|Some of the numerous Christmas books designed by Frank Kacmarcik, Obl.S.B., and published by Al Muellerleile at North Central Publishing.|
|The Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ (based on Matthew and Luke), with designs by Frank Kacmarcik.|
|Title page of A Nativity Sequence (1954).|
|The Magi bring their gifts to the Christ Child in Frank Kacmarcik's rendition.|
|Seasons of Hope - an appropriate title at Christmastime.|
|The colophon of one of the Christmas books, with the NCP monogram (North Central Publishing), listing the artists involved in the project, and specifying the number of copies made and the specific number of this copy.|
The North Central Christmas books included more than just retellings of the Nativity. There were also stories or poems by Vincent Arthur Yzermans, Eugene McCarthy, Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II, Saint Ephrem, and Al Muellerleile, himself!
|A title by Pope John Paul II from early in his papacy.|
|Cover design by Frank Kacmarcik.|
In general, North Central Publishing produced 1200 copies of these books, so it is no surprise that not all of them were promptly given away. When Frank Kacmarcik donated his collections of art, rare books and reference books (the "Arca Artium Collection") to Saint John's University, he included many copies of each of these books. To learn more about his art collection, look for "Arca Artium" in Vivarium, and for his book collections, look for "Arca Artium" in MnPALS.
|Life of Saint Benedict, based on a 16th-century pictorial biography.|
|Pages from the life of Benedict, showing his early conflicts with monastic communities at Subiaco.|
HMML takes care of a great many other Christmas books in the Saint John's Special Collections, but no other series of special Christmas books is so well represented as the North Central books. These, and all the books in Saint John's Special Collections, are available for viewing on request. Feel free to contact HMML or the author of this article if you wish to learn more about the Library's collections.