

Teiser: You need more? 

Monihan: We need more space very seriously. 

Teiser: What are you going to do? 

Monihan: Well, Father [John J.] LoSchiavo wants us to complete the lounge on 
the fourth floor of the building from a single room to a full floor. 
That is to say, stacks and tables and so on, going around the full 
dimensions of the floor, rather than being a small room in the 
center of the roof. And it was planned that way; it was understood 
that that would be done . 



Monihan: 



The Sir Thomas More Collection 



Nineteen fifty-one was the first notable acquisition. 



48 



Teiser: How did that come about? 

Monihan: Well, Maurice E. Harrison was a member of a distinguished law firm 

here, and he was also dean of Hastings Law School. He was a man who 
was deeply interested in Thomas More, and he met David Magee, an 
English bookseller who spent most of his life in San Francisco. 
David Magee assisted Mr. Harrison in building up a notable 
collection on Thomas More. 



It was hoped by the university that Mr. Harrison would donate 
this collection to us, but it didn't happen. But at the death of 
Mr. Harrison, sometime in 1951, David Magee became the obvious 
person to help Mrs. Harrison to choose disposition of the 
collection. Dave had the library on his shelves in his shop at 
442 Post Street. He called me, and he said, "I think that you 
should see this library. I don't know what you can do about it, but 
I think that you're the first one who should see this." 

I went to see it, and I want to record that if ever I doubted 
that I had a love for fine books, it was on seeing the More 
collection that I realized that I truly did have. It awakened 
something in me, deep inside of me, that thrilled me beyond words. 
The fineness of these books just excited me more than I can say. I 
spent some time looking them over, and I said to David, "How much 
time do I have to decide?" The price was $8,000. He said, "How 
much time do you want?" 

I said, "A week?" "Sure." So I went back to USF, and I could 
think of nothing else but the Thomas More library. The reason was 
not only the high quality of the books and manuscripts, books of 
association, but that the person of Thomas More would be, to my 
mind, the exemplar of an alumnus of USF. If there's any type of a 
person I would like to think could represent USF, it would be a 
person like Thomas More, who would be at home in any society- -in 
literary groups, in business groups, in political groups, in 
overseas negotiation, with a willingness to take on any 
responsibilities of government. A man of great personal piety, a 
man of great personal integrity. 

So with those emotions charging through me, I hardly slept. I 
went to my parents, and I said to my parents, "I need $8,000. I 
want to acquire a library on Thomas More. It means a lot to me. 
Can you lend me $8,000, and I will pay it back at $1,000 a year?" 

They said, "Well, let's see." So my parents consulted my 
brother and my sister, the rest of the family, and talked it over 
themselves. They said, "We will not lend it to you; we will give it 
to you." That made the acquisition possible, and David Magee made 
the transaction as easy as he possibly could. We have added on to 
it until it has become sort of the symbol of the Gleeson Library 
Rare Book area. We subsequently named the medal for book- collecting 



49 



Monihan: after Thomas More, and the first symposium I did was on Thomas More, 
in 1965. So it's been an integral part of the Gleeson Library 
picture. 

We're adding to it all the time; even recently we added to it 
in a very fortunate and good way. It was quite expensive. We made 
a $7,000 purchase. Imagine that, for a single book to add to the 
collection. This is unconventional, this is serendipity, to acquire 
this to add to the Thomas More library, very unexpected. This is 
going on now, this summer of 1988. It so happened that Sebastian 
Brandt in Germany in the latter part of the fifteenth century 
published a book called The Ship of Fools, and an Englishman named 
Alexander Barclay liked the book. During the first decade of the 
sixteenth century, in 1509, Pynson was the printer of the first 
English edition of Barclay's translation. Barclay could not make an 
exact translation, but he did something like More did in the Utopia. 
He made his translation a social commentary on England, very much as 
the Utopia was a social commentary. Barclay had the unusual fortune 
of leisure, which Thomas More did not have, so he became a better 
educated man than More. He got educated on the continent, and he 
did this translation of Brandt's Ship of Fools. 

The thing that thrilled me is that the fool imagery of the 
middle ages was a very important thing in More studies. When 
Erasmus was coming over the Alps, and coming into Basle, he wrote, 
while he was on his horse I guess, and said he was amazed that the 
wisest man he knew was called a fool in Greek. "Morus" means fool 
in Greek. So he wrote The Praise of Folly in honor of More. So 
this was part of the literary genre, to make comments on the morals 
of the time through the image of the fool. 

The other thing that thrilled me was that Barclay's lifetime 
and More's lifetime were almost the same. More also published a 
work at the time that the first edition of Barclay's Ship of Fools 
appeared. They published all throughout their lives, so that they 
both are literary figures, but the advantage of Barclay is that he 
had more time to write than More had. 



Teiser: 



The acquisition of the Barclay book added stature to our 
collection. Without Barney [Bernard] Rosenthal, we would not have 
known about it. Barclay's name now joins other notables in the 
original Harrison collection, such as White Kennett and John Donne, 

Was there a contribution to the purchase of the More library from 
Drum funds? 



Monihan: No. That is very surprising. Not one cent from Drum funds, and yet 
I would say this is what Drum wanted, when some library came up, to 
assist in buying the library. I have a letter which I wrote to Al 
Shumate in that year, 1951, which Al returned to me, which said "I'm 
reporting to Frank Drum every day on the progress being made on the 



50 



Monihan: acquiring of this library," and you can be very sure that I was 

hoping that Mr. Drum would say, "Well now, let me take half of it. 
A third of it," or "Let me buy all of it." Not one peep out of him. 
He gave me a pat on the back, he encouraged me, he congratulated me, 
he was thrilled--. "If you love me, show me." 

A major event, although I'm ambivalent towards the More 
library, because I regard the More collection as being of not very 
high intellectual content. But I do regard the Utopia as being of 
highest intellectual content. May I tell you about my Christmas 
card that year? 

Teiser: Yes. 

Monihan: Well, it pleased a number of my confreres in the order. I selected 
a portrait of Thomas More for the front cover of the Christmas card. 
I put on page three of the card, "Nature calls all men to help each 
other to a merrier life." That was a sentence from More's Utopia. 
It was a very happy one. I remember Freda Kennedy laughing and 
enjoying that a lot, because I was being ecumenical insofar as God 
was not mentioned, but God was certainly implied. [laughter] She 
was a great support to me, dear Freda. 

Teiser: She believed strongly in nature. 

Monihan: Yes. "Nature calls all men to help each other to a merrier life." 

Teiser: I remember the card, because I think I have it among examples of 
Lawton Kennedy's work. 



St. Peter Canisius Day 



Teiser: Is this a good time to discuss St. Peter Canisius Day? 

Monihan: It's a little vignette of the 1950s. Some time in the late 1940s or 
early 1950s, I decided to celebrate the feast of the Jesuit doctor 
of the church, St. Peter Canisius, who was the founder of the Jesuit 
colleges in Germany. And he also attracted my attention by being a 
frequent attender of the celebrated Frankfurt Book Fair. Where he 
got the money I don't know, but he would buy an immense number of 
books for Jesuit colleges at that fair. 

So I chose him as the Jesuit patron of libraries. I don't know 
whether he had the title or not, but it was my choice. On that 
occasion every year, I would say Mass for my library staff, and 
issue an original linoleum block cut for the staff. 



51 



Teiser: The linoleum blocks issued for your staff on St. Peter Canislus Day, 
each one was cut by-- 

Monihan: Each one was cut by Father Terence O'Connor, a classmate of mine. 
And the very first one was printed by Adrian Wilson as an act of 
friendship. He used Japanese paper, and it was a beautiful job. 
How I got to know Adrian Wilson I don't know, but I just knew Adrian 
was around, and he and I were about the same age. I guess I thought 
that he was the best one I knew who could do this --before I met 
Lawton Kennedy . 

Now, the subject matter of this first print was a picture of a 
church and library. The quotation from Canisius was "Better a 
college," meaning a Jesuit college- -"Better a college without a 
church than a college without a library." 1 loved that, and my 
rector, whether he was spoofing or not, pretended to be very angry. 
But I continued that series well into the 1960s, so I'd say for 
fully ten years. Each time O'Connor would choose a different one of 
the graphic arts --the printer, the engraver, the writer, the 
binder- -anything to do with the printing arts. 

Beatrice Warde , a lady friend of Stanley Morrison brought a 
complete set of my linoleum bark prints to Stanley Morrison. 
Anyhow, that's the end of that vignette now, but it was a lot of fun 
doing it. I felt that this was what a library should do, besides 
having a certain amount of celebration of an accomplished forebear, 
Peter Canisius, in the field of books and collecting. I was doing 
something by having this original print being distributed to the 
library staff. 



The Columbus CartOEraphv Collection 



Monihan: Now, I would like to move on to another subject, 1954. There are 

two notable acquisitions in the 1950s. That of 1954 is the gift of 
the library of George E. Nunn. It so happened that Father George 
Johnson, a former pupil of George Nunn at Balboa High School, came to 
see me in the library and said, "I wonder, would you be interested 
in acquiring for USF a library on the cartography of Columbus?" I 
said, "Well, of course!" So it led to my meeting with George Nunn, 
who was then at the end of his life. He was a learned man on 
cartographical problems with regard to the earliest explorations. 
He formed a notable library on a teacher's salary in our public 
schools in those days. He was a man of great refinement. 

He donated his library, and when we took the books from his 
home, he cried. He said, "I'm not asking you to stop; you have 
taken my friends from me." Truly a scholar, truly a collector, and 
a man of very modest means. But it is a notable library, and we 



52 



Monihan: have added to that library very diligently over the years, so it's a 
strong library. On early exploration and travel in the time of 
Columbus, it's quite well covered. Notable works, including one 
" incunabulum , " Pius II 's edition of travels in Asia Minor. 

I have been in contact with Father Johnson in subsequent years. 
When I find a notable acquisition for the Nunn collection he will 
contribute the money to acquire it. 

On Columbus day in 1954, we had a reception in the Skyroom to 
announce the gift of the Nunn Library. The brochure was printed by 
Henry Evans. Very nicely done. The announcement was printed by 
Haywood Hunt. 

Teiser: He was a printer of good taste. 

Monihan: I said, "Haywood, this is a library of 14th and 15th century things. 
We want to have something with the flavor of that." And he did 
well. So anyhow, one of my Jesuit library friends congratulated me 
on the occasion of this acquisition. He said, "The only objection I 
have is you served tea on Columbus Day!" [laughter] 



Building a University Library 
[Interview 5: 24 May 1988 ]#// 



Teiser: I asked you by phone if you would give your thoughts on what a 

college library should be. Have you now made some notes on that? 

Monihan: Yes. Well, to say what a college library should be, Ruth, I 

understand that you have in mind how one should go about building up 
the book collection. My mentor, whom I never met, is Chauncy Tinker 
of Yale University. I wish I had met him, but I've known him 
through his proteges, such as Wilmarth Lewis especially. It was 
Tinker who told his fledgling private collectors that the future of 
a research library depends on collections formed by individuals. 
Nothing can match the enthusiasm and thoroughness with which 
Wilmarth Lewis devoted himself to the building up of the Horace 
Walpole Library at his home. 

The acquiring of collections formed by private collectors is a 
great leap ahead for the college library. In other words, that the 
work in one subject area is nearly complete, and all that the 
library has to do is to add on things that appear from time to time. 

In connection with that, I wanted to tell you that I was 
fortunate to be at the Folger Library in 1960 when Clifton Waller 
Barrett gave a talk to a group of librarians at a convention. 



53 



Teiser: I don't know his name. 

Monihan: Clifton Waller Barrett, of Charlottesville, Virginia. He formed the 
now famous American literature library, called the Barrett Library 
at the University of Virginia. It's a celebrated private collection 
which he gave to his university, or as he would say, to 
Mr. Jefferson's university. 

In the talk he gave to rare book librarians in the Folger 
Library in 1960, he said, "If you librarians wish to build up your 
libraries, come out and meet us, the private collectors. You need 
us and we need you." I guess I was well-prepared to hear those 
words, because he said to me many many times subsequently that no 
one has followed his advice more than I have. I made it my business 
over these many years to meet the private collector and become 
friends with him. Many of them I have visited year upon year upon 
year. They all didn't do the same thing for me; some donated a few 
things, but others- -simply the example of their pursuit of the most 
important books in their subject was itself an education to me. 



"A Collection of Private Collections" 



Monihan: In addition to that, I wanted to say that I was at the Royal Library 
in Stockholm in 1967, when I was with the Grolier Club on their 
European visit of that year to Scandinavia and the Low Countries. 
In the Royal Library, I witnessed the awarding of a medal for a 
private book collector. Mrs. Stern, Marjorie Stern, was present 
there, and she encouraged me to listen carefully and take notes. So 
the result was that when I came back to San Francisco, the Gleeson 
Library Associates under the guidance of Charles Fracchia began the 
awarding of an annual medal, the Sir Thomas More medal, to private 
book collectors. 

The first one to receive it was Norman Strouse in 1968. The 
medal has been granted every year since then. 

Now, that is by way of a preface to say that I am a believer 
that the growth of the Gleeson Library depended and depends upon the 
acquisition, by gift or purchase, of private collections. I can say 
that we have obtained by gift or purchase around twenty- five or 
thirty such collections. And perhaps the one person who helped us 
the most in this regard was Norman Strouse. 

He was the first recipient, as I just mentioned, of the Sir 
Thomas More medal for private book collecting. He was then chairman 
of the board of J. Walter Thompson Company in New York City, and he 
said that when he came to California, he would help me and help the 
Gleeson Library. 



54 



Teiser: How did you first know him? 

Monihan: Charles Fracchia wrote a letter of introduction for me, so when I 
went to New York in 1966, I met him. I met him at his corporate 
headquarters of the Thompson Company. 

One brief note about the Royal Library of Sweden: in awarding 
the medal in 1967, the Royal Library used a slogan which we adopted, 
"Private book collecting: A public benefit." So that in selecting 
recipients of the Sir Thomas More medal, we kept in mind not only 
private collectors' activities but private collectors who were 
disposed in one way or another towards benefiting the general 
public. Because there are many private collectors who collect and 
then simply put their library on the market, or their heirs put the 
library on the market, and everything is dispersed. But those who 
want to have their library continue in some way either sell it or 
give it- -or make it available in one way or another- -to 
institutional libraries. 

So, to answer your question about how does one form an ideal 
college library, I would say first of all by the acquisition of 
private collections. Steve [D. Steven] Corey has called our rare 
book room and other parts of our library "a collection of private 
collections . " 



The Importance of Bibliography 



Monihan: Now, the day-to-day and ordinary approach to the development of a 

college library is through the use and practice of bibliography. I 
was at Oberlin College near Cleveland in 1961, and I met the retired 
librarian of Oberlin. I asked for advice as to what he would say to 
a younger librarian. He said, "My advice is: bibliography, 
bibliography, bibliography." I know from my experience that that is 
essential, that a constant use of bibliography is a necessary 
ingredient to the development of a fine library. 

It is obvious to anyone that a single individual, whether he be 
a librarian or a teacher in the university, has limited knowledge. 
That is a given, an understood fact. So one goes to bibliography to 
find out which books are important on this author or that author, or 
this subject or that subject. The first thing I had in mind for the 
Gleeson Library, following my predecessor Father Schechtel, was to 
build a base of bibliography. This included biographical 
dictionaries, an encyclopedia, subject bibliographies, author 
bibliographies, catalogues of other libraries, and so on and so on. 

Monihan: Whatever is included in the general category of bibliography is 

something that I made a big effort to obtain. And I think we have 



55 



Monihan: been moderately successful in building a bibliographic base for the 
Gleeson Library. 



The Importance of Antiquarian Booksellers 



Monihan: Once you have bibliography, you have the tools to work with. The 
next thing- -or simultaneously- -one must be closely associated with 
the antiquarian booksellers. Now, 1 was thinking certainly of the 
catalogues one receives in the mail, but I mean primarily visiting 
the antiquarian booksellers and seeing their stock. I do not mean 
used booksellers; that's too diffuse. But a highly selective stock, 
such as the good antiquarians have, is the market where the 
librarian should search to build a library. 

I have pursued booksellers and bookstores not only locally but 
everywhere I've traveled. I travel a lot. I think that the Gleeson 
Library has profited. So the librarian goes as often as possible to 
the antiquarian bookseller, and selects a wide variety of books on 
every subject. He comes back to the library and uses the 
bibliography to verify whether these books are important or not 
important . 

This means that ninety- five percent of the books which I see on 
the booksellers' market, I don't know anything about, I've never 
seen before. But I bring my list back to the library, and I can 
find out whether these books are important. Some may prove to be 
exceedingly important, and others completely unimportant. So, it's 
a sifting through the market, time and time again, to find out what 
will add to a library. 

Well, as a result of this activity- -and I'm not saying my 
activity alone, but of many other people in the Gleeson Libraryby 
doing this, we have strengthened the whole base of the college 
library in every subject, and in subjects which I don't anticipate. 



Let me give you one example. I was in a bookstore in Santa 
Clara Valley, and I found a book published on the paper canoe. This 
was published in 1876, one hundred years after the founding of the 
country. This adventurous person decided to travel by canoe from 
the extreme Northeast to the extreme Southeast, through inland 
canals, the whole length of the East Coast. He not only records 
what he did, but the people he met and what they said to him, 
whether they were hospitable or not hospitable. So here is a nice 
little vignette of how people acted towards a visitor one hundred 
years after the country was founded. 



