The Society of Jesus

The Generals' Archives

Two different groups of photographic files offer the possibility of research at Georgetown in the records of the main Jesuit archives in Rome. A set of more than 300 bound volumes of photographic prints, created about 1930, reproduces records up to the time of the suppression of the Society in 1773. The series of records of activity in Japan, China, and the Far East is the most extensive, but all areas are documented in considerable detail. Access to these records is facilitated by a number of volumes of typewritten guides. More than 4,000 spools of negative microfilm contain records from the beginning up to about 1945. These films must be transferred onto reels and given better indexing before they can profitably be made available for research.
Deposited by the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus

Printed Books

The Special Collections Division holds, in its various collections, large numbers of the earliest Jesuit publications. Among the rarest of these are the 1586 and 1591 editions of the Ratio studiorum, the printed embodiment of the traditional Jesuit educational methodology, formerly owned by the noted English collector Sir Leicester Harmsworth, the gift of Homer Hervey, Paul Straske, and Mrs. S. R. Straske. The copy of the 1591 edition is one of only two recorded in the United States; no other copy of the 1586 edition has thus far been discovered in this country. Collecting continues, especially of titles not to be found either at Georgetown or in the Woodstock Theological Library; among recent acquisitions are the first edition of the Regulae (Rome, 1580), the first printing of Dominus ac redemptor, the brief of suppression (1773), and a large number of titles tracing their provenance to the Jesuit college at Vilna, including 11 Polish Jesuit imprints not previously recorded in any American library.

Woodstock Theological Library

The rare book section of the Woodstock Theological Library incorporates one of the largest collections of works by early Jesuit authors in the various fields of theology together with a wide range of controversial and devotional works, sermons, and a broad selection of the extensive anti-Jesuit literature of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Among its more than 10,000 volumes are the first edition of Ignatius' Exercitia spiritualia (Rome, 1548), the "founding document" of the Society of Jesus. Presently incorporated in the Woodstock collection are substantial portions of the early Georgetown College library collection and the library of Rev. Thomas C. Levins, much larger portions of which are now housed in the Special Collections Division. Important separate units within the Woodstock collection include the extensive collection of source materials on Catholicism in South and Latin America since 1920 formed by Brian Henry Smith and the separate rare book collection of more than 1,750 volumes formerly at Loyola Seminary, Shrub Oak, New York.

Georgetown College Library Collection

In 1836, towards the end of its first major period of expansion, the College Library extended to some 12,000 volumes, many written by Jesuits or touching on aspects of the Society's history. At present more than 4,000 volumes of this important early American institutional collection have been reassembled and shelved in accordance with their original press-mark scheme. Besides many volumes owned by early Maryland Jesuit missionaries (including even a Newton Principia mathematica, 1687), the collection has strong holdings in several specific areas, including important collections of early Jesuit homiletics and lengthy runs of works by Jeremias Drexel and other Jesuits which supplement collections in the Woodstock Theological Library.

Levins Collection

Now divided between the Woodstock Theological Library and several book collections in the Special Collections Division, the personal library of 1,991 volumes formed by Rev. Thomas C. Levins, the first officially designated Georgetown librarian (1824-1825), includes the first great assemblage of Jesuitica formed privately in this country as well as extensive anti-Jesuit writings, rare early scientific works, emblem books, incunabula, and first editions of the works of Erasmus.
Gift (Jesuitica) of Rev. Levins

Milton House Archives

This collection, whose title derives from the house in England where its contents were maintained for almost 200 years, consists of significant portions of the papers of George Birkhead, Archpriest of England in the early seventeenth century, and of the Belson family, together with a miscellany of letters and documents pertaining in one way or another to English Catholic history between the late sixteenth and late eighteenth centuries. Among the more prominent authors of letters are Robert Parsons (or Persons), S.J., one of the first missionaries to Protestant England; Thomas Fitzherbert, agent for the English Catholic clergy in Rome; and Cardinal William Allen.
ca. 1575-1775 * 1.75 linear feet

