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AMERICA MAGAZINE ARCHIVES

With headquarters in New York City, AMERICA Magazine traces its origins back to a set of directives (Oct. 26, 1891) by Very Reverend Father Anthony Anderledy, S.J., which anticipated the establishment of a monthly periodical published by the Maryland-New York Province of the Society of Jesus. The idea for the periodical originated with Thomas Campbell, S.J., the provincial superior of the Maryland-New York province. According to Thomas C. Widner's (SJ) article "From the History," after three years of problems with the prospective publisher, the impossibility of meeting a proposed starting date, disagreement among staff members and adverse sentiment among members of the province, the project was abandoned in 1891. The idea was, nonetheless, kept alive by John Wynne (SJ), the founding editor.

Father Wynne began planning a weekly review of world affairs presented from the Catholic perspective. His initial plan was for a scholarly review, but he later saw the need for a more practical review with shorter articles and more timely topics. Father Wynne was also determined that this review should defend the Church against prejudices he saw against Catholicism; however, it was not until December 8, 1909, the issuance date of Very Reverend Father Francis Xavier Wernz's "Ordinatio," that it was founded. AMERICA was to be the U.S. counterpart to "The Tablet" of London,a well respected English Catholic weekly. Although Father John Wynne (SJ) served as the founding editor (1909-1910), his tenure in that post lasted less than a year. Due to his involvement in personal and professional controversy, Father Wynne was relieved of his duties as Editor-in-Chief and was replaced by Thomas Campbell (SJ), the Jesuit provincial who first conceived of the idea for the review. [For more detailed information concerning the history of AMERICA, one should consult John Ciani's (SJ) master's degree thesis entitled "The Founding of America Magazine and the Development of American Catholic Identity"].

AMERICA was housed, originally, in a building located at 32 Washington Square, West in New York City. In 1911, it was moved to 59 East 83rd Street. In 1981, another location was 39 West 86th Street. In 1926 came a residence on 329 W. 108th Street where it remained until the move to its present location-106 West 56th Street [former New York headquarters of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, a purchase made possible by a donation from Richard [Cardinal] Cushing, Archbishop of Boston].

AMERICA began as the results of a combined effort between the Provinces of California, Canada, Maryland-New York, Missouri and New Orleans, in conjunction with the Missions of Colorado, New Mexico and New Orleans. Father Wernz's "Ordinatio", placed AMERICA under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in 1958, Very Reverend John B. Janssens named Blessed Edmund Campion its special patron.

The Editors of AMERICA from its foundation in 1909 through 1989 are listed as follows:

Rev. John J. Wynne, S.J. 1909-1910

Rev. Thomas J. Campbell, S.J. 1910-1914

Rev. Richard H. Tierney, S.J. 1914-1925

Rev. Wilfrid Parsons, S.J. 1925-1936

Rev. Francis X. Talbot, S.J. 1936-1944

Rev. John LaFarge, S.J. 1944-1948

Rev. Robert C. Hartnett, S.J. 1944-1955

Rev. Thurston Davis, S.J. 1955-1968

Rev. Donald R. Campion, S.J. 1968-1975

Rev. Joseph A. O'Hare, S.J. 1975-1984

Rev. George Hunt, S.J. 1984-

For a more detailed account of America Magazine's history contained within the archives, one may consult copies of the 50th Anniversary Issue (April, 1959), located in Box 52/Folders 5-7. In addition, that issue contains a listing of the America business and editorial staff (1909-1959).

This processed segment of the America Magazine Archives currently consists of 68 boxes and is comprised of 39 series, the contents of the latter being found in the series description. It should be pointed out, however, that there is also America Magazine related material to be found among the following separate collections: Wilfrid Parsons Papers and Francis X. Talbot Papers. Additional accessions are expected.

EXTENT: 68 boxes

SERIES


SERIES: 1. Wilfrid Parsons Correspondence


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of the papers [e.g., correspondence] of Wilfrid Parsons, S.J., Editor of America Magazine (1925-1936).

SERIES: 2. Francis X. Talbot Correspondence


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of the papers [e.g., correspondence] of FrancisXavier Talbot, S.J., Editor of America Magazine (1936-1944). There aresome folders, however, which contain items from the early 1930's,pre-dating his tenure as Editor; in such instances, these folders aregenerally comprised of materials dating from Father Talbot's tenure asAmerica Magazine Literary Editor. Alphabetical correspondence files willbe found to have a chronological [internal] folder arrangement [i.e.,order] up to Box 30, after which its primary internal arrangement isalphabetical.

SERIES: 3. America Publishers Papers


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series, entitled "America Publishers Papers," comprises variousgeneral categories pertaining to America Magazine publications. Among thecategories established are: readers' correspondence [grouped by filefolder], authors' correspondence pertaining to specific publications,manuscript cover letters, manuscripts, letters of acceptance/rejection,telegrams, requests, article comments/suggestions, subscriptions,circulation records, letters of commendation/complaint, poll results,questionnaires/surveys, reviews, critique copies, writers'handbooks/supplements, autographs, inter-office memoranda, employeerecords and reports. It should be noted that some of these generalcategories, such as requests, are themselves sub-divided by folders intolesser categories in order to better facilitate the researcher.

SERIES: 4. America Magazine Financial Papers


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This folder consists of the Financial Papers for America Magazine. Amongthe items to be found are: receipts, letters of receipt, bank statements,invoices, service contracts and other general and miscellaneous itemspertaining to financial operations.

SERIES: 5. Newsclippings


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of newsclippings from various periodicals.