56 



Monihan: These are miscellaneous things. These are serendipitous things one 
finds, and that's what gives life to our library. Not by selecting 
what you already know, but selecting what you don't know and never 
expected to find. But you found it and here it is. So that is 
perhaps the best way I can respond to you as to how one goes about 
building a library, and hopefully other people in our Gleeson 
Library will do the same. Well, 1 know it's being done, because 
often I will look up an author in the card catalogue that 1 had 
nothing to do with at all, and 1 find a nearly complete coverage of 
all his publications. So there is an openness in the library 
administration to the development of a college library in depth, not 
a hit-or-miss author, hit-or-miss title, but trying to get as 
thorough a coverage as possible. 

Teiser: Warren Howell explained in his interview* the bookseller's point of 
view in helping people make a collection which then would often go 
to an institution. He indicated more or less that if collectors 
didn't leave their collections to be sold at auction or otherwise, 
the booksellers would then be out of business, in effect, so that 
there was this three-legged stool. 

Monihan: Yes. The majority of private collections go back into the trade, 

the great majority of them. Just looking at Christie's or Sotheby's 
auction records, you can see how much goes back into the trade. 
Often, a member of the family after the collector is deceased, will 
immediately want to realize the monetary value behind that 
collection. 

Teiser: Once you have a collection, you don't want another collection in 
that same field- -you may want to fill in--? 

Monihan: Well, yes and no, because, for instance, if you have an author 
collection and there is a dedication by the author to some 
individual, you're not likely to repeat that. It's a unique copy. 
So you'll have another unique copy alongside of it. You may have 
six copies of a particular book, but they would all have different 
connections with different people. In a certain sense, when you get 
into rare collections, there really are no duplicates. Each one has 
identifying characteristics which are different from others. 

Teiser: This brings up the point of view that books are meant to be used, 

not to be collected, and that whether there's an inscription in one 
or not doesn't make any difference- -the books are written to be 
printed, and that's the end result. 



*Warren R. Howell, Two San Francisco Bookmen, an oral history 
interview conducted 1966, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft 
Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1971. 



57 



Monihan: Well, except that if a person begins to make a study of Robert 

Graves or A. E. Houseman, to take two separate authors, one draws a 
lot of knowledge from inscriptions in books, in dedications. We 
received a Jack London collection, and it was only maybe not more 
than twenty-five books, but the appraised value was $34,000. One of 
the reasons was that there were long inscriptions to a lady friend 
of Jack London, and not simply descriptions of his devotion to her, 
but the content of the book, the story, how much she would like the 
story because of these points he was bringing out in the 
introduction. 

In our Jeffers collection, Steve Corey was able to get a small 
collection by the bibliographer of Jeffers, and there are long 
inscriptions by Robinson Jeffers to his bibliographer. Now, that is 
of tremendous value . 



D. Steven Corey 



Teiser: You've mentioned Steve Corey, D. Steven Corey. He came to the 
library through your association with Norman Strouse, did he? 

Monihan: Yes, that's correct. 

Teiser: Would you tell a little bit about that? 

Monihan: Well, Steve Corey went to University of California at Santa Cruz, 

when Norman Strouse was the regents' professor of bibliography at UC 
Santa Cruz. Steve Corey was his student, and he became very 
enthusiastic about what Norman was giving him in these lectures. As 
a result, a friendship grew up between Charlotte and Norman Strouse 
and the young Steve Corey. 

At that time, the Strouses were living at St. Helena, and had 
already founded the Silverado Museum. So Steve Corey was given a 
variety of jobs in connection with Norman's book activities. Norman 
Strouse suggested to us that the young Steve Corey might be a good 
candidate for our rare book library job. So he was selected to 
succeed Florian Shasky, who was the first rare book librarian we 
ever had. 

Steve Corey has a great deal of enthusiasm and knowledge, and 
he is an expert public relations person for the Gleeson Library. He 
has been instrumental in acquiring a number of private collections, 
and a number of books which we needed. He has been giving lectures 
on the history of the book to our students. He acquired books to 
illustrate the history of printing and paper-making. He found 



58 



Monihan: examples of manuscripts such as Asian manuscripts to show the 
students the history of writing, and the history of the book. 

He is very actively connected with the book trade, and has made 
some excellent acquisitions for us. 



Special Collections^/ 



Teiser: In a college like the University of San Francisco, where there are 
not a great many graduate students, how important are special 
collections compared to books on general subjects that 
undergraduates use routinely? 

Monihan: This is a basic question that many people will ask. First of all, 

besides the uses by graduate students, there is the cultural benefit 
of allowing or inviting our students to see and experience what it 
means to be close to the sources, so that if we have an author such 
as Oscar Wilde (and we have a number of important books associated 
with Oscar Wilde), this can have a profound impact upon one of our 
students. I'm giving this example because this did take place. One 
of our students was interested in Oscar Wilde, and was surprised to 
find in the card catalogue that we did have some very excellent 
Wilde material, and as a result he has become a truly successful 
collector of Wilde. 

[interruption: telephone] 

Monihan: There is that influence on individuals who see our fine collections. 
Steve Corey has been very successful in helping students who show 
interest in our special collections. 

Ninety percent of our rare book room is already catalogued in 
the card catalogue. Anyone interested in any subject has immediate 
access to the whole library, including the rare book room. 

But that doesn't tell the real story. My motivation in 
building up strong private collections which are incorporated into 
our library is that in the future of the University of San 
Francisco, teachers and students will have a rich resource to draw 
on. Chauncey Tinker said that collections in the institutional 
library will lead to publications. 

Teiser: Meaning publication on the part of the users? 

Monihan: The users, yes. Now, we have had over the past ten years at least 
five to ten publications come out saying that the Gleeson Library 
was a major resource for their work. When Adrian and Joyce Wilson 



59 



Monihan: wrote the book, Medieval Mirrors, published by University of 

California Press, one of their sources was a facsimile of a 

manuscript they were working on. We were the only one on the coast 
of western America who had even a facsimile of it. 

If I were asked what the Utopia would be of the Gleeson 
Library, it would be this: when you arrive at the point where an 
individual teacher would be motivated to apply for a position in the 
university because of the strength of the Gleeson Library. That to 
me would be nirvana, where the library itself would be so strong 
they would say, "I'm coming here because you have a strong library," 
in this field or that field. Do I answer what you asked me? 

Teiser: Yes. 

[tape interruption] 



Developine Gift Funds 



Teiser: On the matter of financing book purchases, you said in the late 
forties- - 

Monihan: In the late forties or early fifties, I realized that we would never 
have a strong library without gift funds, or to put it another way, 
we would never have a strong library if we relied only on ordinary 
income from the university. So I made it my business to develop 
gift funds. Certainly I made an effort to preserve and develop the 
Drum income, which we nearly lost in the early 1950s. 

At the end of my tenure as librarian, in 1964, the 
administrators realized that I was very successful in building up 
gift funds for book purchases. So they said, well, if Father 
Monihan is that successful, why not put him into it full time? 

Teiser: If they had not, what would you have done? 

Monihan: If they had not put me into this job, I would have continued on as 
head librarian in building up gift funds. Because I believe that 
when opportunities come up to purchase important books, they may be 
any amount of money, but if you're stifled and you have no 
flexibility whatsoever, opportunities will pass you by again and 
again and again. 

I have made lots of contacts with people who are friends who 
are associated with me in friendship, and believe in the cause of 
the library. I would explain to them in a conversation that I had 



60 



Monihan: an opportunity to buy some books on the history of art, and more 

often than not, they would say, "Go ahead and buy them, and I'll pay 
for them." So that's how these things happen again and again, 
because I would tell people of opportunities I had. So either from 
long term funds or from short term gifts, I was able to do it. 

What I wanted to say about the use of gift funds --and now I'm 
going to take the example of the Drum money, because the Drum money 
was larger income than any other gift fund. As I mentioned, it 
started out at about $200,000 in 1946, and today it's about $2.5 
million of capital sum, from which we get income. But I want to 
emphasize that the use of the Drum money in the majority of cases 
was not exclusively for rare books, unless you would call a rare 
book a ten dollar book that we didn't have. It was for ordinary 
books that we didn't have and we needed and we couldn't afford any 
other way except through the help of Mr. Drum's gift. 

Ninety-nine percent of what you see in the rare book room is 
the result of gifts, very often gifts as collections or individual 
books. The purchases which we have made certainly have been for 
rare books on occasion, but the majority of the time the gift funds 
have supplied us with books for strengthening the general library 
collection. The stack books have always been an object of my 
special interest. I wanted to have our library show in the general 
stacks a wealth of material in every subject. 

Teiser: You have open stacks, you mentioned. 

Monihan: Open stacks, because that is essential for browsing. One cannot 
awaken one's appetite for learning unless one has access to the 
entire open stacks. 



Booksellers 



David Magee 



Teiser: I should ask somewhere for your recollections of particular 

individuals among book collectors and booksellers, outstanding 
people. Do you want to discuss those now, or--? 

Monihan: I would like to. David Magee* is the first one I'd like to mention, 
primarily because he gave me the opportunity to acquire the Sir 



*See also David Magee, Bookselling and Creating Books, an oral 
history interview conducted 1969, Regional Oral History Office, The 
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1969. 



61 



Monihan: Thomas More collection. He gave me the opportunity to purchase- -by 
my parents' gift- -the Maurice Harrison library on Thomas More. He 
gave me the opportunity to purchase a very important Jesuit 
manuscript of 1601. We called him the lowest man we know, because 
whatever he would purchase in Europe or in England would come back 
to America and he would simply add on his profit, 

which was a very modest profit. He would pass on to us the benefits 
that he received; if he got something at a low price, he would give 
it to us at a low price. So the manuscript I mentioned, the Jesuit 
manuscript of 1601 that we purchased from him, was a very inexpensive 
purchase . 

I would say, during the 1960s especially, T benefited from his 
friendship. He sent me to William Fletcher of London to be my guide 
when I made my book-buying trip in January to July of 1964 in 
Europe . 

Teiser: Was that the first that you had--? 

Monihan: The first trip I made to Europe was in January of 1964. I had 

collected $34,000 in the fall of 1963 to make purchases in Europe. 

Teiser: How did you collect that? 

Monihan: Well, the Drum Foundation gave me $25,000; and then other friends 

gave me the remaining. That was an extremely important trip to me, 
because I was not after any rare book collections, although I did 
obtain some; I was after average ordinary books which would add to 
the library. But I never made any purchases on my own. I would 
make lists of books, or ask booksellers to make lists of books, and 
send them back here to San Francisco, and the library staff would go 
through them and make the final decision. So it was a cooperative 
purchase action every time. 

David Magee, as it were, put me into the hands of Bill 
Fletcher, and he advised me which booksellers to see in England and 
on the continent. I followed his advice, and I know that it was to 
the great profit of my own education and the benefit of the library. 
We acquired around 10,000 books from that trip, including one 
private library, the R. T. Clark collection from Oxford, from the 
Blackwell's bookstore in Oxford. 

Teiser: And the subject of that collection? 
Monihan: Would be the history of war. 
Teiser: In general? 



62 



Monihan: Yes, the problems of war from the very beginning- -it would probably 
better be described as war and diplomacy. Major sources of 
diplomatic history were in there, sources which we did not have in 
the Gleeson Library. Mr. Clark, who formed the library, was a 
journalist for BBC, and he formed a library on the beginnings of 
communism in Europe in the 1920s. Especially he formed a collection 
of pamphlets regarding the period of 1920, '21, '22. This was the 
first period of the communist revolution, and it was a revisionist 
period in the Communist Party in Germany. 

It was this very collection of pamphlets that inspired 
Professor Malcolm Macdonald to plan a testamentary gift to the 
Gleeson Library of considerable size, for the history of political 
thought and political theory. Often purchases which I have made 
have been a source of gifts in the future, and this is an example of 
one. A purchase often appealed to a donor to help us along. 



[Interview 6: 27 May 1988] 



Teiser: You did tell about the Sir Thomas More collection, and how that was 
a pivotal experience. 

Monihan: I would say that I knew David Magee during the end of the 1940s and 
the 1950s. I saw him less frequently in the sixties. He had an 
uncanny ability in buying in England very important material. I 
acquired some extremely nice things from David over the years. He 
was very knowledgeable, and when I spent my six months book-buying 
trip in Europe, especially in England in 1964, there were many 
people who spoke with the greatest affection about David Magee. He 
was well- loved in the book trade especially, and among collectors. 

Teiser: Could you characterize him as you saw him? 

Monihan: Very affable. Great capacity for friendship. Very knowledgeable in 
the world of books. An unusual skill in ferreting out source 
material in England. 

Teiser: The relationship between a bookseller and the buyer has to be rather 
special, doesn't it? He had to know what sort of things you were 
interested in potentially? 

Monihan: Yes, but more basic than that would be that the book-buyer must 

really frequent the shop of the bookseller. Often people expect that 
because you know a bookseller, he's going to let you know if he has 
acquired something for you. That rarely happens. It should happen, 
but it rarely does. But if the book-buyer, and I'm referring to 
myself now, would really go through the entire stock of the 
bookseller such as David Magee' s, you would ferret out things that 
you never expected to see. 



63 



Teiser: Most booksellers who've been in business any length of time have 

very high shelves, so that the top ones are inaccessible to normal 
people, unless they don't mind being on high ladders. Have you 
spent a lot of time climbing around high shelves? 

Monihan: Yes, I have. I've been on ladders a lot. I feel that to do justice 
to a bookseller's stock, I must spend the time there. Very often I 
can spend as much as three hours I've spent three hours in, say, a 
Chicago booksellers', Hamill and Barker's. I've arrived there at 
ten o'clock and left at, say, two o'clock. Apart from the lunch 
hour, I was working, going through the stock. 

Teiser: Hard work. 

Monihan: It is hard work, it's exhausting work, but this is such a valuable 
thing, because you're bound to see pamphlets, books, maps, 
illustrated books, almost anything at all. I usually select these 
things and put them in a pile, and the bookstore is willing to quote 
them to us . 

I wanted to make this point, that when a bookseller puts out a 
catalogue, he's only putting out a selection of his stock, and 
the selection he wants to show to people. Going through the entire 
stock, I see things that he doesn't think are important, but they 
may be very important to me, as a book-buyer. And no bookseller can 
keep up with raising his prices as he should, so I'm bound to find 
things he didn't have time to raise the price on. 

Teiser: You're living in an inflationary period. 

Monihan: Yes, but every period is an inflationary period. I remember in 
Cleveland, in a bookseller's shop opposite the public library, I 
found one volume of the Railroad Surveys of the last century. The 
monograph was marked at $10. I brought it up to the bookseller's 
desk, and he said, "I should have raised that price, but you found 
it. You can have it at that price." So there's a sportsman- like 
spirit among booksellers. Not all, but many of them. 

Teiser: Do they ever say, "Oh, that was an old price, it really costs $17 
now" ? 



Monihan: No, Ruth, except there is one exception that you and I know. 

[laughter] But J. have not had that experience with him. I've heard 
of people doing that, but it's never been done to me. I've never 
had a price raised saying "It's too bad, it's an old price." 

Teiser: To get back to your relationship to David Magee, you must also have 
given something of yourself to David so that he could understand 
when he went buying in England what you might be interested in. 

Monihan: I would say that was true, that he did know me. You remember I 
mentioned a Jesuit manuscript from 1601 that he purchased in 
England, thinking that I would be interested in it. 



64 



Monihan: However, I would say I put more emphasis on my knowing his 

interests. In the latter years of my acquaintance with David Magee, 
his stock was less and less interesting to me . I can't explain why, 
but there weren't things there for me to buy, whereas in the earlier 
years, I did find a lot of literature to buy. 



English Book Dealers 



Teiser: At one time, the United States was buying a lot of books from 

Britain. Then I believe at another time, Britain was buying a lot 
of books from the United States. When was that? 

Monihan: I don't know, but the English booksellers whom I knew, such as Bill 
Fletcher from London, would attend book fairs in America. I'm 
speaking from the 1960s on, and maybe before, but certainly from the 
1960s. Bill Fletcher was so successful in buying books that what he 
bought and sold during the trip paid not only for his expenses but 
for a profit. 

Teiser: I remember that fellow Booth, I can't think of his first name, who 

set up shop in Hay-on-Wye in Wales, had his agents buying books here 
by the container. 

Monihan: Yes. Well, he was eccentric in that regard. 
Teiser: He put together quite a book shop. 

Monihan: Not only a book shop; book shops . Apparently in Hay-on-Wye, whole 
streets full of them. 

Teiser: Wonderful place. First time I went there, there were only two or 
three, second time the place was full of them. Did you ever trade 
books with booksellers? 

Monihan: Never. Of the book collectors whom I've known, Norman Strouse was 
very successful in that regard, being a businessman himself. He 
could negotiate whole sections of his library to go back into trade, 
and quite profitably too. But no, I'm not skilled in that regard, 
nor did I have the appetite for it. 



Teiser: 



Warren Howe 11 



I led you off the main path, which was booksellers you have known. 



65 



Monihan: Warren Howell was the great one in San Francisco. I knew Warren 

from my first years at USF in the late 1940s, up until his death [in 
1984] . He was a difficult man to get to know, but once I got to know 
him, I was extremely fond of him. I became a better and better 
customer of his as time went on, and I would measure my friendship 
with Warren with my buying from him. As my friendship got closer, 
my confidence in him got deeper. 

