Papers of the Catholic Modernists: Papers of Wilfrid Ward

Scope and Content

The collection largely consists of letters received by Ward from a wide range of correspondents concerning religious, political and intellectual problems as well as Ward's work as a writer and some personal correspondence. In addition there is some outgoing correspondence, notebooks, diaries as well as scrapbooks of presscuttings and some photographs. The main themes include the Catholic Modernist movement of 1907-1908, the Synthetic Society (1896-1908) and Ward's work as a writer, biographer and editor of the Dublin Review. The collection is particularly strong concerning Ward's biography of John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890) with correspondence between Ward and the executors and copy correspondence of Newman.

Administrative / Biographical History

Wilfrid Philip Ward (1856-1916).


The correspondence in the collection is arranged alphabetically and then chronologically by incoming and outgoing correspondent. Some papers including correspondence are arranged under subject headings. The collection was initially sorted by Thomas Michael Loome and were classified in 1976 by Mary Jo Weaver whose 'Working catalogue of the Ward Family Papers' was published in Recusant History, vol. 15 no. 1, May 1979. The collection retains the same order and form introduced by Weaver.

Access Information

The collection is open to all bona fide researchers from higher education institutions in the United Kingdom, and to all others having reasonable need to use them. For specific regulations and opening hours contact the Library. Please note some parts of the collection may be closed, at the discretion of the Keeper of manuscripts, for preservation reasons.

Other Finding Aids

Electronic listing of the collection is currently underway and due to be completed in summer 2002. In the meantime a manual hand list of the collection is available for onsite consultation and Mary Jo Waver's 'Working Catalogue of the Ward Family Papers' in Recusant History, Vol. 15 no. 1, May 1979, remains a useful access point.

Conditions Governing Use

Small quantities of photocopying and photographic coping may be done for research purposes with permission of the Keeper of manuscripts.

Custodial History

The Ward papers were deposited on permanent loan with the University of St Andrews Library in October 1976 by the owner of the papers who then gifted the collection including a further accrual to the University in 1996.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

Papers of Friedrich von Hugel, George Walter Young; Charles Edward Osborne; Frank Rooke Ley; Alfred Leslie Lilley.


Maisie Ward (1889-1975) made extensive use of her father's papers to write a two-volume biography of him. Her hand is much in evidence within the collection. Subsequent use has been made of the collection particularly of the von Hugel correspondence by De la Bedoyere and Barmann, and the George Tyrrell correspondence by Mary Jo Weaver.

Maisie Ward, The Wilfrid Wards and the transition: I. The nineteenth century (London: Sheed and Ward, 1934).

Maisie Ward, The Wilfrid Wards and the transition: 2 Insurrection versus resurrection (London: Sheed and Ward, 1937).

Michael De La Bedoyre, The life of Baron von Hgel (London: Dent, [1951]).

Lawrence Francis Barmann, Baron Friedrich von Hgel and the Modernist crisis in England (London: Cambridge University Press, 1972).

George Tyrrell, Letters from a 'modernist': the letters of George Tyrrell to Wilfrid Ward, 1893-1908; introduced and annotated by Mary Jo Weaver (Shepherdstown: Patmos London: Sheed and Ward, c1981).

Additional Information

The location of original correspondence for which there are copies within the collection is unknown.