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Access Guidelines for the Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus at Georgetown University Library

The Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus are on deposit at Georgetown University and remain the property of the Corporation of the Roman Catholic Clergymen, Maryland. As stewards of the Archives, the Georgetown University Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections is responsible for managing access to the material based on policies set forth by the Maryland Province.

The Archives of the Maryland Province represent a crucial primary source for the study of the Society of Jesus from its arrival in the English colonies in 1634 through its expansion along the eastern seaboard, and, more broadly, for the study of Catholicism in America; the history and development of Georgetown University; and, of particular significance and interest at the current time, the Jesuits’ and Georgetown University’s connection to slavery, most notably the documentation of the 1838 sale of 272 slaves by the Maryland Province, proceeds of which benefited Georgetown College (now Georgetown University). The Georgetown Slavery Archive, a project initiated by the Archives Subgroup of the University’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory and Reconciliation, currently is digitizing and making available online relevant documents from the Maryland Province Archives and elsewhere.

Georgetown University Library and the Maryland Province are committed to providing access to the Maryland Province Archives to scholars, the public and especially to descendants of the Georgetown 272. Approximately 131 linear feet of records of the Maryland Province, housed in 224 manuscript boxes, are processed. Descriptions of this material are available in the finding aid. Researchers may view these materials in the Paul F. Betz Reading Room of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

Access to the Archives is governed by the Maryland Province and is subject to all Library and Special Collections policies and procedures in addition to the specific guidelines below. These guidelines are a summary of access policies -- the Archives may include materials that fall outside the scope of these general guidelines. For information on access to specific materials, please contact the Special Collections staff.

Guidelines Summary

  • All processed material dated, or bearing solely on events occurring, 60 or more years prior to a request for access is open and available to researchers unless otherwise restricted. Written requests for permission must be granted to view restricted material.
  • All processed material dated, or bearing solely on events occurring, less than 60 years prior to a request for access requires permission from the Province to view. Written requests for permission must be granted to view restricted material.
  • Researchers may quote from the materials.
  • Researchers may take their own photographs of the material for scholarly and research purposes. Allowing photographs is not an authorization to publish or to deposit the material in another library or archive.
  • Written permission from the Maryland Province is required for the publication of substantive portions of any material or publication-quality reproductions of any material.
  • Material not yet processed is not available to researchers; permission will not be granted to access any unprocessed material.
  • Audiovisual, microfilm and other material in the Archives, the original of which is held in another archive, may be consulted and transcribed only. Written permission from the archive holding the original material is required for any duplication, reproduction, or publication of that material.

Use the Permission Request Form to request permission (i) to access any restricted processed material or (ii) to publish reproductions or quote substantive portions of the material. Send the completed form by email to Rev. Thomas M. McCoog, S.J (tmmccoog@gmail.com) with a copy to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections (speccoll@georgetown.edu).