In the early 1970s I purchased from Warren quite a large block 
of material that belonged to Templeton Crocker, who was one of the 
great collectors of San Francisco. These books were probably in 
storage, and they were consigned to Warren to sell. 

Teiser: I didn't realize you got part of that collection. 

Monihan: These were good ordinary books that I purchased; the high spots had 
been picked off by major institutions and major collectors. 

Teiser: Some went to the California Historical Society. 

Monihan: Did they? We got a nice block of them from Warren. He traveled 
extensively, and one friend that we shared was John Galvin of 
Dublin. John Galvin was an eccentric book collector, an Australian 
by birth, who accumulated quite a bit of wealth in Indo-China. He 
came to live in California for a while, but then went to Ireland. 
Warren and I and Antoinette, Warren's wife, had memorable visits 
with Galvin, in 1967 and 1970. 

Warren and I made the Grolier Club trip to Scandinavia and the 
Low Countries in 1967, and the 1970 trip the Grolier Club took us to 
Germany and Switzerland. Those experiences with Warren and 
Antoinette deepened my relationship with them. So we would have 
friends in common in the Grolier Club and the International 
Bibliophiles. Some of them were awarded the Sir Thomas More medal 
for book collecting- -for example, C. Waller Barrett from 
Charlesville , Virginia, and Lessing Rosenwald. Anyhow, I want to 
stress that Warren knew the most prominent collectors and 
booksellers, and continued those relationships with the greatest 
enthusiasm and the greatest energy. 

He was a very amusing man, and a great friend. I feel very 
fortunate to have known Warren. 



Teiser: As I recall, you said that David Magee charged low prices. Warren 
was likely to- -I don't know if it obtained with you or not, but it 
did with others --to charge quite high prices. But on the other 
hand, he could be generous about giving things. Did that work with 
you? 



66 



Monihan: Oh, yes. I guess I got used to his book prices over the years; I 
just presumed they would be high, and if I wanted a book I would 
find the money for it. But Warren was a real donor. I want to tell 
one incident (it's a humorous incident) about his giving to the 
Gleeson Library. 

It was shortly after Warren was named a fellow of the Library 
Associates. He called the acquisitions department in our library 
and said, "I want to give a book to the library." The answer was, 
"We don't want books, we need money." [laughter] So he called me 
immediately, and he said, "Bill, I just talked to the acquisitions 
department. I said I want to give something to the library, and 
they said we don't want gifts, we want money." 'I said, "Warren, are 
you going to be in your shop for a while?" He said, "Yes." I said, 
"I'm coming right down." 

So I went down, and he took it all in good spirit, he wasn't 
angry. He opened the safe, and threw on the table one of Dickens' 
works in the original parts. He said, "How does this look to you?" 
Then he threw a manuscript in the hand of the brother of Savonarola 
It was the Fasti of Ovid, a 15th century manuscript. 

I said to Warren, "I'm captured. I want the manuscript." It 
was a Sir Thomas Phillips manuscript. He said, "Very well, take it, 
it's yours. Just acknowledge the receipt of it, because I'll take 
care of the appraisal part of it." This was a major manuscript for 
the Gleeson Library. 

There were other gifts, too. If there was a block of material 
that Warren had that wasn't moving, he would say, "Bill, why don't 
you come down here and take a look at this. Can you use this?" 
"Yes, we can." Or I would consult the library. "Yes, we can." So 
Warren was quite generous to us, and very supportive of our library. 
I know he was a Stanford man, but he was very generous to us, and to 
me personally, and very sensitive to me as a person. I feel it was 
a real relationship we had. 

He said to me a complimentary thing one time. He said- -this 
was in fairly recent years- - "Bill , knowing you all these years, I've 
come to have a better respect for your church." [laughter] 

Something about Warren, you know- -he was very explosive, very 
explicit as to what he thought. But also his expression of 
friendship was very real, very deep. 

Teiser: It was hard-won, as I recall. 
Monihan: Yes. [laughs] Don't we know! 



67 



Teiser: A remarkable man, though. I should mention again here that we also 
did an interview with him.* Unfortunately, he was very busy at the 
time. It wasn't as expansive as it might have been. I've always 
regretted that, and he regretted it. 



Jake Zeitlin 



Teiser: What other booksellers you have known have been notable? 



Monihan: I must move very quickly to Jake Zeitlin of Los Angeles, partly 

because I associate him with Warren Howell, because they were joined 
together on so many ventures of mutual interest. Jake was a very 
dear friend of mine. I probably saw him more in the last ten years 
than I did before, but I did know Jake over many years. I made 
regular visits to Los Angeles especially to see Jake. 

He was a very knowledgeable book man, and very encouraging to 
me . He introduced me to important people . I would go down there , 
it would always be lunch and he would say, "I want you to meet this 
person, I want you to meet that person." His book stock was very 
imaginative and very rich. At the end of his life, when his poor 
health prevented him from taking an active role in the business, you 
could see that stock go down very noticeably, but when he was active 
he had an excellent stock. His prices were high; they were like 
Warren's prices. But the Gleeson Library is a richer library 
because of Jake. 

Teiser: Can you characterize him? What sort of a man was he? 

Monihan: Well, a gentle man, extremely gentle. Quite widely known in the 
book trade and among book collectors. He traveled a lot. For 
instance, he was on that trip to Germany and Switzerland with the 
Grolier Club, and he may have also been on the 1967 trip; quite 
likely. When you would be on a trip with people for a week or more, 
you would get to know them quite well. The Grolier Club trips 
numbered about sixty people. We really got to know each other 
pretty well. 



*See footnote p. 56, 



68 



Monihan: I wish I could give more features to characterize Jake, but he had a 
tremendous capacity for friendship, and I benefited from his 
friendship immensely. The awarding of the More medal to the 
Japanese collector, Mitsuo Kodama, would not have happened without 
Jake's introduction. In fact, I was in Japan as a guest of Dr. 
Kodama in October of 1987. I wrote to Josephine (Mrs. Zeitlin) and 
said, "I would not be here except for you and Jake."* 

Teiser: You mentioned parallels between Zeitlin and Warren Howell. That 

brings to mind the question of auctions, did you ask Warren to buy 
at auctions for you ever? 

Monihan: Yes, I did. When I say "I", I should say Gleeson Library asked him. 
One notable purchase was the Flower Book by Koch, a very important 
book that I wanted, in two volumes, illustrations by Rudolph Koch. 
I asked Warren to get that for me at an auction. Of all the 
booksellers here at San Francisco, he would probably be the one that 
we asked most often to represent us at auctions. And sometimes they 
would not be very expensive books. 

Teiser: Did Zeitlin, too--? 

Monihan: No, I don't think we asked Zeitlin to do that. I would say that 

Jake had my interests in mind more than any other bookseller. There 
was available in Japan a copy of the rules of the Society of Jesus, 
the first edition, I believe. I asked him to go ahead and get it 
for us. This is an example of Jesuit books about which he advised 
me. And it would not only be on the Jesuits; it could be on any 
subject. 



Importance of Friendships with Booksellers 



Teiser: When you visited booksellers routinely, did you, besides looking at 
their shelves, sit down and talk with them and have lunch with them 
and so forth? 

Monihan: Yes, I would. This would be true especially if I were a visitor to 
a city such as Los Angeles. Jake would take me out to lunch, or 
Hans Kraus in New York would take me to the dining room on the top 
floor of his building, the lovely dining room up there. We'd be 
served lunch, and it would be very elegantly done. 



*See also Jacob Zeitlin, Books and the Imagination, an oral history 
interview conducted 1977-1978, The Oral History Program, University 
of California, Los Angeles [n.d.]. 



69 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



Yes, I would talk to them. Now, my great friend in Chicago, Frances 
Hamill, I'd always have lunch with Frances. Again, that was a 
gradual development of friendship. She was also a friend of 
Wilmarth Lewis' wife. She went to Miss Porter's school in 
Farmington. Frances Hamill and Marjorie Barker were both dear 
friends of mine, and they were very generous to me. Both of them 
are deceased now, but both of them were generous. I am to receive a 
capital sum quite soon, which Marjorie and Frances wanted me to 
have. I was one of their four favorite librarians in the country. 
Each of us was given a fourth of this capital sum. We were given 
for a while the income, and now we are to be given the capital sum. 
That's a nice gift, and it's for restoration and to purchase early 
printed books, especially incunabula. 

So I have profited very, very much from going to booksellers, 
because there are multiple reasons for going to a bookseller. 
First, of course, is to find good material, but also to meet other 
people, and to find things for your book collector friends. I would 
say to booksellers, "Please reserve this for Mr. So-and-so. I'm 
going to call him or write him a note; if you give me a quotation 
I'll write a note and you can send it to him." 

It also leads to gifts by various circuitous routes. We have 
an Oscar Wilde collection here of some modest standing because of a 
man I met in Warren Howell's shop. This man said, "Would you like 
to come to my house some time?" I said, "I would love to, yes." 
This man would conduct very formal soirees with book- interested 
people. He would talk about a book and invite conversation. Well, 
I went to his home many times, and as a result, he gave me in his 
will his Oscar Wilde collection. That came from going to a 
bookseller. 

So I've often thought, you go to the right restaurants or right 
saloons, you're bound to meet the right people. Well, I go to the 
right bookstores. I meet the right people! [laughter] So I can't 
help but win from going to good bookstores. It's useless to go to 
so-called used book stores. 

You were speaking, I think off the tape, of the advantage of being 
able to travel and stay at Jesuit houses. And another advantage 
must be that you look entirely reliaable. 



[laughs; 
me. 



Well, they knew me to be an enthusiast, and they welcomed 



Teiser: But I imagine it's easier for you to make friends with people 
casually that way, than it would be for most people. 

Monihan: Oh, yes. When I arrived at a bookseller's shop, I didn't invite 

conversation right away. After I finished, yes. After I finished 
going through the stock, yes. But I preferred that a bookseller 



70 



Monihan: would let me alone to be by myself and go through the stock, rather 
than saying, "Would you be interested in this, in that--?" 



William R. Fletcher 



Teiser: How about booksellers in Britain? Were there any there that you 
knew, made special friends with? 

Monihan: Well, Bill Fletcher, William R. Fletcher, was my principal friend in 
London. When I was going to Europe for the first time in January of 
1964, David Magee said, "Bill, do you want any advice?" I said, "I 
want advice very much." He said, "You go to a bookseller, Bill 
Fletcher, and you trust him. He is honest; you can trust him 
absolutely. " 



Monihan: When I arrived there at his shop in Cecil Court, Leicester Square, I 
had a copy of the international antiquarian bookseller's guide. 
Bill took my copy and marked booksellers in England, Scotland, 
France, and Holland. But England especially. He would mark each 
bookseller that he thought was important, by rank. Number one: see 
him or her as first choice. Number two: also important. Number 
three: see this person if you have a chance, but not as important 
as the others. So it was a very good guide. He asked me, "What are 
you trying to do? Do you want high spots? 

I said, "No. I want ordinary books for the college library." 
And, Ruth, I can tell you that on that trip in '64, I probably 
purchased in England about 8,000 books. I would say most of them 
were under $5 apiece. The prices today for those books would be 
anywhere from $20 to $100. 

Many important books 1 purchased for under two or three pounds , 
and many, many under one pound. So when Richard Blackwell took me 
to lunch in Oxford, he said, "You will look back on this trip and be 
amazed at the low prices you paid for things." 

I would say that Bill Fletcher is a man that I would like to 
put a five-star on as being a man with a great capacity for 
friendship, great warmth of personality, and a bookseller who had 
excellent stock. His son, Keith, is really managing the firm now, 
because Bill is over eighty. When I go to England, that's the first 
place I go to- -the Fletchers'. My relationship with Bill Fletcher 
came through David Magee, and they were very close friends. 



71 



Hans Kraus 



Monihan: I'd like to go to Hans Kraus. One could safely say that he Is among 
the three most important booksellers of the century. He is in New 
York City, on East 46th Street. He has the remainder of the Sir 
Thomas Phillipps library; the Robinson brothers of London handled 
that, and Kraus purchased the remnants. By getting acquainted with 
Hans Kraus on the Grolier Club trips of 1967 and 1970, I got to know 
him and his wife. I would say that there are values on friendship 
with a bookseller. I would say the more I knew, the more I became 
friendly with a bookseller, the more I would trust him and the more 
I would buy from him. It is only in maybe the last ten years that 
I've been going go Kraus in New York to buy from him. Now, one of 
the handicaps is that you do not look at books and bookshelves when 
you go to Kraus. You get book slips. I resisted this very, very 
much, and said I wouldn't do it, but now I'm doing it and finding 
wonderful material. 

I've purchased manuscripts from him, although not expensive 
manuscripts, and I've purchased some very important books. I will 
say that he is high-priced, but I found prices that I could afford. 
We get a lot of good material. One of the largest book sales in 
American bookselling history was when Jake Zeitlin accepted the 
invitation from Kraus to sell the Ludwig manuscripts. These were 
illustrated manuscripts which Kraus had sold over several years to a 
German book collector, and the German book collector wanted to put 
them back on the market. Kraus invited Jake Zeitlin to come in with 
him on this transaction. The Getty Museum made the purchase, of 
around $40 million. One purchase. 

Teiser: Why would he have invited Zeitlin to participate in that instead of 
handling it all himself? 

Monihan: He couldn't do it. He tried to get to the Gettys, and he wasn't 

successful, so he brought in Jake, because Jake knew his way around 
Los Angeles. 

Teiser: Every so often I remember hearing of a bookseller putting out a 

catalogue that really wasn't anything more than a bibliography of a 
collection that had already been sold. 

Monihan: Yes, yes. It's the image-builder of the bookseller. 

Teiser: I think Warren had some notable science libraries, at least one that 
went to UC. 

Monihan: Yes. But I want to make a point that those transactions were 
probably made by a bookseller going to an institution, and 
representing himself to the institution. Because generally 
speaking, the booksellers don't receive visits from librarians. 



72 



Monihan: It's a rare librarian that goes to the bookseller. How strange that 
may seem, yet it is true. I know one colleague of mine here who 
felt he would not be doing his work if he went to booksellers! But 
to me, it's my way of life, going to my booksellers. 

Teiser: During the small press explosion here, fifteen or so years ago, some 
librarians went around picking up whatever they could because this 
material was so widely dispersed. Did Steve Corey do that? 

Monihan: Yes, in the more recent years. 



Paris Book Dealers 



Teiser: Were there booksellers in France or Germany? 

Monihan: Well, I got to know the Jammes family. I don't speak French that 

well to be acquainted with the whole family, but the two brothers I 
know. It's across the street from the church of Saint-Germain-des- 
Pres. It's on the Rue Gozlin. I go there every time I'm in Paris, 
and I get some very good material. 

Teiser: Andre Jammes, is that one of them? 

Monihan: Andre Jammes is the head of the firm, and the other Jammes, I don't 
know his first name. Barney Rosenthal recommended that I get 
acquainted with the Jammes. 

And then I got acquainted with another bookseller in Paris, 
Jean Polak, who is in voyages and travel. I got some wonderful 
things from him. Bill Fletcher and the Polaks are very close to 
each other. So that's how I've gotten around; one bookseller will 
introduce me to another. 



Younger San Francisco Book Dealers 



Monihan: Well, I want to go back to San Francisco for a moment now. 

B. M. Rosenthal, Barney Rosenthal, is a younger generation from 
those we've been speaking about, but I think he's one of the 
greatest booksellers I've ever known. He is extremely generous to 
the Gleeson Library in giving gifts, and advising me. His 
friendship to me is extremely important. He is a man who will meet 
in the warmest way briefly- -not a long visit- -but his expression of 
friendship is very deep. He's very business-like, so it will not go 
on for hours, 



73 



Monihan: because he has to do business. We've made major acquisitions from 
him, some in bibliography, in French writers, and occasionally an 
incunabulum . 



I invited Barney to give a lecture on the house of Rosenthal, 
and he said, "We are not like the Rothschilds, we are not wealthy." 
But he did give a talk called "Clan, Cartel, or Dynasty: The 
Olschkis and Rosenthals." The Olschkis of Florence. This was a 
wonderful talk, and Lawton Kennedy printed the keepsake. It was 
quite a large keepsake; it was a family tree of booksellers from the 
senior Olschki and the senior Rosenthal. That talk was given a 
second time at the Houghton Library at Harvard, and the third was at 
the Newberry Library. So it was greatly appreciated. 

This has led to a nice gift that Barney gave us. Jacques 
Rosenthal of Munich was the senior member of the Rosenthal family of 
the bookselling business. I've often asked Barney, "What chances do 
I have of getting a partial set of your grandfather's catalogues?" 
He said, "Well, I'll think about it." Last fall, he delivered to me 
a near complete set of his grandfather's catalogues. So that's a 
nice gift. This [grandfather's] is the generation of booksellers 
that sold to people like Pierpont Morgan; he sold to major 
institutional libraries in Europe and to major collectors. He went 
out of business because Hitler came in to Munich and expelled the 
Jews. 

Teiser: Somebody was telling me that Barney Rosenthal had escaped Germany as 
a youngster, and fought in the American Air Force--? 

