Dante Library

Dante Library

In 2020, the Center for Italian Studies received as a gift the personal Dante library and memorabilia collection of writer and therapist, Clayton C. Barbeau. The collection includes a variety of historical and contemporary translations of the Comedy, as well as books of criticism on Dante and Italian literature and history. The collection is particularly rich in books and objects (stamps and coins) that emerged from the 1921 and 1965 Dante anniversaries.



Clayton C. Barbeau (1930-2019) had a life-long passion for Dante Alighieri and was contracted to write a biography of Dante, but unfortunately the complete manuscript was never published. An excerpt was published as a Capra Chapbook Dante and Gentucca: A Love Story in 1974. Clayton had an extensive personal library of books and objets d'art devoted to Dante and medieval Italy, which his family is delighted to donate to the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame, along with his manuscript and associated papers related to the project.

Clayton was a graduate of Santa Clara University in 1959 and of U.S.F. Lone Mountain Campus in 1977. A U.S. Army veteran, Clayton served as a Corporal in the Korean War (1951-1953) and was awarded a Bronze Star.

He was a prolific writer and published several books about marriage, family and relationships. His book Father of the Family won the Spiritual Life Award and his first novel, The Ikon, won the James D. Phelan Award in Literature. As a psychologist and therapist Clayton helped thousands of people over the years through his private practice. He also became a prolific public speaker, traveling and lecturing all over the world. Several video series of his lectures have been released, some of which aired on public television. He married Myra Ellen Chorley in 1953, with whom he raised 8 children in the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury. A widower, Clayton married Maureen Linahan Barbeau in 1989. As Clayton said to all he met, “be kind to yourself today.”