Jesuit School Manuscripts Collection

The collection consists of 43 manuscript texts bound in 15 volumes devoted, with the exception of a treatise on horography, to standard Catholic theological topics. Considerable circumstantial and internal evidence indicates that these volumes represent the theological course of instruction for the English Jesuit college at Liège during the period when the earliest Maryland Jesuit missionaries took their training there. Identified authors all taught there during the early eighteenth century. Similar volumes are located among the papers of Jesuits Peter Attwood and his contemporary, Liège student George Thorold.
ca. 1660-1730 * 0.75 linear foot

Catholic School Manuscripts Collection

Directly related to the preceding collection is a group of 62 volumes, mostly early in date, comprising manuscript treatises on a range of subjects: theology and philosophy; mathematics, science, and rhetoric; history, literature, and law; devotional and religious works; and miscellaneous items, for the most part deriving from one or another Catholic educational establishment before 1800. In large measure these treatises supplement the theological texts in the Jesuit School Manuscripts Collection, and some, at least, may have followed the same route from Europe to the United States.
1557-1876 * 3.75 linear feet

The Talbot Collection

This collection of autographs of outstanding American and European Catholics, named for and given in honor of Francis X. Talbot, S.J., is distinguished by including a number of documents by early members of the Society, including a "celebret" signed (1551) by its founder, St. Ignatius Loyola, one of very few Ignatian autographs known to be in the United States.
Gift of Mary A. Benjamin
1535-1936 * 0.50 linear foot

John B. Molloy Collection

Retained manuscript copies, or possibly drafts, of 12 "annual letters" from Jesuits in Peru, covering the years 1591-1595, 1611-1615, 1617, 1702, and 1704 (the latter incomplete). In the earlier letters there is considerable information regarding the beginning of missionary activity in Chile.
Gift of John B. Molloy
1591-1704 * 0.25 linear foot

George Schwarz Collection

A bound volume of copies of more than 30 manuscript letters and other accounts addressed by various Jesuits to Matthias Tanner, S.J., rector of the Jesuit college in Prague, 1674-1682. Of particular interest are letters giving accounts of Jesuit travels and missionary activities in Brazil, Mexico, the Marianas Islands, Vietnam, China, and elsewhere.
Gift of George Schwarz
1674-1682 * 0.25 linear foot

Paraguayan Jesuits Collection

The collection consists of 20 manuscripts and four printed documents providing a look at physical and economic conditions on the Jesuit "reductions" in Paraguay; giving details of schemes to use Indians from the reductions as laborers on military sites in Buenos Aires and as local militia; and outlining the history of Jesuit resistance to pressures brought on them by representatives of the Church and the Spanish government, from the time of Archbishop Bernardino de Cárdenas to the attack by the Redemptorist Miguel de Vargas Machuca almost a century later.
1639-ca. 1744 * 0.50 linear foot

Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus

The Archives of the Maryland Province have been held on deposit since 1977. Among the most important and substantial groups of records in the archives are the following: extensive files relating to the Jesuits' Maryland estates from the seventeenth century onward; correspondence received by the colonial Jesuit Superiors and the various provincials; Archbishop John Carroll's extensive correspondence with English clergy, and especially with Rev. Charles Plowden; papers of individual Jesuits, including Stephen L. Dubuisson, José A. Lopez, and Peter Kenney in the early nineteenth century; and papers relating to the Fenwicks and other early Maryland Catholic families connected in one way or another with the Jesuits. Although the bulk of the material dates from the nineteenth century, the earlier records constitute the single most important historical source for our knowledge of the growth of Catholicism in colonial America.
1640-1870 * 65.00 linear feet

American Catholic Sermon Collection

This collection incorporates manuscript sermons previously unidentified and virtually uncataloged in the Woodstock College Archives, the Maryland Province Archives, and the Georgetown University Archives. It consists in all of some 456 autograph manuscript sermons, two contemporary written transcriptions, and four printed items (some only fragments) by 44 different preachers (including 55 texts by Archbishop John Carroll and seven by Georgetown's first president, Rev. Robert Plunkett).These manuscripts allow significant research in a field of literary, as well as historical and theological, interest, since only a handful of American Catholic sermons were published during the eighteenth century, and none at all before 1786.
1723-1800 * 3.00 linear feet