Monihan: That was after he came to California. He went to high school in 
California. But his early high school years were in Florence, 
Italy. He is naturally a multi-lingual person. He speaks Italian, 
German, and French fluently. But he was in the air force. He's a 
very important bookseller, a very important friend. 

Teiser: In this oral history program, we've been wanting to do a series of 

interviews with booksellers, and as I mentioned, we have interviewed 

David Magee and Warren Howell. Are there others, do you think, that 

we should interview if we were able to? 

Monihan: Well, Rosenthal I would say in due time, he's still a relatively 

younger man. Rosenthal would be a very important man to interview. 

Teiser: Jake Zeitlin has been interviewed in southern California. 

Monihan: Jeremy Norman is a young man, but he's a man to keep your eye on. I 
am a close friend with Jeremy Norman. He's very successful as a 
businessman, as a bookseller, and as a publisher. He's getting into 
publishing now. Very capable fellow. 

Teiser: What kind of publishing is he going to do? 



74 



Monihan: History of science. But he also knows my interests, and responds to 
them. I am interested in Sainte-Beuve, a 19th century French 
critic, and a book-minded writer. Jeremy was on his way to France a 
few years back, and he noticed in a catalogue that an edition of 
Boileau annotated by Sainte-Beuve was available for purchase. That 
was a nice purchase to make. Paul Birkel, the library dean, was 
very sympathetic to making that purchase. 

When I am speaking of booksellers, there are many others in San 
Francisco that I admire very, very much. John Scopazzi, who died 
recently, was a very important bookseller in San Francisco. The 
Brick Row book shop on Post Street is also a very important 
bookselling firm; we've known at least three different managers of 
that firm. 

On Post Street we have quite an assortment of booksellers. 
I've often said to people who don't live in San Francisco that it's 
worth a visit to San Francisco just to see the booksellers. We have 
a very good bunch of them. And over in the East Bay, in Berkeley, 
there are also some marvelous booksellers. The Anacapa Book Shop in 
Berkeley on Claremont Avenue is a very good book store. 

But to conclude this section, I would like to reiterate my 
credo for developing the library: that one must be actively 
acquainted with booksellers and book collectors to build a library 
to strength. This means going to a book shop and spending the time 
to go through the entire stock. Not simply coming to the front 
door, as it were, and saying, "Do you have this or that book?" which 
is useless. Or, "This author?" But going through the entire book 
store, because as I say, the benefit to the Gleeson Library of books 
that were picked up that I had never seen before--. There's no 
other way to enrich the library except by just actually going out to 
booksellers' shops and spending the time. 



Printers 

[Interview 7: 30 May, 1988] 

Lawton Kennedy 



Teiser: May we begin today with Lawton Kennedy? You have remarked to me 
that Lawton was very influential insofar as you were concerned. 

Monihan: Yes. 

Teiser: How did you happen to meet him? 




T3 

.-H 

0> 



C 

o 





01 




C 

o 

4J 


01 


S 

O 


3 




03 


3 


tfl 


Qi 

^ 




a 


T^i 


j_i 


0) 


C ^ 


0) 







^J 

c 




V, 


H 




O 


O, 





^*> 


4H 


o 


-Jl 
03 





1 [ 


0> 


W 


c 


j. 


S-< 
O 


o 

LM 


3 

O 



4-1 -H 



o 

4-1 )-l 

C x: <u 

o oo ^: 

H -H 4-1 

4-i i-i a) 

H fa 

rd O 

H 4J T3 

X C 

X 4-1 

-J IH 

CJ M 

o> i i a) 



iH 6 

o 
<u o 

J3 Oi 



o co ai 

00>,5 

c 1-1 <: 

c M 

^ n rjt 

O, -H 

O rH 

dl 1) T) 

.C ^! 0) 

4-1 4-1 C 

C 

4-1 C <U 

< -H 



o 

+4 

o 

rC 

0. 



75 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



Well, in 1957, the Roxburghe Club of San Francisco wanted to come to 
the University of San Francisco for a special meeting, and Nat 
Schmulowitz was the Master of the Press. Dr. Albert Shumate was the 
member of the Roxburghe Club who was sponsoring the meeting at USF. 
Nat Schmulowitz wanted me to talk on the subject of Roman Church 
censorship of forbidden books. I flatly refused, and said I would 
be very happy to give them a talk on the first three printers of 
More's Utopia. And so that subject was accepted. 

We met for dinner in the Sky Room, or the fourth floor, of the 
Gleeson Library. This was the occasion of my meeting Lawton 
Kennedy. We almost immediately began a relationship which lasted 
until his death in 1980. I have indicated to you, Ruth, that Lawton 
played a central role in my life. Through him I learned about fine 
printing, and I was able to discover for myself the function of fine 
printing in the work of the Gleeson Library. I've often said from 
the rostrum, when Lawton Kennedy was present at a [Gleeson] Library 
Associates' meeting, that he makes us look good. I've said that it 
was a distinguishing characteristic of our Library Associates that 
the announcement and program keepsake of each meeting, which Lawton 
printed, has been extremely attractive. Those who attended these 
meetings would keep the announcement and keepsake for their own 
special collections. Lawton often said to me that this is the best 
tribute that he could receive, that people would preserve what he 
printed. 



a 

I wanted to ask how your association with Lawton proceeded, 
spend time at his office, for instance? 



Did you 



Well, we almost immediately entered into a business relationship. I 
would ask him to print an announcement for an event. It was not 
simply going to his office or shop and speaking with him, but 
entering into a client relationship with him. I was always involved 
in special events and I would ask Lawton to do the printing. 

He would explain to me what he was doing. He would show, for 
instance, in his bookcase various reference books marked for either 
initials or illustrations that he would be using, or he might want 
to use in future publications. During that period he was doing 
books for Warren Howell, the Arizona Pioneers, Fred Rosenstock in 
Denver, and for the Champoeg Press in Portland, Oregon. I would 
watch what was going through the press and see how Lawton was doing 
it, applying one style for one book and a different style for 
another book. 

I remember the Aperture, which was a periodical publication for 
photographers. Lawton I feel was supremely skilled in reproducing 
photographs for illustrations. He was a perfectionist, and he 



76 



Monihan: wanted the finest quality. I did go through the steps watching what 
he did, and I was always interested in what was going through his 
shop at any given time. 

Particularly in my case, when I would bring something to be 
reproduced as an illustration for an announcement, he would guide me 
and comment as to whether it was good or not, whether it could be 
reproduced or not. And often he would give me alternate choices 
from his own reference collection. 

My friendship with him was a constant education in fine 
printing. I felt that a library should exhibit, as it were, a 
showcase of what is inside the library: the great books of the past 
and of the present century. It would be best shown by fine 
printing, rather than simply by mimeographed announcements. So I 
went through a long period of education, and I value that very 
highly. In a way, that made it difficult for me to work with other 
people after Lawton's death. 

Teiser: If you were to describe him to someone who had never known him 
before, how would you describe him? 

Monihan: Well, I would say he was a man of medium height, I'd say 

approximately 5 '8" or 5 '9". He was well built, husky. He seemed to 
be on the serious side until you got to know him, but when he smiled 
you knew exactly the reason for his enjoyments. He had an excellent 
sense of humor, and loved to recall funny situations in his life. 
He was a man of great capacity for making friends. I was very 
complimented that during Freda Kennedy's life I got to know him 
quite well, and I gained a great deal from them. Their son, Alfred, 
was also a great boon to me in my life. 

Teiser: Can you describe the printing office as you saw it? 

Monihan: I've seen it in four different locations. They had at least four 
presses at any given time, and I would say that even though there 
were usually two people employed, Lawton was always very much 
involved in the actual production of the work going through. He 
seemed to work well with the printers he employed. He usually would 
have, at least in later years, a display case showing recent work 
that has gone through the press. 

He was very proud of his work. I think he had an exaggerated 
opinion of how good a printer he was, compared with other people, 
but it made you laugh instead of taking him too seriously. He did 
admire other printers, but he would never admit it. [laughter] 

I want to say for the record that I met some wonderful people 
through Lawton Kennedy. People in the printing trade, and I would 
meet his customers, such as Jane Ivancovich from Tucson, Arizona, 
who represented the Arizona Pioneers. I met Fred Rosenstock, the 



77 



Monihan: bookseller in Denver. I would meet photographers. And Ruth, I met 
you and Catherine [Harroun] through Lawton, and that was a great 
boon to me. If you were Lawton' s friend, you were a friend of 
Lawton 's friends. Immediately I widened my world of acquaintance. 

During Lawton' s active years, the university administration 
looked with admiration at what I was doing. They wouldn't admit it, 
but before long they were imitating me. Lawton Kennedy would get 
work from the vice president's office, or the president's office, or 
the dean's office, or the law school- -various segments of the 
university. Many people would go to Lawton Kennedy because they 
admired what he had done for the [Gleeson] Library Associates. 

Teiser: Was it through USF that he came to know Fromm and Sichel and the 
Christian Brothers, do you think? 

Monihan: It could be, because I was extremely fond of Norman Fromm, who was 
the lawyer in the Fromm and Sichel firm. I would necessarily bring 
my friends to meet Lawton, and so--. 

Teiser: He did a lot of work for them. 

Monihan: He did a lot of work for the Fromms , and also for the The San 
Francisco Chamber Music Society. 

Teiser: That must have been through Fromm. 

Monihan: Yes, it was through Fromm. Lawton Kennedy, in order to do some work 
for the community, as well as for himself, volunteered to do all the 
announcements of the Chamber Music Society without cost. Then he 
would be interested enough to attend the events. 

Teiser: He was a great fan of chamber music. 

Monihan: Yes. He was truly an educated man in an informal sense; he had many 
educated interests, and music was one of them. 

Teiser: In the papers that you acquired of Lawton' s for the Gleeson Library 
rare book room, his relationship to the Chamber Music Society is 
reflected, including finally a falling-out, unfortunately. 

Monihan: Oh, yes; I think I witnessed those events over the years, yes. 
Teiser: Many fine programs in that collection. 
Monihan: Yes. He enjoyed doing it, and he did it well. 

I'd also like to mention my students that I brought into 
contact with Lawton Kennedy. The Special Events Committee was a 
group on the campus with which I associated myself 1956 or '57 until 
1970. There were public events sponsored by the Associated Students 



78 



Monihan: of the University, of a cultural nature. The students on this 

committee welcomed me as librarian to be sort of the moderator, or 
the faculty contact for them. 

I brought these students to Lawton Kennedy, and many of their 
announcements were printed by him. One notable poster was for a 
series of speakers that Dan Ritter arranged. He is now an attorney 
in Salem, Oregon. Dan and Armande Ritter became very close friends 
with Lawton, and had their wedding announcement printed by him. 
Now, this was true of many others: Charles Fracchia and Warren 
Hinckle, for example. Warren Hinckle at the time was the editor of 
the Foghorn.* and Lawton Kennedy did, in Hammer Uncial type, the 
masthead for the Foghorn. 

Those are just a few of the students I can think of. I feel I 
had something to do with Lawton getting more business, but also I 
considered it part of an education. Students should learn good 
taste while they're at the university, and I felt that bringing them 
to Lawton Kennedy and giving them the opportunity to make use of 
Lawton' s skills for their own benefit, for wedding announcements and 
so on, was an advantage to them. And they enjoyed it very, very 
much. 

Teiser: He continued printing for the Gleeson Library Associates until the 
time of his death? 

Monihan: Yes, he did, and I had my difficulties with Lawton occasionally, but 
we always resolved them almost immediately. For example, if I said 
I didn't like a proof that he had done for me, he'd say, "Well, 
let's start in again." He was very open and very willing. I was 
exercising my own judgment, and when there were some things which he 
did that I didn't like, I told him. But that didn't at all 
interfere with our relationship. 

I was learning all the time. 

Teiser: The Gleeson Library has a good deal of material of his, early to 
late. Was much of it given by him? 

Monihan: Well, Lawton gave a number of things during his lifetime; he gave 

books and ephemera to us constantly. But that was so casual that I 
don't know how much we put in the Lawton Kennedy Collection. The 
earliest work by Lawton came to us as a gift from Dr. [Reinhard S.] 
Stan Speck. He made a gift of his collection of Lawton Kennedy's 
printing to us quite a few years ago. 

Teiser: That was mainly ephemera? 



*The University of San Francisco student newspaper. 



79 



Monihan: Yes. We were able to obtain from Renee Kennedy* an "archive" of 
Lawton Kennedy which she owned and made available to the Gleeson 
Library for purchase. I feel it was a major acquisition. I 
appreciate, Ruth, the fact that you went through it, and made your 
judgments as to its value. You pointed out some of the high spots 
that we would not have noticed, since you worked on Lawton Kennedy's 
life for some time, you would know important things. 

I feel that we will have opportunities as years go on to add 
and to add and to add onto those Lawton Kennedy archives . 

Teiser: You haven't spoken of his photography. I know you're interested in 
it. Have you acquired some photographic materials of his? 

Monihan: Yes. Mrs. Kennedy, Renee Kennedy, made available to us for purchase 
a number of negatives of Lawton 's work. I would like to acquire 
more, because I would like to have USF to be a center of Lawton 
Kennedy information. It was only in the latter years I knew Lawton 
that I realized his skills as a photographer, because it was almost 
a separate department of interest. I admired his work, and thought 
it was first-class. How could I say that? I'm not a person to 
judge photography, but I admired it very much, and I'd like to 
acquire more. 

Teiser: Do you now have, physically, the negatives, then? 
Monihan: Yes, we do. 
Teiser: Is it a big batch? 

Monihan: Well, I would say the number is at least one hundred. I was 

involved in the arrival of these things through Jonathan Clark, but 
I haven't seen the material in detail yet.** 

Teiser: I'm sure you have a very good collection of his books, too. I'll 
just add this because I happen to be aware of it from my recent 
work***: Steve Corey has a set of proofs of the bibliography of 
Lawton' s printing that he had prepared, and he has been checking 
your holdings against that. I think you have --not complete, of 
course- -but you have a very full collection of his books. 



*Lawton Kennedy's widow. 

**See also Lawton B. Kennedy, A Life in Printing, an oral history 
interview conducted 1966, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft 
Library, University of California, Berkeley, 1967. 

***A biography of Lawton Kennedy published by The Book Club of 
California, nominally in 1988 but not printed until 1989. 



80 



Monihan: Oh, that's good to know.* 



Adrian Wilson 



Teiser: There are other printers whom you also have come to know, I believe. 

Monihan: Well, the one that comes to mind first is Adrian Wilson. I got to 

know Adrian in the 1950s, and I don't know how it first started, but 
I admired his work from the very beginning of the fifties. When I 
did the series of original linoleum blocks for St. Peter Camisius 
day, the original prints from these blocks, it was Adrian that did 
the very first one. He printed on lovely Japanese paper. When the 
Roxburghe Club came for that dinner at USF in 1957 it was he who was 
asked by Roxburghe Club to print the announcement . That 
announcement is worth referring to. It's a three-ply announcement, 
and uses illustrations from Utopia, and uses the text of Utopia to 
great advantage. For instance, on how a great dinner in Utopia was 
presented. He referred to the text. He reproduced lines from the 
text of Utopia. 

There was something very sensitive and marvelous about Adrian 
Wilson. He was an artist; he was a man of great generosity; he was 
very aware of the person with whom he was dealing. During the early 
1950s I had access to almost no special gift funds, as I did later 
on. So, for instance, that St. Peter Canisius day print, he said, 
"You probably don't have the funds, so let me contribute this to 
you." My contacts with Adrian were not frequent over the years, but 
there was a great bond between us, I think. I just benefitted from 
being in the same community of San Francisco with him. Really truly 
a great man. 

Teiser: How did he evince his particular genius or skill or whatever? 

Monihan: Through a most imaginative use of all of the media in printing. 

Such as by selecting a certain quality of paper, or by occasionally 
dampening the paper to get a special impression from the type; the 
selection of type, the use of type. The use of illustrations. It 
was always very expertly done by him. 

I think that he was the most skilled printer I have known in 
San Francisco, although often he designed books rather than doing 
the printing. I think his wife, Joyce, was a great support to him 
artistically, and as a life partner and as a businesswoman. So many 
aspects where she was just the right person for him. She was always 
very responsive to whatever project I was on. 

*Additional negatives, prints, and slides were acquired in the 
autumn of 1988. 



81 



Monihan: But my world of printing was with Lawton Kennedy, over all of those 
years, and I wouldn't think of working with any other printer except 
Lawton through his lifetime. I won't say it was a matter of 
loyalty, but I just stayed with Lawton all those years. 



Other Printers 



Teiser: And have there been other printers whom you have known and admired, 
and whose work you've come to know? 

Monihan: Well, after Lawton 's death, Jack Stauffacher was one of the printers 
I worked with. I thought he was very skilled. I worked with him 
for maybe two years. Then Peter Koch was a young man I met through 
Steve Corey, and it took some adjustment between us in getting 
acquainted, from the standpoint of a printer-client relationship, 
but I've been working with him now for several years. He knows what 
I want, and I know what to expect of him, and it's a very harmonious 
relationship. He's doing excellent work. Sandy Ackers* and I are 
extremely pleased with his work. 

I've used other printers over the years besides those, before I 
met Lawton. Henry Evans was a printer for my work for a brief time. 
He had the Peregine Press. Henry printed the first keepsake program 
for the collection on Columbus 's voyages, cartography that I 
received in '54. 

