Libraries & Spaces
Visions of Georgetown: A Selection of Photographs and Illustrations from Robert Emmett Curran’s “A History of Georgetown University”
Visions of Georgetown showcases over 200 years of Georgetown history. Through a variety of photographs and illustrations featured in historian Robert Emmett Curran’s three-volume work, the exhibition documents Georgetown’s evolution from an academy within the American Catholic community of the Revolutionary War era to an internationally recognized research university.
Lauinger Library celebrates its 40th anniversary and the launch of Curran’s three-volume History with an event on October 28, in conjunction with the Georgetown University Press. Beacons of Learning: Georgetown University and Lauinger Library features Professors R. Emmett Curran, John J. Glavin and Provost James J. O’Donnell discussing the past, present and future of the Library.
Facsimile of broadside proposing an Institution whose “Plan of Education solicits, and it is not Presumption to add, deserves public Encouragement.”
Facsimile of the fund solicitation that in 1787 went to each prospective donor “inclined to promote the Education of YOUTH,” along with a copy of the Proposals for establishing an Academy at George-Town. In this notice, Carroll declares himself the official underwriter of the institution whose establishment he had been considering on and off for more than three years.
The design incorporates an image of the Blessed Virgin and the keys of Peter, the two he selected as patrons of the nation’s first bishopric. The Virgin is surrounded by thirteen stars that represent each of the United States of America. After his consecration, John Carroll published “A Short Account of the Establishment of the New See of Baltimore in Maryland,” as well as the discourse delivered on the occasion of his consecration at Lulworth Castle, a translation of the authorizing papal bull, and extracts from the Bill of Rights of some of the States. (From The Life and Times of Archbishop Carroll by John Gilmary Shea.)
This is a presumed likeness painted in the late nineteenth century from eighteenth-century descriptions. The original painting is part of Georgetown University's Art Collection.
Gaston was the first student and is here portrayed in the mid-1830s at the height of his long and distinguished career in public service. (By G. Cooke, engraving by A. B. Durand, courtesy of the Library of Congress)
The first printing of the “Ratio” (1586) was published by the Society of Jesus and distributed from Rome to the Jesuit provinces throughout the world for classroom trial and comment. This rare, preliminary edition is the only known copy in North America. The book is part of the Rare Book Collection in the Special Collections Research Center at Georgetown University. (Purchased with funds generously provided by Mrs. S. R. Straske, Paul Straske, and Homer Hervey.)
As a former Jesuit and emigré from England, Molyneux served as the second president of Georgetown from 1793 to 1796. As a Jesuit in the restored Society, he again served as Georgetown’s fifth president from 1806 to 1808. This presumed likeness was painted about eighty years later from descriptions of the erudite Englishman. (Shea, Memorial)
Old North was begun in 1794 and completed in early 1797. It was here, on the front porch, that former President George Washington was formally received and introduced by President DuBourg to the students in August 1797.
William Louis DuBourg, third president of Georgetown from 1796 to 1798, was one of several erudite Sulpicians who contributed significantly to the growth of that “complete nursery of learning.” The courtly emigré also raised that “nursery” from academy to college during his brief but energetic tenure. (Engraving from Shea, Memorial, 23)
As fourth president of Georgetown, Neale served from 1799 to 1806. With his help, Alice Lalor, an Irish emigré, and two companions opened Visitation Academy for the education of young ladies.
Neale served as acting president of Georgetown from December 1808 to March 1809, and as president from 1810 to 1811.
A nephew of Francis and Leonard Neale, he was president of Georgetown for about seven months in 1809.
The Act was presented to the U.S. Congress for consideration by Congressman William Gaston, loyal alumnus.
Priest, prelate, patriot. Bishop from 1790 to 1808. Archbishop from 1808 to 1815.
J. Wallace joined the faculty at Georgetown in 1805 as a mathematics teacher. His textbook on astronomy, which he wrote initially for his students at the New York Literary Institution, was used at Georgetown long after he left the College in 1818.