Early Maryland Jesuits' Papers

Holdings include manuscripts and letters in the hands of a number of the early Maryland Jesuits. Of particular note are:

Woodstock College Archives

The archives contain the records of the former seminary of the Maryland Province of the Society from 1868 to 1976, with extensive additional material, including papers of individual Jesuits, miscellaneous historical documents, and other items, including Alessandro Manzoni's original autograph letter of 1823 to d'Azeglio on Romanticism. Of prime importance are the lengthy files of correspondence retained by various Jesuits associated with Woodstock in one capacity or another. The archives also include three major separate collections (each noted in detail below): the papers of Jesuits Gustave Weigel and John Courtney Murray and the photographic archive of John Brosnan. A number of fairly substantial additions have been made to the Woodstock archives since 1985, including supplemental materials for the papers of Gustave Weigel and John Courtney Murray. Among other additions were records of Woodstock's final Maryland years and its brief tenure in New York City; two boxes of tape recordings of Walter J. Burghardt, S.J.; and a significant portion of the papers of Avery Dulles, S.J. (restricted).
ca. 1750-1990 * ca. 410.00 linear feet

Maryland Province Collection

The collection unites a disparate group of records once housed in various subject files of the University Archives. It includes house records, correspondence, legal documents, and other items principally connected with Jesuit establishments at Bohemia Manor, Conewago, Frederick, Newtown, St. Thomas Manor, White Marsh, and Woodstock.
1685-1970 * 9.00 linear feet

Jan Philip Roothaan, S.J., Archive

The heart of the collection is a series of nearly 140 autograph letters from Roothaan (1785-1852), General of the Society from 1829 until his death. The letters, addressed for the most part to Roothaan's father Mathias, his brother Albert, and his nephew Theodoor, written over the period 1804-1852, provide considerable insight into the personal life of this remarkable Jesuit.
Gift of Clemens C. J. Roothaan
1804-1852 * 0.75 linear foot

José Antonio Lopez, S.J., Papers

The personal papers of Lopez, long-time chaplain to the Iturbide family and briefly acting president of Georgetown, contain correspondence and other materials relating to the end of Spanish colonial rule in Mexico including the holograph manuscript of the Manifesto al mundo, the political apologia of Mexican emperor Agustín de Iturbide. Supplemental information regarding Iturbide and his family is contained in a small collection of manuscripts and printed materials acquired in 1994.
1781-1840 * 0.50 linear foot

Argentinean Jesuits Collection

The collection comprises a small group of manuscripts regarding the reinstatement of the Jesuits in Argentina in the period 1815-1817, together with some related materials.
1800-ca. 1820 * 0.25 linear foot

Nineteenth Century Jesuits' Papers

Holdings include greater or lesser quantities of the papers of a number of nineteenth century Jesuits, most of them in some way closely associated with Georgetown. Among that number the following may be singled out by reason of their importance to American Jesuit history:

Catholic Historical Manuscripts Collection

The collection contains fragmentary holdings of the papers of more than 95 individuals, primarily members of the Society of Jesus associated with Georgetown University during the eighteenth, nineteenth, or early twentieth centuries, originally in dozens of locations in the University Archives. Among the more significant are the following:

J. Havens Richards, S.J., Papers

The papers comprise the earliest comprehensive series of papers extant of a Georgetown president. Richards' service during the crucial decade of the 1890s, which saw the foundation of the Catholic University of America and the inception of the Georgetown University Hospital, encompassed also the reshaping of the University's relations with Jesuit authorities in Rome and the controversy over Modernism.
ca. 1885-1900 * 6.75 linear feet

Francis A. Barnum, S.J., Papers

The papers of this missionary, linguist, and historian are an important resource for the early history of Alaska and the work of Jesuit missionaries both there and in Jamaica. His "stray notes," dating from his tenures as librarian and archivist at Georgetown, are among the most vivid surviving accounts of day-to-day life at the college. They provide sharp and frequently witty accounts of Georgetown's more colorful characters and practices from Barnum's school days in the 1860s through the early twentieth century.
ca. 1865-1920 * 4.50 linear feet

Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., Papers

The Walsh Papers throw considerable light on most aspects of his exceptional career: as founder and guiding spirit of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; as head of the Papal Relief Mission to Russia in the early 1920s; as president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association; as a representative of the Catholic Church in Mexico; and as a very much involved consultant at the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials. Significant correspondents include Herbert Hoover, J. Edgar Hoover, Cardinal Gasparri, Archbishop Cieplak, and Karl Haushofer.
1885-1956 * 22.50 linear feet

The America Archives

The unusually complete archives of America and of its parent Jesuit community in New York provide a detailed history of this prominent Jesuit publication from a time some years before its first appearance in 1909. The interest and significance of the collection go well beyond literature alone. The collection is central to the record of Catholic history in the United States in this century, and there are also considerable materials relating to the Spanish Civil War and to the affairs of the persecuted Catholic Church in Mexico. The correspondence files contain letters from virtually every American Catholic writer of note as well as many English and European ones, including Louise Imogen Guiney, Jacques Maritain, Katharine Tynan, and Sigrid Undset. There are also letters and manuscripts from such writers as T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.
Gift of America
ca. 1903-1995 * ca. 110.00 linear feet

John LaFarge, S.J., Papers

Fr. LaFarge's papers document his career from its beginnings as a parish priest among the poor blacks of southern Maryland to his long (1926-1963) tenure on the editorial staff of America. The papers shed light on his major influence in the fields of social and racial justice, where his work resulted in the foundation of the Cardinal Gibbons Institute and the organization of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. His papers bear witness as well to his impact on such groups as the Catholic Interracial Council, which he founded, and the Catholic Layman's Union.
1881-1967 * 67.00 linear feet

Wilfrid Parsons, S.J., Papers

The papers illuminate Parsons' editorial work on America, his participation and leadership in numerous Catholic social action groups, and his longstanding concern with issues in political science. Of particular interest are extensive files pertaining to the founding and organization of the Legion of Decency, which had a profound effect on the American film industry in the 1930s and after, and his records regarding religious persecution in Mexico during the same period.
1908-1958 * 20.00 linear feet

Francis X. Talbot, S.J., Papers

The papers of Francis X. Talbot, S.J., literary editor of America in the 1920s, provide a look at the way the magazine "handled" its writers, and they contain correspondence of literary importance with such authors as Willa Cather, Compton Mackenzie, and Kathleen Norris.
ca. 1920-1936 * ca. 6.00 linear feet

John Courtney Murray, S.J., Papers

Murray's papers, consisting of correspondence, manuscripts, and a wide variety of supplemental items, document his careers as author, editor, lecturer, professor, and theologian. Murray is perhaps best known for his books We Hold These Truths (1960) and The Problem of God (1964), as well as for his longstanding editorship of Theological Studies. Among Murray's correspondents are Rev. John Tracy Ellis, Henry and Clare Boothe Luce, and Samuel Cardinal Stritch, together with fellow Jesuits Walter Burghardt, Bernard Lonergan, Vincent McCormick, and Leo Ward.
1927-1976 * 42.00 linear feet

Gustave Weigel, S.J., Papers

Weigel is best known for his involvement in various ecumenical movements in the 1950s and 1960s. Included in his papers are significant notes and other papers deriving from his work at the Second Vatican Council, as well as material relating to his work in Chile in the 1940s. Among Weigel's correspondents are Yves Congar, O.P., and Protestant theologian Paul Tillich.
1920-1964 * 18.00 linear feet

W. Coleman Nevils, S.J., Papers

The Nevils Papers include correspondence, manuscripts, and related items dating largely from the period of his presidency of Georgetown (1928-1935). Of particular interest are extensive drafts of Nevils' historical work, Miniatures of Georgetown (1934).
1889-1955 * 7.00 linear feet

