Skip to main content

John Lukacs Collection

Identifier: MSN/MN 10033

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the professional papers of historian John Lukacs. Lukacs’ professional materials include samples from each stage of his writing process, including research files; article, essay, and poetry drafts; proofs; and published pieces in periodicals and clippings. The collection also contains contracts, financial records and lecture notes from his various teaching positions. Also included is Lukacs’ correspondence. Significant topics include 20th century American history, 20th century European history, World War II, world politics, American politics, the Cold War, and communism. Materials include clippings, periodicals, drafts, manuscripts, research files, lectures, correspondence, financial records, contracts, audiocassettes, compact discs (CDs), digital versatile discs (DVDs) and videocassettes (VHS and Hi-8 tapes).


  • Creation: 1799 - 2019
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950 - 2019


Language of Materials

Collection materials chiefly in English, with some content in Hungarian, French, or German. A very small volume of materials (translated editions of monographs by Lukacs) in Japanese, Lithuanian, Italian, Korean, Estonian, Portuguese, and Czech are also present.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research, however folders 43, 197, 738, 740, 782, 910, 941, 943, 1004, 1361, and 3346 are restricted from access.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Historian John Adalbert Lukacs (Lukács János Albert, January 31, 1924 – May 6, 2019) was born in Budapest to a Roman Catholic father and Jewish mother. His parents divorced when he was eight and he was raised as a Catholic by his mother who had recently converted. An Anglophile, she sent Lukacs to boarding school in England for two summers to learn English. Lukacs survived the German occupation of Hungary (1944-45), despite being forced to work in a Hungarian labor battalion. By the end of 1944 he had escaped the battalion and took cover in a cellar until the end of the war. He completed an advanced degree in History at the University of Budapest in 1946. Lukacs fled Hungary for the United States later that year, following the installation of the communist regime.

After a year spent lecturing part-time at Columbia, in 1947 John Lukacs became Professor of History at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, a Roman Catholic (then) women’s college where he remained until his retirement in 1994. Lukacs wrote in English and Hungarian and authored over thirty monographs, chiefly on history, and hundreds of articles, reviews, and essays. His writing often concerned events leading up to World War II, its major figures (notably Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin), and on the events of World War II in Europe. He wrote extensively about the Cold War and published several works on historical philosophy, as well.

John Lukacs often wrote on politically conservative convictions and voiced anti-communist views of the Cold War. However, he disagreed with McCarthyism and was critical of the American right regarding trends toward populism, expressions he saw as dangerous forms of nationalism, and on issues American military intervention abroad. Lukacs characterized himself as a traditionalist, a patriot, and a reactionary. He saw cultural decline in the rise of materialism and veneration of technology.

Lukacs was married three times, to Helen Schofield (died in 1971), to Stephanie Harvey (died in 2003) and then to Pamela Hall (divorced). He lived in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania from the 1950s until his death in 2019.


74.5 Cubic Feet (58 record storage boxes)


Collection unarranged; organization reflects the creator’s original order.

Separated Materials

Library of John Lukacs received in gift to the University of Notre Dame; titles described individually within Hesburgh Libraries' catalog.

2021 May 19
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556