Faulkner had a long and distinguished career in public service, first in the Old Dominion’s House of Delegates, then in the U.S. House of Representatives, and finally in the diplomatic corps of the United States.
Levins was an Irish emigré and professor of science and mathematics at the College. Despite his dismissal from the Society in 1825, the scholarly Levins eventually bequeathed his library to Georgetown. This image is a photograph of a Lithograph from a print made by R. Bowen when Levins was rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
Wintertime approach to the College Walks designed by Brother West. They graced the campus for more than a century, until the land had to be used for buildings.
Photograph of a drawing by J. Smith, engraving by J. B. Neagle, 1832.
Black & white photograph of painting by James Simpson. The original painting is part of Georgetown University's Art Collection.
Constructed in 1810, this small brick building housed Georgetown’s shoe shop, store, and bakery. (Photograph probably taken several decades before it was razed in 1908; Georgetown University Archives).
Trained in Rome and twice president of Georgetown, he always cherished the wearing of the “freeman’s wreath” in America. Photograph from an 1840s daguerreotype.
Decatur, widowed in 1820 by her husband’s death in a duel, became one of Georgetown’s great benefactors. The portrait, attributed to Gilbert Stuart, is in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. William Machold. (Georgetown University Archives)
Twice president of Georgetown, Ryder was also an elected Resident Member of the Smithsonian Institution and one of the most renowned Catholic preachers in antebellum America. (Shea, Memorial)
Thought to be derived from DuBourg’s design, it was formally adopted for legal use when Georgetown was formally incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1844.
View as seen when facing the ridge on which Georgetown’s “lighthouse of the skies” was sited in 1843.
Rendering shows the transit instrument, the equatorial telescope, the meridian circle, and the granite piers sunk in the three-foot-thick masonry foundation embedded in the ridge at the Hilltop.
The first director of the Astronomical Observatory, and, for nearly sixty years, a member of the college faculty, is seated in the chair presented to him by President Abraham Lincoln. Photograph taken about 1865 by Mathew Brady.
It should be noted that the Observatory is not sited in this area. Plotted and drawn by Father Curley.
Constructed in 1850–51 and used until 1869, the Medical Department’s first building was at the corner of F and 12th Streets NW, in Washington, DC. Photograph taken ca. 1885.
The faculty of the Medical Department pose for a group photograph. Front row (from left to right): Silias Loomis, James Morgan, Johnson Eliot, Noble Young, Flodoardo Howard, and Thomas Antisell. Back row: Danie Hagner, Robert Reyburn, and John Harry Thompson. Photograph taken ca. 1867 by Alexander Gardner
Known in the ranks of the academy as “Little Buster” when he was nine years old, and the author of the song “Maryland, My Maryland.” He was a resolute and articulate Southern patriot. Photograph taken ca. 1861.
During the postbellum years, unlike during the Ryder years, senior students were permitted to smoke but only in certain areas of the Georgetown campus. Cartoon from 1880.
The waterfront of the port of Georgetown changed little in physical aspect from about 1840 to 1865, although some cultural changes gradually became evident in the city and on the Hilltop. Photograph taken by William Smith.
This 1821 program “exhibits” the liberal studies that dominated Georgetown’s curriculum from the beginning and that, throughout the nineteenth century, continued to be integral to an education with an overall coherent plan and system “by which truth may be sought and acquired.”
Like their counterparts in other American colleges, these staff officers of the Georgetown Cadet Corps were mature, responsible collegians who wore their uniforms proudly. Photograph taken in 1867.
The performance was produced by the Georgetown College Dramatic Association, with music by the Philharmonic Society of “G.T. College.” B. J. Semmes was cast as Iago, with James R(yder) Randall, George Hamilton, and Hugh J. Gaston among the other luminaries.