John Brosnan, S.J., Collection

Brosnan served for many years as the "official" photographer for the Maryland Province. Two large groups of his glass plate and film negatives, totalling more than 5,000 images, together with some hundreds of prints, survive as part of the Woodstock College Archives and as a separate collection in the Special Collections Division. His images, which show his concentration on formal photographs of buildings, individuals, and groups, also include a variety of valuable informal recordings of many aspects of Jesuit communal life.
ca. 1900-1940 * ca. 6,000 items

Horace B. McKenna, S.J., Papers

The collection includes papers and autobiographical tape recordings documenting McKenna's work, largely devoted to efforts at helping Washington's inner-city black Catholics, his founding of "So Others May Eat" (SOME), and related activities. The collection is supplemented by research materials used by John S. Monagan in writing Horace, priest of the poor, his biography of McKenna, the gift of Representative Monagan. A second accession has been added: see Horace B. McKenna Papers Part II
ca. 1960-1981 * total 35.00 linear feet

Andrew J. Graves, S.J., Papers

Graves' papers document the activities of the Jesuit mission in Madison County, North Carolina, from about 1932 to 1973. The work was centered in the towns of Hot Springs and Revere, and Graves' records amply document many aspects of the life of this small rural Catholic community as well as giving first-hand evidence of the Jesuit missionary enterprise in the twentieth century.
ca. 1925-1973 * 10.50 linear feet

Georgetown Jesuits' Papers

Over the past decade a group of collections of papers of individuals have been transferred from the Jesuit Community at Georgetown to Special Collections. Though generally not as yet processed, these include materials relating to a number of Jesuits, among whom figure most prominently Vincent F. Beatty, Francis L. Fadner, G. Gordon Henderson, Joseph E. Kennedy, Brian A. McGrath, Paul A. McNally, Stephen F. McNamee, Frederick W. Sohon, John J. Toohey, and Gerald F. Yates.
ca. 1920- * ca. 75.00 linear feet

Other Jesuit Holdings

The Special Collections Division and the Woodstock College Archives both contain a number of smaller collections of records of various Jesuit houses (in Maryland, especially) as well as the papers of individual nineteenth and twentieth century Jesuits. These cover a fairly broad range of subject interests:

To these may be added significant holdings of the papers of the following Jesuit fathers: Philip Cardella, James Curley, John M. Daley, A. J. Emerick (consisting almost entirely of letters from Mother Katherine Drexel), Joseph A. Fitzmyer, Lawrence J. Kelly, Joseph A. Mulry, Pye Neale, Edward O'Down, John F. Quirk, John A. Ryan, Henry Shandelle, Francis A. Tondorf, and James A. Ward.

TEILHARD DE CHARDIN

Lucile Swan Papers

The centerpiece of the collection is the series of 205 letters from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., to Lucile Swan, covering a period of 23 years and commenting on many aspects of Teilhard's work. These are supplemented by a large group of printed and near-print materials from Teilhard's period in China, including a number of documents not readily available elsewhere, and a group of photographs of Teilhard and various friends.
In part, gift of Mary Wood Gilbert
1932-1955 * 2.75 linear feet

Pierre Leroy, S.J., Papers

The papers of Leroy, the noted French biologist, primarily concern Teilhard de Chardin, his fellow Jesuit and close friend. They include 77 letters to Leroy from Teilhard and letters from such friends, relatives, and scholars of Teilhard's life as Rhoda and Helmut de Terra, Malvina Hoffman, Jeanne Mortier, Lucile Swan, Marguerite Teilhard-Chambon, Joseph Teilhard de Chardin, and Janetta Warre. Of particular interest is one of the rare original mimeographed copies of Teilhard's Le Phénomène humain, prepared by Teilhard in the late 1940s for private circulation.
Gift of Pierre Leroy, S.J.
1947-1984 * 1.50 linear feet

Lukas-Teilhard de Chardin Collection

The Lukas collection consists of the research files amassed by Mary and Ellen Lukas in the writing of their book Teilhard, A Biography (1977). These files consist of original letters, photographs, and photoreproductions of unpublished letters to and from Teilhard, his family, friends, and associates, along with some related printed materials.
Gift of Mary and Ellen Lukas in memory of their father, Alexander J. Lukas (D'26)
1899-1985 * 1.50 linear feet

