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Special Collections — Catholic Education Resources

A selected list of holdings of the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives, at The Catholic University of America.

Aiken, Charles Francis. Papers. 1886–1924. 3 linear feet; 7 boxes.

A finding aid to the papers of Charles Francis Aiken.

Primarily lecture notes, the Papers also include sermons, correspondence, articles, addresses, and a diary account of Aiken’s years as a CUA student and faculty member. Aiken was born in Boston on April 8, 1863 and died there on July 8, 1925. He taught at Catholic University from 1897 to 1924, serving as dean of the faculty of theology from 1909 to 1913.

Bouquillon, Thomas. Papers. 1864–1904. 1 linear foot; 2 boxes.

A finding aid to the papers of Thomas Bouquillon.

Bouquillon was appointed to the Catholic University of Lille, France in 1877 and remained there for the next decade. He came to The Catholic University of America as one of the original faculty members and was involved in the Catholic education controversy of the 1890s. From 1889 until 1902, the year of his death, he served as Professor of Moral Theology.

The collection contains biographical information, general correspondence, miscellaneous lectures and notes, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous publications.

Byron, William James. Papers. 1977–1992. 9 linear feet; 7 boxes.

Byron was the 12th president of The Catholic University of America (CUA), serving from 1982 to 1992. He is the author of the 1975 book Toward Stewardship: An Interim Ethic of Poverty, Power, and Pollution and has published scores of articles dealing with economics, social ethics, and educational issues.

Byron's papers consist of plaques, awards, medals, diplomas, and regalia dating from his presidencies of the University of Scranton and CUA. Also present are photographs from his CUA years, notably from a 1985 trip to Taiwan.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

College Theology Society (CTS). Records. 1953–2015. 29 linear feet; 23 boxes.

A finding aid for the College Theology Society (CTS) Records.

The College Theology Society (CTS) was founded in 1953 as a Roman Catholic organization and professional association of college and university professors. Membership is open to those who teach and hold degrees in theology and religious studies, and includes persons from the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The records primarily consist of the files of William Cenker, Gary Macy, Miriam Ward, Francis Buckley, and Dennis Doyle, including Board of Directors’ Minutes and related material, 1954–1997; general correspondence, 1965–1985; constitutions and by-laws, n.d.; membership and convention material, 1954–1991; and various publications and related correspondence, 1968–2002.

Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA). Records. 1946–2017. 37.5 linear feet; 30 boxes.

A finding aid to the records of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA).

Formed in 1946 at a meeting in New York City, the society is a professional organization of both Catholic and non-Catholic clergy, religious, and lay men and women including professors, teachers, and scholars that meets every June at an annual convention. Its purpose is to promote education and scholarship in relation to current problems by providing a forum to further the cause of unity among Christians and all people through a better understanding and appreciation of the role of critical religious faith in church and society.

Archival material encompasses correspondence and reports, minutes and proceedings, publications and photographs, financial and membership records generated by the Board of Directors, Executive officers, sundry committees, annual conventions, and regional meetings.

Cooper, John Montgomery. Collection. 1898–1962. 38 linear feet; 72 boxes.

An online finding aid to the papers of John Montgomery Cooper.

Born in Rockville, Maryland in 1881, John Montgomery Cooper achieved distinction as a priest and scientist. Educated at Saint Charles College in Ellicott City, Maryland and the North American College of Rome, Cooper was ordained in 1905 and became a noted religious educator. He also became a leader in the field of anthropology—a fledgling discipline in the 1920s. During his tenure as an assistant pastor at Saint Matthew’s Church (1905–1918), Cooper worked with anthropologists at the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution. By 1914, Cooper published his first anthropological study, Analytical and Critical Bibliography of the Tribes of Tierra del Fuego. Beginning in 1909, Cooper taught courses in Sacred Theology at The Catholic University of America (CUA). In 1923, he also began teaching in the sociology department where he introduced anthropology to the curriculum.

Cooper's papers contain sermons; articles in anthropology, sociology, sacred theology, and religious studies; correspondence arranged by subject and correspondent; and personal correspondence.

Deferrari, Roy J. Papers. 1925–1966. 11.6 linear feet; 29 boxes.

A finding aid to the Papers of Roy J. Deferrari.

Born on June 1, 1890 in Stoneham, Massachusetts, Deferrari began studying Latin and Greek while attending Melrose High School and continued his education at Dartmouth College, where he specialized in Greek and Latin Literature. After graduating with an A.B. in 1912, he continued his education at Princeton University—earning an M.A. in 1913 and a Ph.D. in 1915. Deferrari began his career at The Catholic University of America in 1918 as a Professor of Greek and Latin. In 1930, he was appointed to the position of Acting Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a position which he held in addition to his other responsibilities as Director of the Summer Session and full professor of Greek and Latin. Deferrari died in 1969 at the age of 79.

