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Carlson Fable Collection

Father Greg Carlson, S.J., holds positions at Creighton University as associate professor of English and Theology, and Associate Director of the Deglman Center for Spirituality.  For more about Father Carlson, please visit his About the Collector webpage and online curriculum vitae.

Congratulations to Fr. Carlson on his recent acquisition of a complete set of Marc Chagall’s 102 etchings of Jean de La Fontaine’s French fables. Read more about this five-figure find here!

Past ExhibitsVideoWebsite

The Carlson Fable Collection is an extraordinary collection begun in the mid-1970’s by Gregory Carlson. S.J., of the Creighton Jesuit community.  It is our privilege to help promote and provide access to these wonderful materials.  

The collection includes fable materials ranging from rare copies of illustrated fable books to objects such as cigar labels and jewelry. The collection of primary materials is a particularly impressive collection by size and by diversity. There are at least 57 different languages represented in the collection, with many unique fables as well as retellings of old classics.  Father Carlson maintains a webpage for the collection.

The Carlson Fable Collection now has a place on the Creighton Digital Repository (CDR) that researchers should find helpful.  The Books of Fables section provides an annotated bibliography that Fr. Carlson prepared for the collection.  The Aesop's Artifacts area, a work in progress that continues to grow, archives in digital form images of non-book materials in the collection.

A Few Selections from the Collection

The sample pages below were provided to Creighton Librarian William Dooling for a study on fable variants of The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Dooling used fables from the Carlson Fable Collection in addition to materials found in other collections. His findings are available online.



In addition to books of fables, the collection includes such interesting objects as (left to right) a cookie jar, calendar, whittling, and brooch.

The Carlson Fable Collection was given to Creighton University by the Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus in 1996. Father Carlson remains the collection's Development Agent.