Barbour Collection

The Woodstock Theological Library houses the Barbour Collection of printed works by and about Teilhard de Chardin, amounting in all to some 175 items. Many of these are inscribed by Teilhard, and they are supplemented by nearly 30 Teilhard letters, some 200 photoreproductions of Teilhard letters, photographs, a film, and typescripts of two lectures on Teilhard by George Barbour. In 1983 the collection was augmented by the gift of a bronze bust of Teilhard de Chardin by the noted American sculptress Malvina Hoffman.
Gift of Ian G. Barbour and Hugh S. Barbour in honor of George and Dorothy Barbour

Granger-Teilhard de Chardin Collection

The collection consists of 18 letters from Teilhard de Chardin to Walter Granger, chief paleontologist of the Central Asiatic Expedition. Written from China, for the most part the letters concern paleontological discoveries in that country.
1924-1935 * 0.25 linear foot

Raphael-Teilhard de Chardin Collection

The collection includes a group of 37 autograph letters, two typewritten manuscripts, and related offprints and photographs sent by Teilhard to his long-time friend Françoise Raphael. The letters document at first hand Teilhard's paleontological activities in China from 1938 through the 1940s and recount his disappointment with the Church's view of his philosophy.
Gift of Mme. Raphael
1938-1952 * 0.50 linear foot

Robert T. Francoeur Papers

The Francoeur Papers contain correspondence and other documents relating to Teilhard's career, to the activities of the British and American Teilhard associations, and to various aspects of Francoeur's own interest in Teilhard scholarship. Correspondents include Walter Ong, S.J., George Barbour, and Jeanne Mortier, and the collection contains one original Teilhard letter (1938) to Lucile Swan.
Gift of Mr. Francoeur
1938-1975 * 1.50 linear feet

Teilhard-Cosme Collection

The collection includes, besides three autograph letters from Teilhard to the donor's parents and the original typed manuscript of his Milieu divin (1926), a rich variety of early printed materials, including eight monographs (numbers 1-7 and 10) of the Institut de Géo-Biologie in Beijing.
Gift of Marie-Thérèse Cosme
1926-1955 * 0.50 linear foot

Teilhard-de Margerie Collection

The de Margerie Collection contains a number of inscribed copies of articles, offprints, and other works by Teilhard as well as photocopies of a number of letters by Teilhard written in the early 1940s.
Gift of Diane de Margerie through the auspices of Solange Soulié
1923-1975 * 0.25 linear foot

Teilhard-Houdin Collection

The collection consists of 18 letters from Teilhard to a French acquaintance, Mme. R. J. Houdin. Largely consisting of personal advice, the letters also touch on Teilhard's life in New York and his trips to South Africa and elsewhere.
Gift of Pierre Leroy, S.J
1951-1955 * 0.25 linear foot

Leroy-Warre Collection

The collection comprises more than 100 letters from Pierre Leroy, S.J., to Janetta Warre. The letters deal primarily with the works of Teilhard de Chardin and the Teilhard de Chardin Centenary Exhibition organized by Mrs. Warre in London and Edinburgh in 1983.
Gift of Janetta Warre
1982-1987 * 0.50 linear foot

Constantin Kluge-Pierre Leroy Collection

The collection consists of 34 autograph letters to Kluge from Pierre Leroy, S.J., together with a lengthy reminiscence by Kluge on his acquaintance with Teilhard de Chardin and others in his circle, especially Claude Riviere and Leroy. A complete typed transcription of the letters has been provided by Mme. Solange Soulié, a close friend of Pierre Leroy.
Gift of Constantin Kluge
1976-1993 * 0.25 linear foot

American Teilhard Association Library

The library's general holdings of texts by, about, or inspired by the example of Teilhard de Chardin was greatly strengthened by the addition of the more than 650 volumes which formerly comprised the collection of the New York-based American Teilhard Association for the Future of Man. This collection, integrated with only a few exceptions into the library's main stacks, provides a virtually complete assemblage of texts by and about Teilhard.
Gift of the Association


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