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The Freidsam Memorial Library, on St. Bonaventure University campus, is home to many important works of literature and art, archival research, and special collections. It houses two very special collections including that of Robert Lax and Thomas Merton. The library was built in 1937 and was named after Colonel Michael Friedsam. Before dying, Friedsam believed in giving his money to intuitions, such as St. Bonaventure, to provide the improvement of “youth and the human condition” (St. Bonaventure University archives).


Robert Lax introduced Thomas Merton to Father Irenaeus, the librarian at the time, and the two quickly became friends. Even after their introduction, Father Irenaeus consistently called Merton the wrong name. Instead of Merton, he was called "Myrtle". Merton was given access to all the books offered in the library. After his time on campus, Father Irenaeus began the Thomas Merton Collection. During the year 1985, Thomas Schaeper, who was a member of the history department at St. Bonaventure, was able to receive contact from Robert Lax. In the process of asking Lax to write reviews on certain collections, Schaeper indulged Lax in the idea of having a collection in the library. Lax reluctantly agreed and sent the university manuscripts. Lax's collection was established in the year 1990.

“Father Irenaeus Herscher.” Home Page, archives.sbu.edu/herscher/index.html.

“Friedsam Memorial Library.” Friedsam Memorial Library, archives.sbu.edu/studentpages/buildings/Friedsam%20Memorial%20Library.htm.

Spaeth, Paul. “Robert Lax.” Home Page, archives.sbu.edu/lax/laxweb/default.htm.