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Online Exhibits > Father Edward Sorin and the Founding of Notre Dame


Father Edward Sorin's Memoirs

In 1880 Father Sorin read his Chronicles and reminisced. His audience knew him as a venerable elder with a long white beard, a man who loved children and whom children loved. Perhaps the undergraduates of that time had difficulty imagining the Sorin who founded Notre Dame -- a man hardly older than themselves who made a journey of thousands of miles over the sea, hundreds of miles over land, to found a Catholic college in northern Indiana.

In 1895 Rev. John M. Toohey, CSC, translated Sorin's Chronicles. This translation remained in manuscript until 1992, when the University of Notre Dame celebrated its sesquicentennial, and James T. Connelly, CSC, produced an English edition based on Father Toohey's work, which the University of Notre Dame Press published.


Excerpts from Chronicles, including page images

Opening Lines

Topographical Description in 1842-1843 (Toohey's translation)


Additions or Reminiscences (1880)

In 1880, as he read his own story of the development of Notre Dame, Father Sorin remembered things that he had failed to mention in his Chronicles. For the memoir he wrote then he used English rather than French. It has a more personal tone than the Chronicles, because in it he referred to himself using the first person instead of the third.