I do feel strongly that a fine printer is necessary for telling 
about a library to the public. 



The Gleeson Library Associates^/ 



Teiser: How did it happen that the Gleeson Library Associates was started? 

Monihan: Well, one of the closest friends associated with the beginning of 
the Gleeson Library Associates was Darrell W. Daly. He and Albert 
Shumate had urged me from time to time to establish a friends group 
of support for the Gleeson Library. I went to Dr. George Hammond at 
Berkeley, who was the power behind the Friends of The Bancroft 
Library, and I asked him for advice as to whether we should start a 
friends group. He said, "It's a lot of work." He didn't give me 
any encouragement, but he didn't disuade me from starting the 
Library Associates. 



*Assistant Director of Library Relations, USF. 



82 



Monihan: Well, eventually by 1957 we decided to start the Library Associates. 
Dr. Albert Shumate and Darrell Daly were the two forces that brought 
the Associates into reality. We chose October 6 as the day for 
announcing the Associates, because that was exactly twenty years 
after the dinner at the Palace Hotel when it was decided to start 
collecting funds for the Gleeson Library building. Judge William 
O'Brien was the man who made the announcement in the Sky Room of the 
library, but he did it in such an oblique way that one would hardly 
know that he was announcing the formation of a library 
associates! I think there was such a fear of the fundraising 
aspects of such an organization that that was the reason for the 
reticence of Judge O'Brien in saying too much about it. 

But it did start, and I believe that Lawton Kennedy printed 
what would be called a proclamation announcing the beginning of the 
Library Associates. 

We wanted to select friends of Father Gleeson to start the 
Associates, so Florence McAuliffe, even though he was not a member 
of the Associates, was certainly involved in the conversations 
regarding the planning of it. On the very day of the forming of the 
Associates, Florence McAuliffe was informed by a telegram that what 
we were doing was paying tribute to his generation for what they did 
for Father Gleeson, and for the beginnings of the Gleeson Library. 

Teiser: What in general is the function of such a library group? 

Monihan: I would answer that question differently now than I would have in 
1957. The function of such a group is financial support to the 
library! I say financial because it is obvious that books should be 
added to the library, and contributions in the way of book funds or 
endowments, or whatever, are needed on a day-to-day basis. This is 
something which we, when we formed the Associates, did not address 
ourselves to. It became, and was for many years, a social 
organization that maybe made a gift of $2,000 or $3,000 annually to 
the library. 

Knowing as I do various friends' supporting groups throughout 
the country, I know that the bottom line is financial support, to 
help the library do what it could not ordinarily do. Many friends' 
groups bring in twenty, thirty, forty, fifty thousand dollars from 
time to time, if not annually, through their library associates, to 
the support of the library. 

Now, this makes a very definite impact upon the growth of the 
collections. This means the director of the library has access to 
money to work quickly to get acquisitions that are needed, either 
from endowment funds or from cash funds. It is fundamental to 
library support groups that this be kept in mind clearly from the 
beginning. This is what I learned from belonging to several such 



83 



Monihan: groups in the United States. But we're trying to learn it now, and 
we're just working every day at it. William P. Barlow, Jr., who was 
the president of the Library Associates in 1971, started a library 
endowment fund. It was then called Nucleus Endowment for Special 
Collections; it is now called the Gleeson Library Associates 
Endowment Fund . 

The object was to get one hundred donors to give $1,000 apiece, 
even though they would give it over several months , or they would 
give it in parts. That fund now, over the many years since 1971, is 
reaching a neighborhood of $80,000. We haven't reached $100,000. 

Teiser: You're holding that as principal? 

Monihan: Yes. So that is an instance where our library associates have done 
something in a monetary way that's very important. However, I think 
the Associates performed a further function in making known the 
growth of the library. It began with the friends of Father Gleeson 
and a few alumni, but it moved more and more to book- interested 
people of the community, either locally or across the country. So 
it was not, nor is it today, an alumni group, nor in any way 
associated with the university, but simply book- interested people, 
and I feel that's an achievement in itself. 

I think some major collections came to the library through the 
Library Associates, either by gift or by purchase. We've had 
wonderful leadership over the years. I think Charles Fracchia, who 
was president of the Library Associates in the middle-1960s , should 
be given the title of second founder of the Library Associates, 
because it was he who started the title of Fellows, which we award 
almost annually. Fellows were named for two reasons: either for 
their support or accomplishments for our library, or for making a 
major contribution to the book community. He also produced the 
first publication of the Gleeson Library Associates, and he 
instituted the Sir Thomas More medal for book collecting. I myself 
got the idea from Sweden, but it was Charles Fracchia who brought it 
into existence. 

Teiser: What sort of publications has the Associates--? 

Monihan: The single publication was The Vallejos of California, by 

Mrs. [Madie Brown] Eraparan, whose husband was part of the Vallejo 
family.* 

Teiser: Wasn't there a magazine? 



*Published in 1968. 



84 



Monihan: Well, the Library Associates published 3he Record, which was an 
occasional publication. It was a record of acquisitions, of 
progress, of talks given, and so on. But that became just too 
expensive to do, we couldn't continue that.* 

Teiser: The group has also sponsored excursions, has it not? 

Monihan: Yes, we've had tours to various places relating to books. I think 
we've done a real service to people from an educational standpoint, 
and brought people together. I feel that the Associates have 
performed a wonderful service to the community, as well as to the 
university. 

Teiser: How many people are there in the group? 
Monihan: It wavers between 450 and 500. 



The First Symposium 
[Interview 8: 7 June 1988] 

Teiser: We were going to talk today about the symposium. When did it start? 
Monihan: We started the symposium in the summer of 1965. 
Teiser: How did it happen? 

Monihan: The administrators at the University of San Francisco asked me in 
the summer of 1964 to move to full-time development work, which 
means fund raising. I didn't like it at the time; I wanted to 
remain head librarian and do promotion that way, as I had done, but 
the reason the administrators asked me to move into development was 
that I was so successful in developing the library financially, 
through gifts. 

Because I was in a new area, that is, as a development person, 
I felt instinctively that I needed a new platform to speak from, to 
meet a new audience. I felt that the people of San Francisco and of 
the wider area, locally and out of state, who support the arts were 
the people whom I wanted to address in these annual affairs. I 
cannot say annual affairs; I had no idea it was going to be an 
annual affair when I started in '65. It was all very vague as to 
what the future would be . 



*A Newsletter has also appeared at intervals since 1985. 



85 



Monihan: I had known about the famous Aspen seminars, and that was a model 
where people were secluded away from daily life in a concentrated 
effort to explore a topic of educational interest. Not practical, 
in the sense of technological interest, but of cultural interest. 
For example, UCLA had a series of dinners on French literature. 

One of my friends, Kenneth Rexroth, knew a lot about the Aspen 
seminars. He had participated as a staff member, so he advised me 
during the spring and summer of 1965 on possible ways to prepare 
such a program. In the summer of 1964 I had just returned from a 
six-month book-buying trip in Europe, which had been very 
profitable. I can say that practically all travel that 1 have done, 
especially European trips, has been of lasting benefit to the work 
of the Gleeson Library, and it certainly was true of the '64 trip. 
I got acquainted with people in England and people in France, and so 
the first symposium drew on those friends for its personnel, and 
brought them here. Father Marc'hadour from Angers, and from England 
Father Bernard Fisher, who was a specialist in Thomas More studies. 

That brings me to the subject matter of the first symposium. 
We had acquired the Thomas More collection in 1951. In 1963, we had 
acquired the first edition of More's Utopia. We had entertained the 
cast of the stage play A Man for All Seasons. My trip in England 
concerned, in part, my interest in Thomas More. So the first 
subject that came to my mind for a symposium was the subject of 
Thomas More's period. 

The title which I chose, "Freedom and Authority," was mentioned 
in the press for almost a year before the symposium! The first 
student riots on the University of California campus at Berkeley 
were occurring, and so the subject of the symposium turned out to be 
a timely one. In other words, it was appearing on the rise of the 
revolution of the sixties. It wasn't until the end of the Vietnam 
war that you might say the unrest began to settle down. 

For the subject of the first symposium in 1965 I took three 
writers: More, Erasmus, and Luther. Luther represented the 
opposing force, the revolutionary force of the first part of the 
sixteenth century, and Erasmus represented the silent bystander who 
would not ally himself with either side. 

The subject matter aroused a great deal of interest, and some 
of our close conservative friends were worrying whether I was going 
to make an attack on authority. 

For the subject of Thomas More, I invited Richard Sylvester 
from Yale University, who was head of Yale's project for publication 
of the works of More, so he was an ideal person to speak. For 
Erasmus, I chose Father Marc'hadour from Angers. For Luther, I was 



*Abbe Germain Marc'hadour. 



86 



Monihan: very fortunate to receive the acceptance of Louis Spitz of 
Stanford's history department. In addition to that, I had 
approximately five to six discussants who could respond to each 
subject. 

The format I chose was sort of symbolized in the word, 
"Symposium," and I explained that the word symposium means to drink 
together. It's a Greek work, and it's taken from Plato's work, 
Symposium. So conversation, sociability, and hospitality, all those 
were joined together. I have always been a public-events man, and 
so I had often done all these component parts separately- -the 
dinners, lectures, discussions --and this time I put them all 
together. 

I provided for this symposium three lunches and three dinners. 
The first dinner was at Trader Vic's in San Francisco, the second 
one at Paul Masson Vineyards in Saratoga, and the third one at the 
California Palace of the Legion of Honor. I had what was considered 
the best caterer of the time to do the meals, Thomas Thomasser, so 
it was first-class. 

I needed music. When Thomas More in the Utopia spoke about the 
dinners in Utopia, he said that music was provided for each meal, 
particularly for each special occasion. So I went to Stanford and 
met with George Houle , then chairman of the department of music, and 
I asked him to do the music for this symposium. He looked at my 
announcement and said, "I don't have the time, but the program is so 
attractive, I can't turn it down." So he accepted, and did the 
music for me for all three dinners. He entered totally into the 
spirit of it. He was a specialist in early sixteenth century 
English music, so he had instruments designed after the fashion of 
that time. He had music for the outdoors at the Paul Masson 
Vineyard, he had music for the indoors at Trader Vic's, and he had 
music and dance for the very sumptuous dinner at the Legion of 
Honor . 

The dinner at the Legion of Honor was a great success. It came 
at the conclusion of the three days. I arose at the end of the meal 
and said, "This concludes the symposium on Freedom and Authority," 
and I sat down. Dr. John Upton arose and said, "Father Monihan, 
this is not the conclusion; this is the beginning. So we encourage 
you, and want you to continue." 

II 

Monihan: I didn't mention that the moderator of the symposium was John E. 
Burchard. He had become a very dear friend of mine when I was 
planning the Gleeson Library in 1948 and '49. He was then the 
director of libraries at MIT. I kept contact with him in the 
intervening years, and when I invited him to be the moderator, he 
expressed great friendship to me by accepting my invitation. He was 



87 



Monihan: the ideal person to lead the symposium, because he himself had 
participated in Aspen seminars and things of this sort in this 
country and in Europe . 

Teiser: Let me ask you about what kind of people attended. 

Monihan: The people who attended were the class of people that I wanted 

associated with Gleeson Library. They were the people and their 
numbers increased every yearwho supported music in San Francisco, 
and supported the arts. I did get a great deal of assistance from 
friends in getting people to attend, and it was quite a different 
group of people than the Library Associates. It was not members of 
the book community; it was members of what might be called very 
vaguely the cultural community of San Francisco. 

Teiser: As I remember, it seemed to partake of the same kind of general 
interest of those people in the great books series- - 

Monihan: Yes, precisely, Dr. Adler's. 

Teiser: People who wanted to participate in cultural groups. 

Monihan: Yes, that's exactly what it was. In doing this first symposium, we 
sent out nearly 10,000 pieces of mail to all these groups we could 
think of. There was an immense effort to get out to the- -you might 
say- -educated lay class. 

Teiser: As I remember, the fees for the symposia are fairly high, so that no 
one who's scrounging along is likely to attend. 

Monihan: Yes. The fee for the first symposium, which seems very little now 
in 1988, was $100. My fellow Jesuits would tease me about having a 
$100-a-plate dinner. 



Subsequent Symposiums 



Teiser: 
Monihan : 



Since then--? 

Since then I've continued on, and we've had a symposium every year 
with about three exceptions: in 1972, when we dedicated the Rare 
Book Room, and in 1979, when I was in Europe. Otherwise we've had 
them every year, and they all have been on humanistic subjects. The 
1966 symposium was on "Liberty and Laughter." I was very privileged 
to have Henri Peyre of Yale University to lecture for me on 
Rabelais. 



I thought that the 1967 symposium was a particularly important 
one. The ghettos of America were being burned during the years 1966 



88 



Monihan: and '67, so I chose the topic, "Lessons From Revolution: Marx, 

Darwin, and Freud." I think that was a very successful symposium. 
It frightened some people, who felt it would be all negative, but 
many positive lessons were obtained from that. 

[telephone interruption] 

The next symposium I want to speak about is the 1968 symposium, 
"Dante, the Mind in Love." John Burchard had said to me several 
times that Dante was the supreme topic in his mind, and so it was 
pretty much because of John Burchard that I presented that. One of 
the star personalities of that symposium was Bartlett Giamatti, who 
later was the president of Yale, and at that time he was a young 
professor. He did a magnificent job for us on Dante. 

Our special dinner on that occasion was in the foyer of the San 
Francisco Opera House, and we had the flag of the city of Florence 
hanging there. It was a wonderful occasion. 

In 1969, the Asian Art Museum was opening in San Francisco, and 
a friend of mine encouraged me to do something in honor of the 
opening. The subject of action and contemplation had been on my 
mind that year a lot from reading Ortega y Gasset, and I chose the 
subject "Asia: Man and the Contemplative: Hinduism, Taoism, and 
Zen Buddhism." That was a very successful symposium, because it 
opened up Asian thought to the audience. There were docents in 
training for the Asian Art Museum, and I had a number of the docents 
attend. 

There were some symposiums that have been more successful than 
others, but basically the subject matter has always been man and 
humanism. 

Teiser: How many people attend? 

Monihan: Approximately 135. We were limited in space in the law school, but 
now we've moved to McLaren Center, we have more space. 

Teiser: And what's the format, or whatever you would call it, for--do you 
have lectures in the morning and the afternoon, and then--? 

Monihan: The format is --we have a single lecture each day. That's from 9:30 
to 10:30. Then after the coffee break, we return to the lecture 
room, and the discussants take over. We have a general discussion 
among the six specialists, who are called discussants. They, 
together with the lecturers, discuss the subject of the lecture 
itself. 

Then lunch is served. Then in the afternoon from 1:00 to 2:00 
there are questions and discussion from the audience. Every day we 
conclude at 2:00. The dinners begin at 6:30 or 7:00. 




I-i 6 


"* 


o I-H : 


^ 


iH CO CO 




0) (X, O 


1 


CJ D. 


r5l 


C T3 S 
CO C ?> 

,C CO CO 


S, 

o 


C C 


^ 


CO 0) 


to 


"-> -H a 




n cr 




CO 0) 


K 


CO M M 





. 4-4 


CO 


CO i-J CO O 
0) U 





i-H CO -to 


T^-i 


i-H C CO iH 


C5 


a o <u o 

O -H iH C 


- 


4J > CO 

O CO Vl 


o 


3 0) Q Pu 






S) 


CO rH C 


03 


CU O W tO 




H U CO 


J\ 


M .C 


~^ 


CO rH OH 4n 


^H 


t3 CO rH O 


S 


U iH CO 
05 >. 


Q 


<0 4-1 




cx IH 




l-l CO CO CO 


t^ 


CO >-i I-i 


cx 


CU * 2 <D 


a 


l-l >> > 




4-1 rl 4-1 C 


Cn 


CO O C 3 


o 


CJ 


4-i 


- )J OJ 


O 


W C >4-l .C 




J3 S 4-1 


^r~ 


60 > C 


Wl 


H CD -H KH 




I-i 4-1 O 




CO 




O 4-1 




4-1 >> C 




Q M CU 




4-i to -a 




M-i M tH 




01 O ^3 CO 




i-J O -H 0) 




tO i-J l-l 




H PM 




f", 




6 C 4J 




3 CO iH 




H ^1 CO > 




co CK M co 




O <U iH 




a, c > .c 




S CO -H 
>-, CO C CO 




co ? 




M-l O 
CN O CU hJ 




C^i >1 4J C 




H 14H O 




cu to o "-3 




4-1 0) C 13 




> CO C 




4-1 -H CD CO 




CO C Q 




D. > M" 




3 CU rH 




o ^ cu to 




l-l 4-J ^ C 




60 l-l O 





o w to 




Mrs. MacDonald Denman and Professor John Coleman of the University of 
Virginia at the 1976 symposium. 




Part of the group attending the 1984 symposium. 



Photographs courtesy of 
Gleeson Library, U.S.F. 



89 



Teiser: Are there speakers at dinner? 

Monihan: No, no speakers at dinner, but often there has been entertainment of 
some sort, especially at the Thursday dinner. 

The location of the dinners has always been a great concern to 
us. We have had the Pacific Union Club several times for our black- 
tie dinner, and we are fortunate to have it this year again. It's 
important to have a special treat for the evening meal. 

Teiser: And this happens always in autumn? 

