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Sheldon Vanauken Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Wade-A-34a-b and B-6 through B-7

Scope and Contents

There are five series: Press Items; Works of Vanauken; Vanauken Memorabilia and Correspondence; Correspondence between KJ Gilchrist, Stephen Schofield, and Vanauken; and The Life of Sheldon Vanauken: Research Materials from Will Vaus.

Series 1: Press Items – Containing photocopies of reviews of A Severe Mercy, Under the Mercy, Mercies: Collected Poems, and Gateway to Heaven, some of which have been annotated by Vanauken. Also containing copies of articles about Vanauken. 1977-1990. Arranged by work.

Series 2: Works of Vanauken – Containing a bibliography of Vanauken’s work written by Vanauken, corrected proofs, typescripts, and copies of various works by Vanauken, and articles and letters to the editor by Vanauken. 1977-1994. Organized chronologically, except for the bibliography

Series 3: Vanauken Memorabilia and Correspondence – Containing letters and letter logs to and from Vanauken, photographs and photocopies of awards given to Vanauken’s works, and a Watercolor painting by Davy, Vanauken’s wife. 1977-1996. Organized by subject.

Series 4: Correspondence Between KJ Gilchrist, Stephen Schofield, and Vanauken – Containing correspondence between those individuals. 1983-1996. Organized chronologically.

Series 5: The Life of Sheldon Vanauken: Research Materials from Will Vaus – Containing materials used in the research of Will Vaus’s book Sheldon Vanauken: The Man Who Received “A Severe Mercy.” 1800s-1996. These materials were received by the Wade Center from Mr. Vaus in 2013. Organized by subject and chronologically.


  • Created: 1831-2011
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1947-1996



3.00 boxes : 62 folders

2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Sheldon Vanauken Collection contains typescripts and proofs of Vanauken’s books: A Severe Mercy, Gateway to Heaven, and Under the Mercy; along with photographs of awards, photocopies of articles, reviews, and Vanauken's review briefs and letter logs regarding his work. Also included are biographical research materials on Vanauken from Will Vaus, author of Sheldon Vanauken: The Man Who Received “A Severe Mercy” (Hamden, CT: Winged Lion Press, 2012).

Source of Acquisition

80/30, 80/89, 81/30, 82/86, 82/110, 83/60, 83/61, 86/30, 86/124, 87/175, 89/21, 92/19, 93/30,  95/26, 05/120, 13/65

Related Materials

Researchers interested in this archive may also wish to consult the following resources in the Wade Center holdings:

Schofield Correspondence Archive. Correspondence from the files of Stephen Schofield, including letters to and from Sheldon Vanauken. (Call nos.: A-6 through 7)

Wade Center article file (for additional items by Vanauken)

Items in the Wade Center Book Collection:

MacDonald, George. Phantastes. London (34 Paternoster Row): Strahan & Company, Limited, [between 1871 and 1884]. Vanauken's personal 2 volume copy. Call number: PR4966 .S7 P43 1870z.

Vanauken, Sheldon. Mercies: Collected Poems. Front Royal, VA: Christendom College Press, 1988.

---. Encounter With Light. Wheaton, IL: Wheaton College, Wade Collection, n.d.

---. Gateway to Heaven. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1980.

---. The Glittering Illusion: English Sympathy for the Southern Confederacy. Columbia, SC: The Southron Press, 1985.

---. A Severe Mercy. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977.

---. Under the Mercy. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988. MacDonald, George. “Phantastes.” (2 Vols.) London: Strahan & Co., Ltd., n.d. (Vanauken’s personal copies, which include the inscription: “Sheldon Vanauken / Jesus College Oxford.”)

Other materials in the Wade Center holdings may relate to the topics in this archive. See the archivist for further research assistance.

Other Descriptive Information

There is an acquisition file for this collection. Includes artwork and photographs. There is a partial research copy of this collection - fols. 33-35 only (see 34b).

Processing Information

Processed by Laura Schmidt

Sheldon Vanauken Collection
Laura Schmidt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Marion E. Wade Center Repository

Wheaton College
501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 US