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Carlson Fable Collection

Carlson fables

Welcome to the
Carlson Fable Collection!

Fr. Gregory Carlson, S.J.

(402) 280-3240 / Email


About the Collection

The Reinert-Alumni Library is home to a unique collection of more than 6,000 books and thousands of artifacts related to the fables of Aesop, La Fontaine, and others. The collection has been amassed by Gregory I. Carlson, S.J. since 1979, and was donated to the Library by the Society of Jesus in 1996.

Father Carlson currently serves as Associate Professor of English and Associate Director of the Deglman Center for Spirituality. What began as a simple hobby has emerged as a valuable and growing library collection. Father Carlson continues to seek out fable-related treasures in the course of his travels, from used book stores, flea markets, attics, garages, and dealerships all over the world.

The Carlson Fable Collection includes:

  • Books smaller than a cell phone, and larger than a human toddler
  • Pop-up books, comics, coloring books, song books, primers, and ABC books
  • Scholarly books and critical texts with variant versions
  • A book published as early as 1619, by conservative estimate
  • Books in 48 different languages, from Aztec to Urdu
  • Fanciful illustrations of animals and other fable characters
  • Artifacts in the collection include:
  • Puppets, games, playing cards, puzzles, blocks, and other toys
  • Masks, T-shirts, clothing, and accessories
  • Tableware, tiles, tins, boxes, coins, carvings, and figurines
  • Posters, bookmarks, calendars, menus, and advertisements
  • CDs, LPs, DVDs, videos, filmstrips, and other audiovisual media
  • Greeting cards, postcards, and postage stamps


Viewing the Collection

The Carlson Fable Collection, located on the upper level of the Library, is open by special arrangement. Classes or groups interested in viewing the collection may contact Father Carlson at or 280-3240. Individuals can also contact Cataloging Specialist Jeanette Hilton, at or 280-1266.

Books in the "Carlson Fable Collection" are included in the Library Catalog (CLIC), and are identified with a local subject heading. You can also search by author, title, or subject, like any other book. Click here for fable books in the Library Catalog (CLIC). Father Carlson also maintains a bibliography of books and a catalog of objects in the collection on his web site (see link above left).