The Birmingham Oratory owns an extensive collection of Newman materials, books, journals, theses and research papers, manuscript archives, and numerous personal items that belonged to the Cardinal and were used by him. At present all these are scattered in various corners of Oratory House and are not conveniently accessible by members of the public. We need to bring all these materials and resources together in one place, furnished and equipped for the purpose. This would make Newman’s patrimony publicly accessible, and also ensure its proper conservation for the future.
The Newman Centre we are envisaging would include the following: our library collection of books by and about him, some 300 boxes of manuscript archives, a museum with display cabinets for his vestments, robes, and memorabilia, study facilities for visiting researchers, a café, a book shop, a repository, and a lift for disabled access.
The cost? Some three million pounds stirling. The Fathers do not have the means to fund it ourselves, nor does the Oratory parish. If it is to happen, we shall need to ask for donations from appropriate grant making trusts and charitable foundations, both in the UK and abroad. Newman has many devotees all over the world. We shall need to approach many individuals, many corporate bodies, Oratories, and other religious communities around the world.
Fr.Ignatius Harrison, Provost.