The Roy J. Deferrari Papers consist of correspondence with professional organizations; published and unpublished drafts of articles; speeches; notes related to his published writings; classroom notes; and student papers. While some of his classroom notes date back to the 1920s, and some of his personal papers date back to the 1930s, the majority of the items in this collection fall within the range of 1950–1966.

Furfey, Paul Hanly. Papers. 1803 (1896–1992) n.d. 161 linear feet; 129 boxes.

A finding aid to the papers of Paul Hanly Furfey.

Monsignor Furfey, a provocative Irish-Catholic sociologist, was born in 1896 in Cambridge, Massachusetts and educated at Boston College, St. Mary’s University, and The Catholic University of America (where he obtained a doctorate). Ordained in 1922, Furfey taught at Trinity College (DC), the National Catholic School of Social Service, and The Catholic University of America—where he headed the sociology department from 1934 to 1963.

His voluminous papers contain correspondence; reference and research material; calendars and address books; student notes and papers; photographs and other memorabilia; financial records; and printed material reflecting decades of education, religion, and social activism from a Catholic intellectual and spiritual perspective.

Geary, James Aloysius. Papers. 1893–1958. 4 feet; 8 boxes; 1 volume.

A finding aid to the papers of James Aloysius Geary.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, James Aloysius Geary (1882–1962) was educated at Holy Cross College, the Seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris, France and the American College in Louvain, Belgium. He received his doctorate from The Catholic University of America (CUA) and was ordained in 1907. He became an expert linguist and was a professor at CUA for forty-one years (1912–1953), teaching German and Celtic languages, as well as comparative philology. Geary was recognized as an expert in American Indian languages and worked on a revision of the Fox Indian Text. He also did considerable research on the related words of various Algonquin tribes. For many years, he taught free weekly classes in Gaelic for beginners and conversational Gaelic for advanced students.

Geary's papers span the years from his student days, ca. 1905–1907, to the years just past his retirement from The Catholic University of America, at age 70 in 1953. The papers includes correspondence, speeches, editorials, research articles, Algonquian and Gaelic language notes, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, poems, and photographs.

Hilger, Sister M. Inez. Correspondence. n.d. .5 feet; 1 box.

Sister M. Inez, O.S.B., then-teacher at St. Benedict’s College in St. Joseph, Minnesota, was the first woman to be officially admitted as a student to regular classes at The Catholic University of America (CUA). She enrolled in September 1924.

The correspondence consists mainly of replies from various Catholic universities to Sister Inez’s requests for curriculum information. The letters illustrate the dearth of Catholic graduate education available to women at the time.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

Howard, Bishop Francis W. Papers. 1886 (1898–1944) 1959. 43 linear feet; 35 boxes.

Francis William Howard was born in Columbus, Ohio on June 21, 1867: the fifth of seven children of Francis Howard and Catherine O’Sullivan. Educated at St. Patrick Elementary School, St. Joseph Academy (Columbus), the Seminary of Our Lady of the Angels (Niagara, New York), and Mount St. Mary Seminary (Cincinnati), Howard was ordained a priest on June 16, 1891. He served in a number of Ohio parishes and became active in diocesan and national educational organization. He also served the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) in several capacities: Secretary from 1904 to 1928, President from 1928 to 1936, and Chairman of the Advisory board until his death on January 18, 1944.

His papers include correspondence and National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) reports.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

International Federation of Catholic Alumnae (IFCA). Collection. 1914–2005. 51 linear feet; 38 boxes.

Founded in 1914, the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae (IFCA) promoted the educational activities of teacher-Sisters. The IFCA hoped to be an example of integrity, culture, and charity to help rid the country of bigotry. They established several departments to accomplish their goals: the Motion Picture, Social Welfare, and Education Departments among others.

Records include constitutions and bylaws, convention proceedings, board of directors minutes, correspondence, reports, financial records, chapter histories, photographs, publications, scrapbooks, audio tapes, and some artifacts.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

Jenkins, Michael. Memorial Scrapbooks. 1915–1916. 2 volumes.

The scrapbooks consist mainly of newspaper clippings with tributes to the memory of Jenkins—financier, railroad magnate, and philanthropist. Particularly supportive of the Catholic Church and educational causes, he was a founder, trustee, and, beginning in 1905, treasurer of The Catholic University of America. Included in the scrapbooks are accounts of his funeral and of the division of his estate.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

Kerby (William Joseph) Foundation. Collection. 1936–1973. 17 linear feet; 8.5 boxes.

