The Bernard and Barbara Wall Papers consists of correspondence, clippings and some ephemera. The material is mainly from three specific periods, and material from each period tends to focus on a specific subject. Material from 1933 to 1935 concerns the publication of Colosseum, that from 1946 to 1948 regards the publication of Changing World, and material from 1967 to 1973 generally regards the Latin Mass and various campaigns to change the Vatican's stance on it.
The great majority of the correspondence is to or from Bernard Wall.
Barbara and Bernard Wall both first became active in the Catholic intellectual movement in their youth. Both were involved in London's Catholic Worker movement in the 1930's, which is how the two met, and together they founded the Catholic Worker newspaper. This appears to have begun a lifelong interest in publishing Catholic intellectual writing. In 1934 Bernard Wall founded Colosseum which, though a small production, gained a great deal of interest and attention in the years before the war, especially among intellectuals interested in religion. All the material in the Papers during this period regard the publication and progress of Colosseum. Among this material we find such things as a letter from Sir Arnold Lunn to Bernard Wall mentioning its success in some American intellectual circles, letters from Thomas Derrick about a cartoon he was commissioned to draw for the magazine, a letter from Thomas Gilby regarding a dinner he was holding to benefit Colosseum and printed ephemera advertising the publication to potential readers and advertisers.
Colosseum was short-lived, however, and it was not until after the War that Bernard Wall was to found another publication, Changing World. During the period between these publications, there is no correspondence in the Papers. There is only, however, a set of clippings from Bernard Wall's regular column in The Catholic Herald, "New Things and Old", which also reflected Wall's interest in change in Catholic thought. The correspondence in the Papers dating from 1946 to 1948 regards the publication and progress of Changing World almost exclusively. Among the most notable letters from this period is a letter from Manya Harari, co-founder of the magazine, setting down her own, rather specific ideas about what the publication should consist of and have as its goals.
Like Colosseum, Changing World was not published for very long, and again the Papers do not include correspondence for an extended length of time. There are, however, two clippings of reviews of Anathémata (1952) by David Jones; one of which is by Bernard Wall. The correspondence picks up again in 1967 and extends to 1973 and mostly regards the movement to reinstate the Tridentine Mass in the Catholic Church. Materials from this period consist of letters to and from friends and acquaintances about the movement, essays by Bernard Wall about Church policy and petitions to the Pope with lists of noteworthy (potential) signers of such petitions. There are a few letters from this period which are addressed to Barbara Wall which are mostly personal in nature. The Papers also include a typed manuscript of Headlong into Change, Bernard Wall's autobiography published in 1969.
Included with the Collection were a complete set of Changing World (1946 - 1949), the first three issues of Colosseum (1934) and copies of Anathémata (1952) by David Jones (reviewer's copy) and of Headlong into Change (1969). These additional materials have been catalogued and placed elsewhere in the Special Collections.
Conditions governing access note
Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.