In 1932 Sr. Mary Joseph, Sister of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross, librarian at Webster College in Webster Groves, Missouri, had a dream to collect photos, letters, and manuscripts of living Catholic writers into a Gallery of Living Catholic Authors. The Gallery created a definitive list of Catholic authors to be honored.
This collection inspired schools throughout the United States to create their own similar collections and branch out to additional authors. Students at Mount St. Joseph Academy and Junior College took part in this program and for many years students wrote to authors asking for a photograph and letter for their collection. They would then create a display in the library for the annual National Catholic Book Week.
Below are a few examples from the Catholic Authors Scrapbook. Click on the images for a closer view.
Booth Tarkington is most famous for writing Alice Adams and The Magnificent Ambersons.
Few letters are as amusing as this, sent by playwright Reverend Will Whalen. He was so prepared he even had his tombstone ready before his death.
Sigrid Undset is a Norwegian author most famous for her historical novels Kristin Lavransdatter and The Master of Hestviken.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen was a favorite at Mount St. Joseph and his radio broadcasts were a community event. His signature is in the bottom right hand corner.
Lillian Barker wrote The Dionne Legend: Quintuplets in Captivity, about the Canadian quintuplets who became wards of the government and were followed closely by the media.
Covelle Newcomb was a varied author, writing on subjects from Leonardo da Vinci to John Henry Newman to cowboy adventures in the Old West.
William Thomas Walsh wrote many great historical books on figures such as St. Teresa of Avila, Isabella of Spain, and Phillip II.