Monihan: Always in August- -the first weekend of August every year, so this 
year it's the 4th, 5th, and 6th. However, the first symposium was 
in the middle of the month. 

I want to emphasize that the symposium is not a fund-raising 
venture, but it has made friends for the university and for the 
library. We always feature the library in the opening ceremonies, 
and the library dean gives a progress report of the library for the 
past year. But it is a university program; the President of USF 
always says words of greeting at the opening. It has brought 
friends into the university, and several of them have contributed 
considerably to the university. 

I would like to mention one other thing. In an ideal Utopian 
situation, I would have liked to have had a publication come out of 
each year's symposium, but I was not experienced enough to be able 
to do that. However, in 1971, our symposium was at the end of the 
Vietnam War, and our title was "Change and Chaos." I asked Lawton 
Kennedy to print up the proceedings and discussion from that 
symposium. It was expensive, but it was an excellent publication. 
The Rembrandt illustration on the title page was from a collection 
of Lessing Rosenwald, and Warren Howell allowed us to use the 
imprint of John Howell Books. 

I didn't know how to distribute the publication, and therefore 
it was a loss in some ways. On the other hand, it is probably not a 
loss, because it was done, and copies of it are still available. 



The Donohue Rare Book Room 



Teiser: You mentioned the 1972 opening of the rare book room. Would you 
discuss that? 

Monihan: Yes. I'd be happy to do that. A number of years after the 

acquisition of the Thomas More library and other collections, I felt 
the need for an appropriate space in the library building for rare 



90 



Monihan: books. It happened through Mrs. Geraldine Cole, who explained our 
need to Daniel Donohue of the Dan Murphy Foundation in Los Angeles. 
So, after making a formal request to the foundation, we received 
$80,000 to design and construct a rare book room. 

The then director of the library, the university librarian, was 
Robert Gitler. He was the one who designed the rare book room, and 
it is a great credit to him and to Mrs. Cole and to everybody else 
involved. So that was a major step ahead, and Norman Strouse gave a 
talk at the banquet to honor the opening of the rare book room in 
1972, and challenged these Library Associates and friends to fill 
the rare book room. Since 1972, we have many, many times multiplied 
the original number of books at the opening. 

Teiser: Had those books been in the library's general collections earlier, 
or--? 

Monihan: Some of them, such as the Thomas More collection, had been in 

special storage. Then it was all assembled together, and Florian 
Shasky was selected as the first rare book and special collections 
librarian. He stayed until the middle seventies, when Steven Corey 
came along. 

I would say the design of the room in every way was successful. 
Exhibit cases, the color design--. We have received compliments 
again and again because of the plan that we adopted. It has 
encouraged gifts tremendously, because it demonstrates visually that 
the library knows how to care for good material. So, from 1972 on, 
we have acquired a number of gifts and made a number of purchases 
with gift money, and I think the library has gained a great deal 
from the rare book room. We have, as a normal thing, a reception in 
the rare book room after Associates' programs. During the annual 
symposium, we invite people in there to see it. So it's been a 
major step in the development of the library. 

It was designed and named in honor of Countess Bernardine 
Murphy Donohue. She herself was a book collector and bought 
extensively from Dawson's in Los Angeles. We are very fortunate to 
have a fine photographic portrait of her. 

Another thing I can say about the rare book room, we have had a 
number of publications result from it. Not our own publications, 
but from scholars who have come in. Adrian Wilson and his wife 
Joyce worked there on a facsimile of a manuscript, Speculum Humanae 
Salvationis. which they were working on that was an illustration in 
their project on the juxtaposition of text and illustration. I was 
able to buy it in Spain in 1964. 

The publication on the engraved work of Eric Gill was done 
through our library. Eric Gill. 



91 



Teiser: Yes, you have a notable Gill collection. 

Monihan: Yes. Well. Albert Sperisen, when Florian Shasky was special 
collections librarian, was willing to sell to us his Gill 
collection. 



The Sir Thomas More Medal 



Monihan: Certainly Norman Strouse should be mentioned any time we mention the 
rare book room, because he was the first recipient of the Thomas 
More medal, in 1968. He said, "When I come to California, I'm going 
to help you make your library great." He has given to us at least 
seven major collections for the library. He is one of the great 
library patrons of the country, and he just has the right sense, 
right taste to do the right thing. The Thomas Carlyle collection he 
gave to UC Santa Cruz is a major collection. He's helped The 
Bancroft Library in a very profound way, so Dr. [James D.] Hart is 
rightly proud of the assistance and friendship of Norman Strouse. 

It's hard to exaggerate the amount of interest that Norman has 
shown towards libraries in this country. He was on the board of the 
New York Public Library for many years, and the list of libraries 
that he's associated himself with is long. But we are certainly 
among his favorites, so it was most appropriate for him to speak at 
the banquet when we dedicated the rare book room. 

Teiser: Who have been some of the other winners of the Sir Thomas More 
medal? 

Monihan: The second recipient of the medal was Dr. Elmer Belt, of Los 

Angeles, who formed the Leonardo Da Vinci library that UCLA has 
today. Waller Barrett of Charlottesville, the man who formed the 
great American literature collection. Gordon Ray, formerly the 
director of the Guggenheim Fellowship Foundation, a major collector, 
only recently deceased. Wilmarth Lewis, the Walpole collector. And 
Lessing Rosenwald was one of the early recipients of the Thomas More 
medal. All these things are connected together, and you're correct 
in mentioning the matter with regard to the rare book room, because 
they all more or less are centrally located in the interests of the 
rare book room. There are some of the recipients of the Thomas More 
medal who have made major contributions to us, but none to compare 
with Norman Strouse. 

Teiser: There is something going on at present about the medal being recast, 
is it? 



Monihan: Yes, well--. The medal which we gave out in 1988 was the last of a 
series of medals we had made before. Now we have to start it again, 
and have some more cast. 



92 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 

Teiser: 
Monihan : 



Same dies? 






Same dies. We're simply using one of the previous medals as a 
format . 

Who is going to be the next medal winner? 

We haven't decided. It must be done very quickly, too.* 



The 1988 Symposium 



Teiser: What is this year's symposium to be? 

Monihan: This year's symposium is on Japan, and it is the outcome of my visit 
to Japan last October. I was a guest of a Thomas More medal 
recipient, Dr. Mitsuo Kodama. The symposium this year will concern 
the spiritual side of the Japanese personality. I am very fortunate 
to have Rand Castile, the director of the Asian Art Museum, to give 
the opening lecture on the Japanese personality, and to have Roger 
Keyes lecture on the well-known Japanese artist of the last century, 
Hokusai. A lady from the University of Pittsburgh will present a 
film by Ozo called "Drifting Weeds." So there's a great deal of 
interest and enthusiasm on the part of all our friends in this 
year's symposium. I trust that it is a timely topic, because Japan 
is in a leadership role internationally now, in money and banking 
and business. I think it's appropriate to present the spiritual 
side of the Japanese. 



The Special Events Committee of the Associated Students## 

Teiser: Continuing with the symposium, you said that the special-- 

Monihan: The special events committee of the Associated Students was formed 
about 1957 as an alliance between the university library and the 

Associated Students to present programs of cultural interest.** I 
worked with this group all the years between 1957 and approximately 
1970. 



*William P. Barlow, Jr., was subsequently selected to be awarded the 
Sir Thomas More medal in 1989. 

**See also pages 77-78. 




At the dedication of the Rare Book Room, left to right: Father Monihan; 
Edmund J. Smyth, S. J., Acting President of the University of San 
Francisco; Geraldine Cole; Florian Shasky, Rare Book Librarian; and Dr. 
Robert Gitler, Librarian Emeritus. 1972. 



Photograph courtesy of 
Gleeson Library, U.S.F. 




William C. Mclnnes, S. J., and Norman Strouse at the dedication of the 
Countess Bernardine Murphy Donohoe Rare Book Room, 1972. 



Photograph courtesy of 
Gleeson Library, U.S.F. 



93 



Monihan: I want to mention them with regard to the annual symposium, because 
the very first symposium was strongly supported by these students in 
many ways. In the first four or five symposiums, they would be 
helping me with transportation, helping me entertain people, picking 
them up at the airport, and so on. Phil Griffith was the one person 
from the committee who helped the most in presenting the first 
symposium. 

I mentioned the flag of the city of Florence for the Dante 
symposium. It was a student from the committee who was in Florence 
that same year, and went to the mayor of the city of Florence and 
got the flags for me. That, I felt, was a very good thing to 
happen, that my work was not separate from the student body; it was 
part of the students' life. They worked hard with me, and they 
worked enthusiastically, and those were very, very fruitful years 
for me . 

I mentioned earlier, I think, that the special events students 
were introduced to Lawton Kennedy, to Warren Howell, and to David 
Magee ; they were introduced to all my circle of friends, and they 
were good years here at USF. The only reason why I separated myself 
from those students was that the university asked me in the early 
1970s to go into deferred giving, which was a long training program. 
I couldn't do that and my other duties. 



"Go Out and Meet the Collectors" 
[Interview 9: 11 June 1988] 



Teiser: I think you were going to talk today about your travels. 

Monihan: Yes. I'd like to begin with the importance of travel in my work, 

and the importance of travel in the building of the Gleeson Library 
collections . 

Monihan: I referred earlier in an interview with you, Ruth, to the lecture 

that Clifton Waller Barrett gave at the Folger Library in 1960. He 
said that, "You librarians who wish to build up your library must go 
out and meet the collectors. You need us, and we need you." I 
think before 1960 I was traveling, but that confirmed me in the 
belief that travel was an essential element in the development of 
the library. 

So that led me to Charlottesville, Virginia, the home of 
Mr. Barrett. I have tried, and not always achieved, to make an 
annual visit to the Barretts, partly in tribute and in thanks to 
Mr. Barrett for the inspiration which he gave me way back in 1960. 
As his houseguest there at Charlottesville, I met Fredson and Nancy 



94 



Monihan: Bowers. Fredson Bowers is a bibliographer who is well known in the 
United States. 

The meeting with Professor Bowers led to our acquiring step by 
step a number of his manuscripts. I feel that this is a very 
important segment of the rare book room, because he has given us 
three or four different drafts of an article or a chapter he was 
working on. You can see the development of his thought through each 
successive stage. 

I had made it my purpose to make annual visits to other 
collectors, and for many years- -approximately . ten- -I went to 
Farmington, Connecticut, to visit with Wilmarth 'Lewis. I would go 
to Chicago every year to see Frances Hamill and Margery Barker of 
the bookselling firm Hamill and Barker. That led to meeting other 
people through them. I will always find it profitable in friendship 
to visit Chicago; I receive continuous benefits from there. 

I went to Philadelphia, which was the home of Seymour Adelman, 
a great collector. I was his friend and met him through Lessing 
Rosenwald, whom I visited in the earlier years, year after year 
after year. I went to Ridgefield, Connecticut, to see Harrison 
Horblit. I went to Montreal to meet Lawrence Lande . Lawrence Lande 
received the Thomas More medal in 1988, this spring. 

I go to Austin every year to see Professor Malcolm Macdonald . 
I go to Phoenix, Arizona, every year to meet people who support and 
who are interested in attending the annual symposium. There are 
many other places I have mentioned in the course of the interviews 
that I have visited. I want to emphasize that travel is a great 
source of inspiration to me, and I come back full of ideas. And I 
meet people; the essential thing in building a library is not the 
books acquired but the friends you meet. The friends somehow make 
it possible for a library to grow and develop. 

The European trips have all been profitable, one building on 
the other. 1964 was my first trip to Europe, and William Fletcher 
was my guide there. That was the occasion in Oxford of purchasing 
the R. T. Clark library in May of 1964. I met Mr. John Galvin of 
Dublin on that occasion in March of '64. That led to his support of 
the annual symposium and of other things that I was doing. 

My first Grolier Club European trip was in 1967, and it was to 
Scandinavia and the Low Countries. It gave me an opportunity to 
meet many of the people of the Grolier Club and to get to know them 
on an intimate basis. One of them was William Scheide, and also 
Mary Hyde, now Viscountess Eccles. In Stockholm on that trip I met 
a Dr. Nordback. On that trip I was present in Stockholm at the 
Royal Library when the medal for book collecting was awarded to an 
outstanding poet for that year, but they gave it to him because of 



95 



Monihan: 



his expertise as a book collector, 
the Thomas More medal. 



That led to our starting here 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 



Teiser: 
Monihan: 

Teiser: 
Monihan: 



The 1970 trip with the Grolier Club was also a great benefit to 
me. I was able to go to Geneva with the club, and was among the 
guests at Dr. Martin Bodmer's library in Geneva, which was a great 
education in itself. On that occasion, I met Samuel Rosenthal of 
Chicago, and became friends with him over many years. He's a donor 
and a close friend, together with his wife, Marie Louise. 

Then I had a memorable trip to Japan in 1987, as a guest of 
Dr. Kodama, the book collector and recipient of the Sir Thomas More 
medal in 1986. This I think serves to illustrate the absolute 
importance of travel, and as a result perhaps of my enthusiasm in 
this direction, a lady friend, Mrs. Christopher Buckley, gave me a 
gift fund so I could travel when I needed to travel. It's obvious 
that the amount of travel that I do the university would not 
support, so that gift fund makes it possible. 

I think that concludes my topic on travel. 
You are not thinking of your year in France as travel? 

Oh, well, thank you. I spent a year in France in 1978-79 at a 
monastery in Burgundy, "La Pierre Qui Vire." It was a very fruitful 
year, and a year of rest. It gave me a complete respite from my 
duties here at USF, and gave me an opportunity to read and to 
reflect. I'm looking forward to the same opportunity coming up this 
coming year, 1988-89, at the same monastery. 

I believe you said that it was a center of fine printing? 

Well, it was a center of printing. The monastery has five 
Heidelberg presses there, and the subject of their publications is 
Romanesque art, which is an outcome of the Benedictine enterprise a 
thousand years ago. 

How did you happen to choose that particular monastery? 

A monk from that monastery was teaching at USF in about 1975 , and I 
met him and it led to getting an invitation to come there. 

You said it was Benedictine? 

Benedictine. That is also travel, intended as a respite. From 
there, I traveled out to Germany to see Otto Schafer, the book 
collector. I visited England and Belgium and so on. So this coming 
year, I will probably be doing the same thing, going out and 
visiting from there. 



96 



Working with the Directors of the Gleeson Library 



Teiser: I have here "working with succeeding Gleeson librarians." You're--? 

Monihan: Yes, that is a very important thing, because in 1964 I moved from 

the library department of the university to the University Relations 
department. My job was to do public relations for the Gleeson 
Library. That implied a close working relationship with the dean of 
the library. I've had a very successful relationship with 
Dr. [Robert] Gitler and Paul Birkel. I couldn't do my work as 
director of library relations in my concept without an intimate 
relationship with these directors. I've been ve^ry fortunate in 
having their support, enthusiasm and fellow feeling for what I was 
trying to do. 

That is a very important part, to have a harmonious 
relationship with the administrator of the library. In my way of 
doing things, I involve myself in acquisitions, meaning that when I 
travel, I go to booksellers and get quotations of books I feel 
should be added to the Gleeson Library. I come back, and present 
this to the administrator. Sometimes I have gift funds to pay for 
it; other times they're using their other gift funds. I need to be 
at the heart of the library; the heart of the library is 
acquisitions . 

Teiser: And you have your office in the library. 

Monihan: Yes. And I feel the rare book room is in a sense the sales room for 
a person in my job, because there you demonstrate how the library 
does care for important treasures. 

Teiser: You once said that you were- -I guess personally- -a born 
institutional collector. 

Monihan: Yes, I am. 



"The Utopia of the Gleeson Library" 



Teiser: Let me ask your aims for the Gleeson Library and the rare book room 
itself. 

Monihan: Well, I would say, to put it in most concrete terms, that the 
nirvana or the Utopia of the Gleeson Library would be when it 
arrives at that stage of excellence in collections in the library 
that it would become a major motive for a person to join the faculty 
of the University of San Francisco. They would say, "The library is 
so strong in these areas, I just want to be here because here is 



97 



Monihan: where the resources are." So that would be the stage where we would 
have sufficient depth of collections in various subjects. 

An example: the modernist collection of George Tyrell I 
acquired somewhere around, say, ten years ago. We acquired it 
through contact 1 made with a man named Thomas Loome. Last summer 
we had a visitor from Australia who used this collection and said, 
"For anyone studying the subject of modernism in the Roman Catholic 
Church, 1890-1910, all of the printed sources are here. The only 
thing lacking would be archival sources . " So this was a great 
compliment on just one subject. That is the kind of coverage that I 
would like to see the library have again and again and again, 
subject after subject. 

Now, these areas of concentration of high quality are usually 
obtained either by purchasing a collection already formed that is 
unusually rich- -that's what you get in the modernist collections- -or 
by receiving a gift of such a collection. It's a very long, long 
road for a library to build up collections of strength in any 
concentrated form such as a collector would form. You can get 
richer and richer coverage over the years, but it would be rare that 
you would be able to concentrate on so many subjects and have 
strength in so many of them simultaneously. This means you're 
getting from the market books that are pertinent to many, many 
subjects. It takes years and years and years to get strength that 
would be equivalent to private collections. 

Teiser: Do you give preference to subjects connected with the Catholic 
Church? 

