Victor Hammer papers

Descriptive Summary

Title
Victor Hammer papers
Date
1960, 1967
Creator
Hammer, Victor Karl, 1882-1967
Extent
0.15 Cubic feet
Subjects
Authors, American--Kentucky.
Printers.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format.
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Megan Mummey
Preferred Citation
2011MS118: [identification of item], Victor Hammer papers, 1960, 1967, University of Kentucky Special Collections.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Victor Karl Hammer (1882-1967) was an Austrian-born American painter, sculptor, printer, and typographer. After fleeing Nazi Austria in 1939, Victor Hammer eventually settled in Lexington, Kentucky where he was the artist in residence at Transylvania University. He married to Carolyn Reading in 1955. Carolyn Reading Hammer was the University of Kentucky's Curator of Rare Books and the founder of the King Library Press.
Thomas Merton, the son of two artists, was born in 1915. He attended Columbia University in New York, obtaining B.A. and M.A. degrees. In 1938 he converted to Catholicism and in December 1941 joined the Trappist monks. Merton served as Master of Scholastics and as Master of Novices at the order's monastery in Kentucky, Our Lady of Gethsemani, before being allowed to live as a hermit in 1965. A prolific writer, Merton won acclaim for his books, poems and articles, beginning with the publication of the autobiographical Seven Storey Mountain in 1948. Merton often circulated his writings among his acquaintances for criticism before publication. Among this group from 1951 to 1968 were Carolyn and Victor Hammer of Lexington, Ky., and the then director of the University of Kentucky libraries, Lawrence Thompson. In the 1960s he was known for his concerns about social issues such as peace and civil rights. He also promoted ecumenism between Catholics, other Christians, and non-Christians. He died on December 10, 1968, of accidental electrocution while a conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Private Press Tradition in Lexington, Kentucky, by Burton Milward From The Kentucky Review, Volume XI, Number 3, Autumn 1992, pp. 5-27. Copyright © 1992 by the University of Kentucky Libraries
Scope and Content
The Victor Hammer papers contain The Fragments typescript by Victor Hammer and The Solitary Life typescript and trial printing by Thomas Merton. Victor Hammer printed the trial of Merton's work.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Contents of the Collection

The Fragments typescript, by Victor Hammer,, 1967

  • Box 1, Folder 5
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The Solitary Life typescript and trial printing, by Thomas Merton,, circa 1960

  • Box 1, Folder 6
To top

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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.