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Novak Papers

Identifier: MJN

Scope and Contents

The Stonehill College Archives and Special Collections are home to the personal and professional papers of 1956 alum Michael Novak. The Michael Novak Papers are a collection of Mr. Novak’s correspondence, family papers, writings by and about Mr. Novak, travel and lecture files, artifacts, and audio and video recordings of Mr. Novak.

Materials for the Collection are actively collected from Mr. Novak’s office. Other donations may be accepted at the discretion of the College Archivist. The Papers are divided into ten series and the majority of the contents within the entire collection range in dates from the 1940s until the present. Access to correspondence files are restricted, researchers must obtain permission from Michael Novak to use any correspondence. Below are descriptions of the nine series. We attempted to strictly adhere to Mr. Novak’s filing system, which from time to time may require researchers to cross check multiple files. Two examples of this are; researchers looking at travel files from Italy may also want to search through correspondence files with Italy, or researchers interested in Mr. Novak’s interviews may want to cross check subject correspondence with the media, topic being interviewed on, or correspondence with individuals who may also be involved with the interview. Portions of the collection may not be in English.


  • Creation: 1889 - 2017

Conditions Governing Access

Michael Novak's correspondence is restricted until 2030.

Biographical / Historical

Born in Johnstown, PA on September 9, 1933, Michael Novak was the eldest of Michael J. and Irene (Sakmar) Novak’s five children. In 1947, Mr. Novak entered the Holy Cross Seminary at Notre Dame, and later graduated from Stonehill College in 1956 with an A.B. in Philosophy. From Stonehill, Mr. Novak went on to receive his B.A. in Theology from Gregorian University in 1958 and later transferred to Catholic University. Mr. Novak left the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1960, just prior to his ordination, and began graduate studies at Harvard University, receiving his master’s degree in 1965.

On June 29, 1963, Mr. Novak married Karen Ruth Laub of Cresco, IA. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Laub, Mrs. Novak graduated from Carleton College in 1959 and received her master’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Novak had three children: Richard, Tanya, and Jana.

In 1961, Doubleday published Mr. Novak’s first book, The Tiber Was Silver. In the decades following the release of his first book, Mr. Novak published numerous other books and articles, most notably The Rise of the Unmeltable Ethnics (1972), The Joy of Sports (1976), and The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism (1982). In total. Mr. Novak has worked as either author or editor on over forty-five books.

From 1979 to 2009, Mr. Novak worked at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Over the years, Mr. Novak taught at several universities, including Harvard, Syracuse, SUNY Old Westbury, and Ave Maria. He received numerous honorary degrees and was the recipient of the 1994 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

Mr. Novak passed away on February 17, 2017 at the age of 83.


462 Linear Feet

Language of Materials





Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into series:

  1. 1, Personal Life
  2. 2, Conferences, Lectures, Events
  3. 3, American Enterprise Institute
  4. 4, Writings
  5. 5, Correspondence (RESTRICTED)
  6. 6, Affiliations
  7. 7, Audio/Video Media
  8. 8, Interviews
  9. 9, Artifacts
  10. 10, Research
Novak Papers
Archives Staff
2014, November
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Stonehill Special Collections Repository

Stonehill College Archives, 320 Washington St
Easton MA 02357 United States