Monihan: No, I really don't. I like to consider that we are a Catholic 

library, with both a capital "C" and a lower case "c". I've been 
complimented by booksellers on my catholic tastes. No, I think I 
can honestly say I give preference to opportunities . However, as 
soon as I've said that, I find, for example, some very important 
material on the Jesuits that we can't collect because it is very 
expensive, and then I occasionally would move in that direction to 
collect it. 

But in general, I would say that our special collections 

demonstrate a catholicity of taste, such as Robert Graves, the 

Housmans , the local presses: John Henry Nash, Grabhorn, and great 
press in Los Angeles -- 

Teiser: Plantin? 



Monihan: Yes, the Plantin Press in Los Angeles is an extremely important 

collection which Steve Corey acquired. It's true in a library of 
our sort, when you're asked the question, "How is it you have this 
or that?", it's because we had the opportunity to acquire it, and we 
had the resources to obtain it. So, Ruth, the aim of the Gleeson 



98 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



Teiser: 



Monihan: 



Library, in my feeling, is just to have a richer collection, a more 
concentrated collection. It gives the greatest pleasure to me and 
to others in the library- -Paul Birkel, Steve Corey- -when people come 
and find something of substance in our library. Or people say, "I 
wrote my book entirely in the Gleeson Library, with one or two 
exceptions." This has happened again and again; people have written 
books using the Gleeson Library almost exclusively. 

I am very much encouraged by the present status of the library. 
It has strength. It is still not a research library such as the big 
ones across the country, but for our size, a half million volumes, I 
think we have pretty good strength in many areas. 

Do you have any plans for increasing the staff of the rare book 
room? 



I have nothing to say about that; that would be in the hands of the 
administrator. But I would think that that will eventually come to 
be , in the future . 

I know from working there that since only one person has to do 
everything, it's not available all the time. 

No, that is one of the handicaps. I would like to see in that sense 
the staff increased so that it would be more available to people, 
yes . 



The Lone Mountain Library 



Teiser: What happened to Lone Mountain College's library? 

Monihan: Well, that library is still intact, but it's in the process of being 
incorporated into our library. The cataloguing and processing of 
the books is being done continuously. The objective of Paul Birkel, 
the dean of the library, is to use Lone Mountain's stacks as remote 
storage, because we're now at the point where the Gleeson Library is 
filled. All available space is being used, so he has to think of 
more storage for important material less frequently consulted. 
However, the San Francisco College for Women library, and also known 
as Lone Mountain College library- - 

#1 

Monihan: I was talking about the Gleason Library at Lone Mountain, which was 
formed by Monsignor Joseph Gleason. Monsignor Gleason was a first- 
class book collector, there is no question about it. He had 
acquired from travel and all from personal resources a remarkable 
library worthy of any institution, with books of great quality. At 




Dean of the Library Paul Birkel , 1981. 



Photograph courtesy of 
Gleeson Library^ U.S.F. 



99 



Monihan: this time in 1988, our library is incorporating Lone Mountain 

library gradually. We have the catalogue of Lone Mountain library 
so we can watch out and not make duplicate purchases of something 
which is already there . 

Teiser: Did you get rid of much material? 

Monihan: I don't know. See, this process of sorting out things to be sold or 
to be distributed or whatever, I had nothing to do with. Paul 
Birkel did it. You may recall that when Lone Mountain College 
administration was in dire straits, they invited Warren Howell to 
come in and purchase $100,000 worth of manuscripts and books. Some 
of the more rare and important materials left that collection at 
that time. 

After 1978, when University of San Francisco acquired ownership 
of Lone Mountain, Paul Birkel with a bookseller friend sifted 
through things which could be sold, and a number of those books went 
into the open market of this area. 



The Sutro Library 



Teiser: I don't think we have spoken of the Sutro Library. 

Monihan: No, we haven't. During the year 1958 or '59- -and I am relying on 
very imperfect recall on this subject- -the San Francisco Public 
Library decided that they could no longer give space to the Sutro 
Library, which they had housed for a number of years. This library 
was given to the state of California by Dr. Emma Sutro Merritt, the 
daughter of Adolph Sutro, the founder, following her father's 
intentions. It was given to the state of California somewhere 
around after the earthquake and fire [of 1906] . 

Now, this has been regarded as one of the great libraries of 
the West. So when the state of California was informed that the San 
Francisco Public Library no longer had the space to house it, then a 
number of institutions within the city of San Francisco made the 
offer to give it space. Among them was USF. 

It turned out that the library had to stay in San Francisco. 
Well, after two of the institutions in San Francisco- -San Francisco 
State University and USF- -made the offer to house it, the public 
library came back and said that they would give it housing. So we 
had three contesting institutions. I went to the state capitol to 
see Senator Eugene McAteer, who was the senator most interested in 
the affairs of the city of San Francisco, and who also was a friend 
of USF. 



100 



Monihan: So I met with him, and during the course of the deliberations, 

before the decision was made, there appeared on the scene an Adolph 
G. Sutro , who was then in his late seventies, and who volunteered to 
do anything to assist USF be the one who to give space to the Sutro 
Library. He was a graduate of Santa Clara, he said, and of USF. 
Well, he didn't graduate from either institution, but he was 
certainly a student of Santa Clara college. 

Now, he went with me to see Governor [Edmund G.] Brown, the 
senior Governor Brown. We presented to Governor Brown the fact that 
the University of San Francisco would be willing to give the 
collection housing, and we hoped that we would be the one chosen. 
Well, shortly after that, the state of Calif orni'a was inclined to 
accept USF's offer, because we were willing to pay $100,000 to clear 
the basement of the Gleeson Library to house the Sutro Library. An 
attorney for the state of California came to USF and started working 
with us on negotiating the contract between the state of California 
and USF. One of the attorneys for the state of California, when we 
were talking about the subject of separation of church and state, 
said, "No problem between church and state; they will have a wall 
between church and state!" That was a brick wall outside the 
elevator on the basement level. [laughter] 

There was at the back of Gleeson Library Building a separate 
entrance called Sutro Library. That was the street entrance to the 
basement, which we put in just because of the Sutro Library. 

So anyhow, it was a twenty-year contract, and it was a nominal 
lease agreement, one dollar a year. Well, after twenty years, the 
state of California still didn't have space to house the Sutro 
Library, so from 1979 until about 1981, negotiations continued. The 
state of California then began to pay an ordinary lease amount after 
our contract had run out. So it was quite a large sum of money they 
were paying us for that two years remaining, until the state was 
able to build the building which they now have.* 

Monihan: There was a lot of writing in the newspapers, both local newspapers 
and the Christian Science Monitor, about the dangers of the Catholic 
church grabbing state property. But in spite of all those fears, 
the state of California decided that USF would be the one to house 
it. 

The reason for USF's offer was that Sutro Library is a research 
library in many areas- -history of science, early American and 
European pamphlets, Japanese material- -many , many areas of 
concentration of excellent material. 



*Near Lake Merced, on San Francisco State University property. 



101 



Monihan: The outcome of this was not that it was used a lot, but about a 
dozen faculty have been interested in it. Down to the very last 
days when the Sutro Library was here, about four or five faculty 
members were decidedly intense in their protestations that it should 
stay at USF. But USF had grown in those intervening twenty- two 
years, and we needed space badly. So when the transfer was made, 
and the Sutro Library moved out, we moved the periodicals into that 
space , and it was ideal for us . 



On Being an Institutional Collector 



Teiser: Would you like to conclude with general observations on your life as 
an institutional collector? As I mentioned, you told me once that 
you were a born institutional collector. 

Monihan: Yes. I tried this out on many occasions being a private collector, 
but I guess I believe that the Gleeson Library is my private 
collection. I have no desire for building up a collection of my 
own, but my greatest desire is to make the Gleeson Library strong. 
This is my satisfaction when I see parts of the library growing, in 
bibliography for instance, or in navigation, and travel. 

So I am an institutional collector both intellectually and 
emotionally. I have no thought that acquisition should stay in my 
possession. I just don't think in terms of a private collection of 
my own. I have built up over the years a Mary Berry collection, and 
a Joseph Scaliger collection. Mary Berry was a young lady friend of 
Horace Walpole . There are those two collections, and before we were 
very far advanced I transferred them to the rare book room at the 
Gleeson Library. That's all I have to say about my institutional 
collecting. 

Maybe one thing I would like to add on- -this is an appendix, a 
postscript- -is that it's been an interesting experience as a Roman 
Catholic priest that I have been in contact with the top antiquarian 
booksellers and the top collectors. None of these people are Roman 
Catholic. Not by design, by plan, did I achieve this, but I found 
out that in these groups, as well as in organizations such as the 
Grolier Club, I'm the only one, the only Roman Catholic priest. 
It's somewhat of a surprise, I suppose, to some of them, but there's 
no barrier at all between my role as a priest and these other people 
who have no connection whatsoever with the Roman Catholic church. I 
find it very stimulating, anyhow, and I would say that my friends 
find it stimulating. It's unexpected. It doesn't hurt; and maybe 
it helps. I think that's all I can say. 

Transcriber: Shannon Page 
Final Typist: Judy Smith 



102 



TAPE GUIDE FATHER WILLIAM J. MONIHAN 



Interview 1: 5 May 1988 1 

tape 1, side a 1 

tape 1, side b 8 

tape 2, side a 16 

Interview 2: 9 May 1988 16 

tape 2, side b 22 

tape 3, side a 29 

Interview 3: 14 May 1988 30 

tape 3, side b 35 

tape 4, side a 41 

Interview 4: 18 May 1988 42 

tape 4, side b 46 

tape 5, side a 50 

Interview 5: 24 May 1988 52 

tape 5, side a 52 

tape 6, side a 58 

Interview 6: 27 May 1988 62 

tape 6, side b 63 

tape 7, side a 70 

Interview 7: 30 May 1988 74 

tape 7, side b 75 
tape 8 not recorded 

tape 9, side a 81 

Interview 8: 7 June 1988 84 

tape 9, side b 86 

tape 10, side a 92 

Interview 9: 11 June 1988 93 

tape 10, side b 98 



102a 



APPENDIX 

The Gleeson Library Associates Membership Invitation 

Image Profile: "A Priest for all Seasons," Sunday, August 7, 1988 



The Gleeson Library Sssociates incite 
you to become a parr of thie nerrj cultural 
expansion in our groining community. 




IlluitrauoD : Tide page of John oe Garlandia'i Uultontm Vocabulontm 
Inierpraato. Fruited by Richard Pynaoa, London. 1514. 




R some time it has been recognized 
that the growth of the Richard A. 
Gleeson Library should be accelerated 
if it' is to keep pace with the general expan 
sion program of the University of San 

..Francisco. This led to the founding in the 
Fall of 1957 of the Gleeson Library Associates 
with the blessing of Father President John 
F. X. Connolly, S.J. 

The two-fold purpose of the Associates is to 
cooperate in the development of the book re 
sources and sen-ices of the Library, and to pre 
sent cultural programs. 

It is freely admitted that the Library has 
needs that are beyond the scope of its regular 
budget, and it is hoped that the Associates will 
be able to supply many of these. In this way 
they will play an important part in developing 
the Library as an outstanding cultural center, 
fully equipped to render a complete service to 
the University and the cultural community. 

Regular meetings will be held at which pro 
grams will be presented for the enjoyment 
of the Associates. From time to time a special 
tribute will be paid to individuals who have 
won distinction for scholarly achievement. 

An occasional Newsletter will be issued to 
advise the Associates of items of interest, such 
as noteworthy acquisitions by the Library, staff 
changes and special events. 



The important work of acquiring special 
collections of books and manuscripts has been 
entrusted to the Book Committee. 

Associates cnioy all the privileges of mem 
bership in the Library. They are encouraged 
to make frequent use of its holdings, so that 
they may become well acquainted with the col 
lection of books and periodicals available. 

To make a significant contribution to the 
growth and development of the Library, the 
Associates will need a fairly sizable member 
ship. You are cordially invited to share this op 
portunity of providing aid and inspiration for 
eager young minds. In accepting, you will truly 
become a patron of learning. 

Snnual Memberships 

(You are not restricted to thti amount) 

PATRON Sioo 

CONTRIBUTING $50 

SUSTAINING $2^ 



REGULAR 



Sio 



Checks should be made payable to the University of S.in 
Francisco. Membership tees are deductible from income tax. 



Glrcocn Library 



UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO 
SAN FRANCISCO 17. CALIFORNIA 



IMAGE 



PROFILE 



A 
PRIEST 

for all 

SEASONS 



by Kevin Starr 



For the past 40 years, a quiet but effective presence has been at work on the San 
Francisco cultural scene. He is a 70ish silver-haired Jesuit Father by the name 
of William J. Monihan. Vowed to poverty, Monihan is at home among the 
wealthy, especially if they are book collectors. Monihan is a paradox: a penniless de 
Medici. <^> Through his vows, he has renounced just about everything; yet stories 
about Monihan have this intrepid cleric at dinner parties in Paris, taking a year off for 
private study in a remote French monastery, hobnobbing with the industrial elite and 
fraternizing with the Zen monks of Japan. <^> Monihan is the omnipresent Jesuit of a 
Thackeray novel, popping out of the woodwork at an odd moment, plotting vast acqui 
sitions or dynastic subventions. Except that in Monihan's case the empire to be won 
eventually winds up on the shelves of the Countess Bemardine Murphy Donohue Rare 
Book Room of the Gleeson Library at the University of San Francisco. <^> It is a world 
far from the sandlots of the Western Addition, where Monihan grew up. But then 
again, the Western Addition of the 1 920s is today a long way from itself. There is in 
William Monihan something of the spirit of San Francisco, something about upward 
mobility amidst successive generations of new arrivals. When asked to characterize Mo 
nihan's role in Bay Area cultural circles of her set, Clara Van Ness Denman (as in Van 
Ness Avenue) says: "Father Bill is the arbiter elegantiamm of thinking and reading for 
many, many San Franciscans. He's a humanist of the first rank. He's also like Father 
Holt in Thackeray's novel The History of Henry Esmond, busy with about a half 



12 * I M A G E Sunday, August 7. 1 988 



dozen schemes in a half dozen countries. I suppose you 
might say he's a combination of St Francis of Assist, St 
Ignatius Loyola and Ward McAllister." Ward McAllister 
was the San Francisco lawyer who went East to become 
senior tutor to the first families of Newport and New 
York. Monihan's form of tutelage is an annual summer 
symposium he has sponsored at USF since 1965, dealing 
variously with such master spirits and themes as Eras 
mus, Cervantes, Rabelais, the Zen masters, Thomas 
Jefferson, Abigail Adams, T.S. Eliot, Jose Ortega y Gas- 
set, Carlos Fuentes, William Butler Yeats, Egyptian art 
of the New Kingdom, theater in ancient Greece, and the 
painting, poetry and gardens of ancient China. 

Symposium participants are encouraged to make their 
intellectual journey via reading, lectures, discussion and 
the enjoyment of good food and drink. The symposia are 
organized around morning and afternoon lectures and 
discussions, sandwiched between catered luncheons and 
dinners and entertainment. For this year's topic, Moni- 
han chose the art and spirituality of Japan. 

Bom in San Francisco in 1914, Monihan grew up on 
Fulton Street between Baker and Lyon in the 
Western Addition. His father was a plumbing 
contractor who came to San Francisco in 1906 from 
Chester County, Pennsylvania. "He read of the earth 
quake and fire in the newspapers," Monihan says, "and 
decided there'd be plenty of plumbing business here." 

M onihan remembers what he calls a sandlot boyhood 
roaming with a band of friends through the empty lots 
of the Western Addition and the property, ironically, now 
occupied by USF. "The boys I ran with," he says, "main 
tained a rather sophisticated network of organizations. I 
suppose you might even call them gangs. Each group had 
its own code, its own lore, its own rituals. You might say 
my active membership in these groups prefigured my 
eventual entrance into the Jesuit order." 

Graduating from St. Ignatius High School in 1932, 
Monihan entered the Society of Jesus. The Jesuit order 
combines two distinct impulses, according to Monihan, 
the missionary and the scholarly. "Whatever religious 
work each Jesuit was embarked upon, he was also sup 
posed to maintain a scholarly specialty. . . Almost from 
the start of my Jesuit life, I knew that my specialty would 
be the creation of libraries." 

Trained as a librarian at the University of California 
at Berkeley after finishing his education in classics, 
philosophy and theology with the Jesuits, Monihan made 
librarianship and the Gleeson Library his vocation in 
deed, his passion. Over the years, he has roamed the 
world, haunted the bookshops of Europe, Asia and the 
Americas, sat through innumerable dinner parties and 
wooed a vast array of collectors to bring the library's 
Special Collections Department to its present distinction. 

"As a Jesuit, I took a vow of poverty, so I don't wish to 
own any books personally," Monihan admits. "I am by 
definition an institutional collector." 

By the standards of Stanford or UC-Berkeley, the 
Gleeson Library is, with a half-million volumes, relatively 



rraroouMrxn 



vtanmsm OF *AM niNcnco 




FORM AND BEYOND 

Art & Spirituality m Japan 



UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO 




VICTORY THROUGH SUFFERING 



The intellectual anj spiritual themes of Father Monihan 't annual 
symposium ii reflected in posters for two of the USF gatherings. 



