Skip to main content

Astrik L. Gabriel Papers

Identifier: ALG

Scope and Content

Papers of Astrik L. Gabriel (ALG) dating 1929-2005. The bulk of the material falls between 1948 and 2000. This time span starts with his arrival in the United States and ends a few years prior to his death. There are very few documents from his earlier life because he was forced to flee his native country and left behind almost all his books and papers. All information pertaining to his life in Hungary comes from his correspondences with his colleagues and friends.

The collection contains articles, programs, receipts, postcards, posters, cards, newspaper clippings, lecture notes, research notes, pamphlets, bibliographies, resumes, scrapbooks, books, book reviews, applications, catalogues, certificates, passports, diplomas, recommendations, invitations, prayers, prints, business cards, minutes, nominations, invoices, Federal Express mailing sheets, stationary, telegrams, personal papers from before his life in the United States, and photographs of himself, his friends, his work, or locations of interest to him.

The material concerns Gabriel's role of Editor-in-Chief of the Texts and Studies in the History of the Mediaeval Education, his publications, his role as a member and president in the International Commission for the History of Universities, his personal and professional correspondence, his awards and honors, publicity he received, his personal library, conferences, travels and travel grants, Hungarian events, his lectures, classes he taught, committees on which he served, his role as Director of the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame, the Ambrosiana Microfilm and Photographic Collection project, visiting professorships, and religious appointments and affiliations.

Most of the documents are in English, although a large number of documents are in Hungarian. Correspondence with his family is in Hungarian. There are also items in Italian, German, French, Spanish, and Latin. Enikö Janko has provided English summaries of the Hungarian documents; in these summaries, the family name appears first followed by the given name. The family correspondence consists mainly of letters exchanged between Astrik L. Gabriel (ALG) and his brother: Ottó Gábriel, also called Cuca, his nephew: Ottó- László Gábriel Junior (Ottó's son), and his sister-in-law Mary, i.e. Maria Tarr or Mariska.

Stephanie Fox listed the folder titles and put the documents into new acid-free folders. She wrote the Scope and Content Note and the Biographical Sketch. Most of the files in the collection came from Gabriel's file cabinets and remain in the order he established. Personal and family documents came from his private office. Enikö Janko put these in chronological order within categories such as Personal Correspondence, Family Correspondence, Postcards.


  • Creation: 1929-2005 (bulk 1948-2000).

Language of Materials

In English, Hungarian, French, German, Italian, and Latin.


Astrik Ladislas Gabriel was born 10 December 1907 in Pecs, Hungary. In 1926 he graduated from Szechenyi Real-Gymnasium and entered the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré (in English known as Premonstratentians, Norbertines, or White Canons). In 1936 Gabriel recieved his Ph.D. from the Royal Pazmany University of Budapest. In 1938 Gabriel founded the French College of Godollo and maintained the head of the school position until 1947. Also during this period he was a Privat Dozent and later professor at the University of Budapest. He fled from Hungary in 1947. During the 1947-1948 academic school year he was a guest professor at the Pontifical Insitute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, Canada.

In 1948, Gabriel came to the United States and taught at the University of Notre Dame. During the 1950-1951 academic year, Gabriel was an appointed member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a position he again held during the 1979-1980 school year. In 1953, Gabriel was naturalized as a citizen of the US. From 1952 until 1975, he served as Director of the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame. Gabriel was a Fulbright Exchange Professor in 1958 at the International University of Luxembourg, in 1962 at the University of Munich, and in 1967 at the University of Paris. During the 1963-1964 academic year Gabriel served as the Charles Chauncey Stillman Professor of Roman Catholic Studies at Harvard University. During the 1960s, he began and directed the Frank M. Folsom Ambrosiana Microfilm and Photographic Collection in the Medieval Institute at Notre Dame. After his retirement in 1973, Gabriel served as professor emeritus at Notre Dame until his death on 16 May 2005.

Throughout his career, Gabriel received many awards and honors. In 1950 he was awarded the title of Officer de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government, who also made him a member of the Légion d'Honneur as a Chevalier in 1956 and as an Officier in 1976. In 1956 he was elected a member of the Societé de l'Histoire de France. In 1961, he was named a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, London, and of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, Paris in 1962. He became a fellow of the Mediaeval Academy of America in 1966 and a fellow of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich, in 1972. Gabriel was made an honorary doctor of the Biblioteca Amborisana in Milan in 1966. In 1969 he was awarded the title of Commendatore nell'Ordine al Merito by the Italian government. Gabriel was named Titular Provost of the Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Hungary in 1982, and also was made an honorary member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1983. He served as President of the American Catholic Historical Association in 1973 and as President of the International Commission for the History of Universities, a subsidiary of the International Committee of Historical Sciences, from 1974 to 1985. In 1974 Gabriel recieved the gold medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from the Holy See.

He was the only member of the Roman Catholic Church in his time, who was also member of three Academy of Sciences at the same time. Gabriel also had a vast number of publications. His studies focused primarily on the historical origins and development of universities in the middle ages. While at Notre Dame, he founded the series "Texts and Studies in the History of Mediaeval Education" of which he was the Editor-in-chief. He wrote six of the works in this series; the most well-known included: Skara House at the Mediaeval University of Paris, History, Topography, and Chartulary (Vol. IX, 1960), The University of Paris and its Hungarian Students and Masters during the Reign of Louis XII and Francois Ier (Vol. XVII, 1986), and The Paris Studium. Robert of Sorbonne and His Legacy. Interuniversity Exchange between the German, Crawcow and Louvain Universities and that of Paris in the late Medieval and Humanistic Period. Selected Studies (Vol. XIX, 1992). Two other works he was known for were Student Life in Ave Maria College, Mediaeval Paris, History and Chartulary at the College (University of Notre Dame Press, 1955) and The Mediaeval Universities of Pecs and Pozsony (Medieval Institute, 1969).


25 linear feet

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These papers came to us after Gabriel's death from his files in the Medieval Institute, from his private office, and from his executor.

Astrik L. Gabriel Papers
University of Notre Dame Archives
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Archives Repository

607 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame Indiana 46556 United States
(574) 631-6448