Collection ID: NPKMC-212-021

Collection context


Mara Vamos
The Blaise Pascal Collection contains sources, notes and drafts of Mara Vamos’ works on Blaise Pascal. The collection contains already published works on Pascal, such as “Pascal and the Enlightenment,” as well as Mara Vamos’ thesis for her Doctorate degree at Brown University. Through her vast previous studies on Pascal and his theories, Mara Vamos attempted to convince the MLA to revive the Port-Royal edition of Pascal’s Pensées because of its great historical importance and its impact on 18th century thought. The collection contains materials used in the publication process, leading to the final work, “Pascal’s Pensées and the Enlightenment” by Mara Vamos.
2.0 Linear Feet
Preferred citation:

[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the Blaise Pascal Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.


Scope and Content:

The Blaise Pascal Collection consists of Mara Vamos’ already completed works on Blaise Pascal, as well as completed works in their production process. The creation processes of Mara Vamos’ “Port-Royal, Pascal and Voltaire” and “Pascal’s Pensées and the Enlightenment: The Roots of a Misunderstanding” are outlined in the form of notes and drafts within the collection. The collection also contains materials such as essays, lectures and seminars relating to 18th century philosophies.

Biographical / Historical:

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician and philosopher, who lived during the 1600s. Described as a child prodigy, Pascal soon became an influential scholar in the natural sciences and mathematics. At the age of twelve, Pascal discovered the mathematic theory today known as “Pascal’s Triangle.” In late 1654, Pascal took an interest in religious theory and philosophy, in which he argued the superiority of his own interpretation of truth of Christian religions over others. Blaise Pascal suggested that there is a religion more rational than all philosophies and with greater rewards. In his work, “Pensées”, Blaise Pascal portrayed his theory on religion. This work was manipulated by Jansenists during its editing to reflect the views of Port-Royal, a convent associated with the Jansenism movement in France at the time. During the editing process, complete passages were eliminated and added and words were manipulated, resulting in a work far from Pascal’s original. Eighteenth century readers including Voltaire, a French Enlightenment writer at the time, only exposed to the Port-Royal edition of Pascal’s “Pensées,” had distorted views of Pascal’s theory and strongly opposed the theories presented in this edition.

Acquisition information:
The collection was donated to Marist College by the Farleigh Dickinson University.

These records are organized into two series: 1. Resources for Publication on Pascal and 2. Miscellaneous. Series one contains six subseries: 1.1 Mara Vamos Papers on Pascal, 1.2 Port Royal, Pascal and Voltaire, 1.3 Port Royal Edition, 1.4 Publication Materials, 1.5 Secondary Sources, 1.6 Seminar Materials.

Materials retain their original order

Physical location:
Please contact the Marist College Archives and Special Collections for information regarding use and access of this collection.
Rules or conventions:
DACS Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013.



There are no restrictions on this collection


Individuals requesting reproductions expressly assume the responsibility for compliance with all pertinent provisions of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ss101 et seq. Patrons further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Marist College Archives and Special Collections and its staff in connection with any disputes arising from the Copyright Act, over the reproduction of material at the request of patrons. For more information please visit the following website:


[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the Blaise Pascal Collection, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.

3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, United States