SERIES: 6. America Magazine-General Correspondence


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of America Magazine General Correspondence. Withinthis series will be found folders filed by topic and/or names of specificindividuals to and from whom correspondence was either addressed orreceived. In addition, one will occasionally find correspondence whichpredates the founding of America Magazine. This particular type ofcorrespondence, normally addressed to Father Wynne, the founding editor,was incorporated into the America Magazine general file.

SERIES: 7. Campion House Materials


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of correspondence, financial papers, legaldocuments, miscellany, etc. pertaining to Campion House.

SERIES: 8. The Catholic Press Association Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of the papers of the Catholic Press Association. Included are essentially general correspondence and financial records.

SERIES: 9. America Magazine Archives Miscellany


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of miscellaneous items belonging to the AmericaMagazine Archives.

SERIES: 10. America Publishers Alpha Correspondence


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series [distinct from the America Publishers Papers] consists of apre-existing individualized set of general correspondence established byAmerica House and filed "alphabetically" as well as chronologically. Muchof this material exclusively concerns manuscripts submitted to AmericaMagazine for publication.

SERIES: 11. Mexico Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of correspondence, pamphlets, newsclippings and miscellaneous items pertaining to the Mexican conflict during the 1920's.

SERIES: 12. Spain Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of correspondence, pamphlets, newsclippings andmiscellaneous items pertaining to the Spanish Conflict/Civil War during the1930's.

SERIES: 13. Richard H. Tierney Papers


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of the papers of Richard H. Tierney, S.J., Editor ofAmerica Magazine (1914-1925). Included are correspondence, photographs,personal notes, newsclippings, and miscellany.

SERIES: 14. Editor's Correspondence


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series of correspondence is comprised of letters to the Editor ofAmerica Magazine.

SERIES: 15. America Archive Photographs


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of photographs which are a part of the AmericaMagazine Archives; however, it should be noted that only the majority, notthe entirety, of the photographs in this collection will be classifiedwithin this series. Some photographs will be found their originallydesignated folder group. Nevertheless, all identified "photographs" withinthe America Archives have been provided with a "Photograph" index entry.Individuals will also be indexed by name.

SERIES: 16. Sigrid Undset Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of material [correspondence, programs,photographs and varia] of and pertaining to Swedish novelist Sigrid Undset.

SERIES: 17. America Spanish Relief Fund Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of materials of and pertaining to the America SpanishRelief Fund.

SERIES: 18. America Magazine Anniversary Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of materials [i.e., records of a historical nature]pertaining to anniversary commemorations of America Magazine.

SERIES: 19. America House/America Press Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of the general records of and pertaining to AmericaHouse and America Press/Magazine. The folders within this series containmaterials concerning the general business and procedural affairs of AmericaHouse as well as materials regarding the history of the house and itsactivities. America Press legal documents are also included in this series.

SERIES: 20. Catholic Book Club Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of materials pertaining to the Catholic BookClub, a division of America Press.

SERIES: 21. Jesuit Materials


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of general materials pertaining to the Society ofJesus.

SERIES: 22. John LaFarge Papers


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This folder consists of materials of and pertaining to John LaFarge, S.J.,Editor of America Magazine (1944-1948).

SERIES: 23. Benjamin L. Masse Papers


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of the papers of Benjamin L. Masse, S.J.

SERIES: 24. Theological Studies


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of materials pertaining to the theological quarterly"Theological Studies."

SERIES: 25. Thought Magazine


SERIES DESCRIPTION: The material in this series pertains to "Thought" Magazine.

SERIES: 26. Articles/Submitted


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of articles submitted [listed by author] toAmerica Magazine for publication as well as editorial comment sheets andcorrespondence pertaining to them.

SERIES: 27. Review Correspondence


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of correspondence of two groups: 1) writers who hadrecently published works reviewed by America Magazine reviewers; 2) AmericaMagazine reviewers pertaining to a particular review(s). In bothinstances, the folders usually include copies of the printed review towhich the correspondence pertains.

SERIES: 28. Book Reviews


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of America Magazine book reviews.

SERIES: 29. Editorials


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of America Magazine editorials.

SERIES: 30. Weekly Columns


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of material comprising columns which appear weekly inAmerica Magazine.

SERIES: 31. Theater Reviews


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of theater reviews published in America Magazine.

SERIES: 32. Manuscripts


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of manuscripts submitted to America Magazine forpublication.

SERIES: 33. Opinion-Editorials/Other Articles


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of opinion-editorials [signed articles by variouswriters] as well as other articles (1982-1985).

SERIES: 34. Arts Section Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of material designated for the arts section.

SERIES: 35. Oversize Material


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series is comprised of oversize material which was too large and/orbulky to fit into a regular hollinger box.

SERIES: 36. Correspondence (Mixed)


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This folder consists of mixed [miscellaneous] correspondence of AmericaMagazine wherein there is a representation of the various types.

SERIES: 37. John J. Wynne Papers


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of papers of John J. Wynne, S.J., the founding editorof America Magazine (1909-1910). Much of this material pertains to theproposal and foundation of the magazine.

SERIES: 38. Thomas H. Campbell Papers


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This folder consists of the papers of Thomas H. Campbell, S.J., Editor ofAmerica Magazine (1910-1914).

SERIES: 39. Artifacts


SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of artifacts belonging to the America MagazineArchives. In particular, this series refers to items derivedfrom the excavation site of the first Catholic Church founded in what isnow the United States (1638), located in St. Mary's City, Maryland .

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