The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

 visiting the thomas merton center

The Merton Center is currently open to casual visitors from Monday-Friday, 9 am - 4 pm.

Location and parking

The Thomas Merton Center is located on the second floor of the W. L. Lyons Brown Library at the center of the Bellarmine University campus.
Click here for a campus map and directions.

Limited parking for visitors is available in front of Horrigan Hall, the main administration building on campus. If there is no visitor parking available then just find a parking place and go either to the reception desk or the security office in Horrigan Hall to get a temporary parking permit.

at the center...


What Can I See?

Display cases around the Center highlight materials from the research collections, including examples of Thomas Merton's manuscripts, letters from the Center’s holdings of correspondence between Merton and over 2,100 correspondents, and some personal items. 

A variety of photographs, drawings and calligraphies by Thomas Merton are exhibited throughout the Center, along with other artistic interpretations of him, including portraits by Randall S. Browning, and Diane Kahlo; bronzes by Milly Kaeser, David Kocka, Ernest Ranspach, and Timothy P. Schmalz; and quilts by Penny Sisto.

A selection of paintings and drawings by Owen Merton, Thomas Merton's father, are on exhibit in the Tommie and Frank O'Callaghan Gallery. Owen was described by one critic as “an exceptional man … who absorbed such a formidable influence as Cezanne’s without sacrificing his originality.” A virtual gallery exhibiting all of the works by Owen Merton held in the Merton Center collections is available at:


What Can I Do?

In the Center's reading room a complete set of books and journals by and about Merton is available along with related books on Cistercian Monasticism, biographies and autobiographies of related figures, and other books of interest. Visitors are welcome to browse and read these books.

Visitors can listen to audio recordings of Thomas Merton's conferences at Gethsemani that were recorded between 1962 and 1968 and documentaries introducing his life and thought can be viewed upon request.

The Tommie and Frank O'Callghan Gallery is available for quiet contemplation. 

Photography, for private use only, is permitted.

Merton's typewriter

contact information

For questions about Thomas Merton, the Thomas Merton Center, research project information, the Merton archives, or about joining the International Thomas Merton Society, please contact:

Dr Paul M Pearson
Director and Archivist
The Thomas Merton Center
Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40205
[email protected]
  Mark C. Meade
Assistant Director
The Thomas Merton Center
Bellarmine University
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40205
[email protected]

hours of operation

Opening times

9 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday, except during holiday closures (see below).

Saturday Openings in 2024

To Be Announced



May 3rd - Oaks Day

On May 17th, 24th and 31st Bellarmine University and the Thomas Merton Center will be closing at noon

May 27th - Memorial Day

June 19th - Juneteenth

July 4th & 5th - Independence Day

September 2nd - Labor Day

Otober 14th - Fall Break

November 27th - 29th - Thanksgiving

December 19th - January 2nd 2025 - Christmas (Inclusive)

January 20th - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

March 7th - Spring Break

April 18th - Good Friday

April 21st - Easter Monday

May 2nd - Oaks Day

May 26th - Memorial Day