This somewhat battered and annotated commencement program details the order of exercise for the first conferring of degrees in July of 1817. Charles Dinnies is listed as the salutatorian and his brother George as the valedictorian. Frederick Barber, their classmate, was absent because of the death of his father and did not receive his degree then. The exercises were held in Old North.
Georgetown’s buildings are visible on the hilltop (left of the tree) above the Aqueduct Bridge.
Twenty-fifth president of Georgetown and its firm, resolute leader during seven tense and often difficult years for students and faculty. Photograph taken ca. 1875.
CSA, First Virginia Infantry, ca. 1863.
Photograph taken ca. 1865.
Photograph taken ca. 1867.
Those identified include Walter Abell, seated at the right; Stephen Mallory, seated at the center; Henry Walters standing at the right; and James Coleman, standing at the left.
Robert Douglas, son of Senator Stephen Douglas, is seated third from the left, next to the Jesuit moderator. Photograph taken by Alexander Gardner, ca. 1865.
Afterwards, as a Jesuit, he became president of Boston College. Photograph taken ca. 1872.
Afterwards, as a Jesuit, he became a missionary to Alaska. Photograph taken ca. 1868.
Seated, from left to right: B. Campbell McNeal, Thomas J. Timmins, John Carroll Payne (captain), and Francis W. Dammann. Standing, from left to right: John Giraud Agar, James B. Risque, Edward A Dolan, Thomas F. Mallan, James P. Dolan. Photograph taken ca. 1875.
The dean, Justice Charles James, addressed the first ten graduates at Lincoln Hall. The degrees were conferred by President John Early after the reading of the Act of Congress (March 1, 1815), which had raised Georgetown College to a University.
Shows the huge, frontal mound of dirt from the excavation work. Funds for removal of the unsightly mound and the building’s completion were not available until shortly before the Centennial Celebration in 1889.
The laboratory is probably as it was used from 1880 onward. Photograph taken ca 1890.
They were placed in books provided by the student societies that maintained the Students’ Library (two bookplates shown here of about a dozen).
University buildings appear on the Hilltop to the left of center, and the town’s buildings and wharves are shown to the right at the river’s edge. Photograph taken ca. 1881.
Like their collegiate “musical ancestors” of the 1870s and 1880s, these members of the Mandolin Club were an established part of Georgetown’s social life. Photograph taken ca. 1896.
Among those in the first row are George Magruder (third from left), L.W. Lovejoy (fourth from left), president of the faculty (center), Joseph Tabor Johnson (fourth from right) and Carl Kleinschmidt (fifth from right).
Photograph taken ca. 1884.
In the first row, sixth from the left is James Doonan, seventh from the left is Joseph Havens Richards, eighth is Martin Morris, ninth is George Hamilton. In the third row from the top, Robert Ray is second from the left, with his right arm on the porch post.
Engraving from ca. 1887.
Designed by William F. Quicksall (C1861) and produced for die stamping by Francis A. Cunningham (C1864). The medals were issued as a memorial of the formal celebration in February 1889.
Photograph taken ca. 1889.
Detail from a map of the District of Columbia plotted and drawn by the U.S. Coast Survey in the 1880s.
President of Georgetown, 1888–98.
The first year since the banning of football following the death of George Behan four years earlier.
Dean of the medical department from 1888 to 1901.
Served as a surgeon during the Spanish-American War
On the site of the original building demolished the previous year.
Dean of the law school, 1900–1903 and 1914-41.
Dean of the medical school, 1901–28.
Professor of surgery in the medical school.
President of Georgetown, 1918–24.
November 17, 1901, won by Georgetown 17–16.
The world record holder for the long jump (25 feet, 5 inches) in the 1920 Olympics.
Georgetown’s most successful team in intercollegiate competition in the interwar years.
Regent and dean of the Medical School, 1934–46.
President of Georgetown, 1935–42.
Professor of economics in the graduate school.
Chancellor of West Germany, at his honorary degree ceremony in 1953 (Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle, center; Edward Bunn, SJ, right).