14 * I M A G E * Sunday, Augmt 7, 1 988 



small. But Monihan has helped accumulate some 35 
notable collections during his years at USF, including the 
Sir Thomas More and English Recusant collections; the 
works of the 16th Century French humanist Joseph 
Scaliger; complete first editions of such 20th Century 
literary figures as Robert Graves, Eric Gill, Robinson 
Jeffers and Laurence Housman; the John Henry Nash 
Collection of fine printing; a complete run of the Plan tin 
Press of Saul and T.ilHan Marx of Los Angeles and the 
fine printers of San Francisco, many of them collected by 
Norman Strouse of St Helena, one of the great book 
collectors of this century. 

Antiquarian books are by definition an internationl 
enterprise, and Monihan maintains close connections 
with booksellers and collectors around the globe. "I feel it 
important to get around, hobnobbing, being a guest, 
getting to know booksellers and collectors on a personal 
basis. Rare books constitute an international republic of 
letters. Like the humanists of the Renaissance, collectors 
have a way of knowing each other and keeping in touch 
across international boundaries." 

It was the great collector Waller Barrett who intro 
duced Monihan into the Grolier Club of New York, the 
elegant association of collectors. As the only Jesuit mem 
ber of the Grolier, Monihan has introduced the learned 
enthusiasms and international connections of his order 
into the Grolier's existing worldwide network. While 
touring the libraries and antiquarian bookstores of Eu 
rope with the Grolier and the International Association 
of Bibliophiles, Monihan has become good friends with 
such renowned bibliophiles as Henri Schiller of Paris, a 
collector of pre-Gutenberg manuscripts, and Dr. Otto 
Schafer (as in the ball-bearing family) of Schweinfurt, 
West Germany, a collector of illustrated books. 

Monihan met the Dublin collector John Galvin 
through the late antiquarian book dealer Warren Howell, 
whose John Howell Books at the corner of Powell and 
Post for so many years stood as a symbol of book arts and 
book culture in San Francisco. Another late and es 
teemed San Francisco bookseller, David Magee, helped 
Monihan snag his famous Sir Thomas More collection. 
Monihan's symposia are designed to generate commu 
nity interest in the Gleeson Library. They also reflect his 
personal growth. Take this year's symposium in Japan. 
In the fall of 1987, Monihan visited Japan as the guest 
of Dr. Mitsuo Kodama, president of Meisei University in 
Tokyo and a world-renowned book collector. It was 
through the world of rare books, in which the Japanese 
now play a major role, that Monihan first learned of 
Kodama and later invited him to San Francisco to 
receive the Sir Thomas More Medal for Book Collecting, 
a tribute to distinguished private collectors granted each 
year by the Gleeson Library Associates. 

While in Japan, Monihan continued his 20-year study 
of Zen under the tutelage of Hideo Aoki, Dr. Koda ma's 
executive assistant, and his fellow Jesuits living in Japan, 
both Japanese and non-Japanese, who had devoted their 
lives to understanding the Japanese tradition. Ever since 
his 1969 symposium on Asian spirituality, Monihan had 



been seeking to internalize an Asian element into his 
highly Westernized mental and spiritual formation. 
While in Kyoto, Monihan visited the Ryoanji Temple, 
and it clicked, it came together, the insight he had been 
seeking for, lo, these 20 years. Standing before 15 large 
rocks placed amidst finely raked gravel, Monihan absorb 
ed the insight about the transitory nature of permanence 
and the permanence of transitoriness that is central to 
the Zen perspective and the Japanese imagination. 

The 15 rocks were there, solid and substantial; yet 
their gravel bed moved to the music of time, changing 
and shifting in patterns that, over a longer period, would 
eventually alter the large rocks as well. The Japanese, 
Monihan points out, amidst all their busy material suc 
cess, sustain at the center of their consciousness an 
all-pervasive sense of the transitory nature of things. The 
first lines of the 14th Century classic The Tale of the 
Heike put it this way: "The temple echoes the imperma- 
nence of all things, and the changing colors of the leaves 
testify that all that once flourished had to decay." 

In a speech before a San Francisco audience, former 
Japanese Consul General Tatsuo Arima placed this per 
spective in the context of real estate, of all things. "In 
Japan," said Arima, "we have neither the arrangement 
nor the concept of such a long-term lease as, say, a 
99-year lease for a building or a flat. We have old temples, 
shrines, houses, and, indeed, stone castles remaining 
from our past, but they are the exceptions. Wooden 
structures, with paper and bamboo as the predominant 
interior materials, are more characteristic, and they are 
by definition temporary." 

In some cases, charisma can be a great big noisy flashy 
thing. Charisma can also, as in the case of William 
Monihan, be something quieter, but equally effective. 
When I was an undergraduate at USF in the late 1950s, 
Bill Monihan was at the absolute center of influence on 
undergraduates. He wasn't a coach or even a professor. 
He was, of all things, a librarian. And yet he communicat 
ed to the raw-boned Irish and North Beach Italian lads 
who populated USF in that era something of the scope 
and excitement of human culture. Thanks to William 
Monihan, it dawned on an entire generation of young 
men, perhaps for the first time, that there might be more 
to life than the immediate struggle for success. 

"Father Bill suggested the great world," says Dan 
Ritter, a Salem, Oregon, attorney and 1962 USF alum 
nus. "It was like a Pat O'Brien movie, with O'Brien 
playing Monihan, and Father Bill is telling these guys: 
'Look, it's vast and it's beautiful, and it's yours!' " 

Next year, Monihan will be on sabbatical, staying at 
the Benedictine Monastery of La Pierre Qui Vire in 
Burgundy. He intends to spend the year meditating, 
reading and writing, and of course taking time out for 
quick trips to England, Germany, Sweden and Belgium 
in search of collectors who may some day become patrons 
of the library to which he has dedicated his life. 

Kevin Starr is a San Francisco historian. 



Sunday. August 7,1988 * I M A G E * 15 



103 
INDEX - Father William J. Monihan 



Ackers, Sandy, 81 

Ad el man, Seymour, 94 

Alma College, 14, 23, 24, 25-26, 27, 29-30 

American Library Association, 31 

Anacapa Book Shop, 74 

Aperture . 75 

Aquinas, Thomas, 17-18 

Arizona Pioneers Historical Society, 75, 76 

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, 88, 92 



Backus, Joyce, 32 

Barclay, Alexander, 49 

Barker, Marjorie, 69, 94 

Barlow, William P., Jr., 83, 92 

Barrett, Clifton Waller, 52-53, 65, 91, 93 

Bayma, Joseph, S. J., 22-23 

Bellarmine College Preparatory, 20, 21-22, 23, 24, 29 

Belt, Elmer, 91 

Benedictine monastery, La Pierre Qui Vire, 95 

Berry, Mary, 101 

bibliography, 54-55 and passim 

Birkel, Paul, 43, 44, 74, 96, 98, 98, 99 

Blackwell, Richard, 70 

Blackvell's, Oxford, 61 

Bodmer, Martin, 95 

Bowers, Fredson, 93-94 

Bowers, Nancy, 93-94 

Boyd, Julian, 34 

Brandt, Sebastian, 49 

Brick Row Book Shop, 74 

Brown, Edmund G., 100 

Buckley, Mrs. Christopher, 95 

Burchard, John E., 33, 38, 86, 88 



Carmelite order, 12 

Castile, Rand, 92 

Champoeg Press, 75 

Chardin, Tielhard de, 12 

Clark, R. T., collection, 61-62, 94 

Clark, Jonathan, 79 

Cody, Alexander, S. J., 7 

Cole, Geraldine (Mrs. Jeremy), 90 

Colllgan, James, S. J., 6 

Collins, Frank, 3 

Columbus cartography collection, 51-52, 81 

Connolly, John F. X., S. J., 41 

Corey, D. Steven, 54, 57-58, 72, 79, 81, 90, 97, 98 

Coulter, Edith, 31-32, 45 



104 



Crocker, Templeton, 65 

Crocker Junior High School, San Francisco, 1, 2,3 



D'Arcy, Martin, S. J., 20 
Daly, Darrell W. , 81, 82 
Dan Murphy Foundation, 90 
Dante, Alighieri, 88 
Davies, David, 40 

De Ghellinck, S. J., 30 

Donne , John , 49 

Donohoe, Bernardine Murphy, 90 

Donohoe, Daniel, 90 

Donohoe Rare Book Room, see Gleeson Library Rare Book Room 

Drum, Frank, 42 

Drum, Frank G., 41-44, 49, 50 

Drum, Frank G. Foundation, 31, 41-45, 49, 60, 61 

Drum Foundation, 43 

Dunne, William, S., 29, 32, 33, 34, 39, 42-43, 44, 46 



Eccles, Mary Hyde, 94 
Emparan, Madie Brown, 83 
England, Anne, 12 
Erasmus, [Desiderius] , 49, 85 
Evans, Henry, 52, 81 



Far Eastern Affairs Program, 23, 26-27 

Feely, Raymond T., S.J., 47 

Finn, Howard, 41, 43 

Fisher, Bernard, 84 

Fletcher, Keith, 70 

Fletcher, William R. , 61, 64, 70, 94 

Flower Book. 68 

Foghorn . 78 

Fracchia, Charles, 53, 54, 78, 83 

Fremont Grammar School, San Francisco, 1 

Friends of The Bancroft Library, 81 

Fromm, Norman, 77 



Galvin, John, 65, 94 

Getty Museum, 71 

Giamatti, Bartlett, 88 

Gill, Eric, 90-91 

Gitler, Robert, 90, 96 

Gleason, Joseph M. , 46, 98 

Gleason Library, 98 

Gleeson, Richard, S. J., 33, 45-46, 82, 83 

Gleeson Library, 32-101 and passim 

Associates, 75, 77, 78, 81-84, 90 
Associates, Fellows of, 83 
Rare Book Room, 48, 87, 89-91 



105 



Gonzaga University, Spokane, 14, 19, 24 

Gorman, Thomas K. , 3 

Grabhom Press, 97 

Graves, Robert, 97 

Griffith, Phil, 93 

Grolier Club, 53, 65, 67-68, 71, 94-95, 101 



Hamill, Frances, 69, 94 

Ham 111 and Barker, 63, 94 

Hammond, George, 81 

Harrison, Maurice E., 48, 49, 61 

Harroun, Catherine, 77 

Hart, James D. , 91 

Harvard University libraries, 34, 35 

Hinckle, Warren, 78 

Honnold Library, Claremont, 40 

Horblit, Harrison, 94 

Houle, George, 86 

Housman, [AlfredE.], 97 

Housman, [Laurence], 97 

Howell, Antoinette (Mrs. Warren R.), 65 

Howell, Warren R. , 56, 64-67, 68, 69, 71, 75, 89, 93, 99 

Hunt, Hayvood, 52 



incunabula . 52, 73 
Ivancovich, Jane, 76 



Jammes, Andre, 72 

Jeffers, Robinson, 57 

Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, 18, 25, 26 

Jesuits, see Society of Jesus 

Johnson, George, 51, 52 



Kennedy, Alfred, 76 

Kennedy, Freda (first Mrs. Lawton) , 50, 76 

Kennedy, Lawton, 50, 51, 73, 74-80, 81, 82, 89, 93 

Kennedy, Renee (second Mrs. Lawton), 79 

Kennett, White, 49 

Keyes, Roger, 92 

Koch, Peter, 81 

Koch, Rudolph, 68 

Kodama, Mitsuo, 68, 92, 95 

Koret Health Center, USF, 3 

Kraus, Hans. 68, 71 



Lande , Lawrence , 94 
Lewis, Wilmarth, 52, 69, 91, 94 
librarianship, passim 
London, Jack, 57 



106 

Lone Mountain College library, 98-99 
Loome , Thomas, 97 
LoSchiavo , John J . , 47 
Ludvig manuscripts, 71 
Luther, Martin, 85-86 



NacDonald, Malcolm, 62, 94 

Madison, Marshall, 43 

Magee, David, 48, 60-61, 62, 63-64, 65, 70, 93 

Marc'hadour, Germain, 85 

Marquette, Jacques, S.J. 11 

Martin, Leo, S. J. , 15-16, 17, 20, 30 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology library, 33 

Masses, times of, 12 

McAteer, Eugene, 99-100 

McAuliffe, Florence, 36, 82 

McCarthy, William H. , 36 

McFadden, Edwin, S. J., 7 

McGloin, John, S. J., 39-40 

Medieval Mirrors. 59 

Merritt, Emma Sutro, 99 

Metcalf, Keyes, 34 

Mitty, John J. , 46 

Monihan, Alice, 2, 48 

Monihan, Helen May Hunter (mother of William J.), 1. 2, 

7-8, 48 

Monihan, Jack (brother of William J.), 2, 48 
Monihan, William Joseph (father of William J.), 1, 48 
More, Thomas, 48, 49, 50, 85. See also Thomas More collection and 

Utopia 

Morrison, Stanley, 51 
Morrissey, Edward, 43 

Mt. St. Michaels College, 11, 15, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26 
Murphy, Dan, 36 



Nash, John Henry, 97 
Newsletter. 84 

Nordback, , 94-95 

Norman, Jeremy, 73-74 
Nunn, George E., 51 



O'Brien, William, 82 
O'Connor, Terence, S.J., 51 
O'Sullivan, Carroll, S. J., 46 
Olschki family, 73 
ordination, 27 



Peregrine Press, 81 

Peyre, Henri, 87 

Pfleuger, Milton, 27, 34-35, 37, 47 



107 



Pflueger, Timothy, 32, 33, 47 

Phillips, Thomas library, 66, 71 

Plantin Press, 97 

Polak, Jean, 72 

Praise of Folly. The. 49 

Pynson, [Richard], 49 



Ray, Gordon, 91 

Record. The. 84 

Rexroth, Kenneth, 85 

Ritter, Dan, 78 

Ritter, Armande (Mrs. Dan), 78 

Rodriguez , Alphonsus , 10 

Rosenstock, Fred, 75, 76-77 

Rosenthal, Bernard M. , 49, 72-73 

Rosenthal, Jacques, 73 

Rosenthal, Marie Louise (Mrs. Samuel), 95 

Rosenthal, Samuel, 95 

Rosenwald, Lessing, 65, 89, 91, 94 

Roxburghe Club, 75, 80 

Royal Library, Stockholm, 53, 54 



Sacred Heart Novitiate, Los Gatos , 9, 13, 15, 29 

San Francisco Chamber Music Society, 77 

San Francisco State University, 99, 100 

Sanctuary Society, 4, 7 

Scaliger, Joseph, 101 

Schafer, Otto, 95 

Schechtel, Joseph, S. J. , 30, 54 

Scheide, William, 94 

Schmulowitz, Nat, 75 

Scopazzi, John, 74 

Seeliger, Francis, S.J., 10-11 

Shasky, Florian, 57, 90, 91 

Sheerin, Francis, S. J., 25, 29, 30 

Ship of Fools. 49 

Shumate, [C.] Albert, 40, 49, 75, 81, 82 

Sir Thomas More medal, 53, 54, 65, 68, 83, 91-92, 94, 95 

Society of Jesus (Jesuits), passim 

regency, 24 

scholastics, 3-4, 10 

tertianship, 28 
Society of Helpers, 12 

Special Events Committee, USF, 77-78, 92-93 
Speck, Reinhard S. (Stan), 78 
Speculum Humana e Salvationis. 90 
Sperisen, Albert, 91 
Spitz, Louis, 86 

St. Ignatius Church, 2, 3, 4, 39, 45-46 
St. Ignatius College, 2, 3, 22 
St. Ignatius High School, 1, 3-7, 9, 20 
St. Peter Canisius Day, 50-51, 80 



108 

Stauffacher, Jack, 81 

Stern, Marjorie, 53 

Strouse , Charlotte , 57 

Strouse, Norman, 53-54, 57, 64, 90, 91 

Sullivan, Tom, S. J. , 26 

Sutro, Adolph, 99 

Sutro, Adolph G. , 100 

Sutro Library, 99-101 

Sylvester, Richard, 85 

symposia, 33, 49, 84-89, 92-93 



Thomas a Kempls , 10 

Thomas More collection, 42, 47-50, 6-61, 85, 89, 90 

Thomasser, Thomas, 86 

Tinker, Chauncey, 52, 58 

Tyrell, George, 97 



University of California School of Library Science 

14, 30-32, 387 

University of San Francisco, passim 
University of Santa Clara library, 22, 23 
Upton, John, 86 
Utopia. 49, 50, 75, 80, 85, 86 



Vallelos of California. The. 83 



Walsh, James and Delia, 36 

Varde, Beatrice, 51 

Washington State College Library, 33, 34 

Wilde, Oscar, 58, 69 

Wilson, Adrian, 51, 58-59, 80, 90 

Wilson, Joyce Lancaster (Mrs. Adrian), 58-59, 80, 90 



Yorke, Peter, 40 



Zeitlin, Jacob ( Jake), 67-68, 71, 73 
Zeitlin, Josephine (Mrs. Jacob), 68 



Ruth Teiser 

Grew up in Portland, Oregon; came to the 
Bay Area in 1932 and has lived here ever 
since. Stanford, B.A., M.A. in English, 
further graduate work in Western history. 
Newspaper and magazine writer in San 
Francisco since 1943, writing on local 
history and economic and business life 
of the Bay Area. Book reviewer for the 
San Francisco Chronicle since 1943. As 
correspondent for national and western 
graphic arts magazines for more than a 
decade, came to know the printing 
community. 



2642