A finding aid to the collection of the William J. Kerby Foundation.

Incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1941, the basic purpose of the Foundation was to promote the religious, charitable, and educational ideals, teachings, and objectives of William Joseph Kerby: in particular, the spiritual basis of democracy, the spiritual significance of social work, and the development of Catholic lay leaders. To this effect, the Foundation supplied funds for scholarships and research publications regarding Catholic social action.

The collection includes the files of John Cermak, the last active officer of the Washington, D.C. office. Specifically: correspondence and subject files, minutes and reports, constitutions and bylaws, certificate of incorporation, financial records, refused grant requests, photographs, and history of the Foundation.

McNicholas, John Timothy. Papers. 1912, 1925–1949. 1.25 feet; 3 boxes.

A finding aid to the papers of John T. McNicholas.

John T. McNicholas was born in Kiltimagh, County Mayo, Ireland on December 15, 1877. He was the youngest of eight children. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1881 to Chester, Pennsylvania. He attended elementary school at the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Chester and St. Joseph’s Preparatory College in Philadelphia. At seventeen, McNicholas entered the Dominican Order at St. Rose’s Priory in Springfield, Kentucky. He was ordained at St. Joseph’s in Somerset, Ohio on October 10, 1901. McNicholas earned a doctorate of Sacred Theology at Minerva. In 1904, McNicholas returned to Somerset to assume the role of master of novices. In 1930, Archbishop McNicholas became the Episcopal Chairman of the Department of Education of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC). He held this role until 1935 and then again in 1942 to 1945. He also served as the President General of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) from 1946 to 1950 and held a ten-year chairmanship from 1933 to 1943 of the Episcopal Committee on Motion Pictures, which later became the National Legion of Decency. McNicholas also served five terms, from 1945 to 1950, as chairman of the Administration Board of the NCWC.

The McNicholas papers consist primarily of correspondence and reports from his participation in the investigation committee and the Episcopal Visiting Committee at The Catholic University of America from 1925 to 1949.

National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). Records. 1886 (1904–2015) n.d. 695 linear feet; 545 boxes.

A finding aid to the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) records.

The National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), the nation’s oldest and largest Catholic educational organization, was founded in 1904 through the merger of the Educational Conference of Seminary Faculties, the Association of Catholic Colleges, and the Parish School Conference. The vision of Catholic educational unity was embodied by The Catholic University of America's Rector Thomas J. Conaty and was implemented by the Reverend (later Bishop) Francis Howard, who served as first executive officer until 1928. Howard sought to maintain individual freedom while addressing prominent issues regarding the length and nature of elementary school curriculum, standardization of Catholic colleges, and the role of the nation’s hierarchy in fostering Catholic educational unity. In 1929 Howard’s successor, Monsignor George Johnson, moved NCEA from Columbus to Washington, D.C.—where he also served concurrently as Director of the Education Department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (NCWC). Before his death in 1944, Johnson brought about increased cooperation with both Catholic and non-Catholic educational organizations and promoted the integration of progressive and scientific methods of education with more traditional Catholic pedagogy. Johnson’s successor, Monsignor Frederick Hochwalt, witnessed the fruits of his labor; membership increased from 3,400 to 14,700 during his tenure.

Materials currently on deposit include administrative records, primarily correspondence and subject files, of the first five administrators: Bishop Francis Howard, 1904–1928; Monsignor George Johnson, 1929–1944; Monsignor Frederick Hochwalt, 1944–1966; the Rev. C. Albert Koob, 1966–1974; and Monsignor John Meyer, 1974–1986. Please note: to date, only the first 100 feet of the records have been processed.

National Catholic War Council. Records. 1891(1917–1935)1956. 137 linear feet; 110 boxes; 35 reels of microfilm.

A finding aid to the National Catholic War Council records.

The War Council of 1917 represented the first coming together of the American bishops in voluntary association to address great national issues affecting the Church. It dealt with the spiritual and material needs both of soldiers preparing for war and of women and youth entering cities and factories. The American Hierarchy soon realized that this united and coordinated effort in wartime was crucial to more effective protection of Church interests in peacetime. This resulted in the creation in 1919 of the National Catholic Welfare Council (later Conference) which involved itself at the federal, state, and local levels of Catholic activity regarding legislation, education, publicity, and social action.

Although the records span the years 1917 to 1932, they concentrate on 1917–1919 and contain files and file indexes of Bishop Peter J. Muldoon, chairman of the NCWC Administrative Committee, and of Father John J. Burke, chairman of the Committee on Special War Activities (CSWA).

There are substantial records on education in the National Catholic Welfare Conference (later the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) subgroups of the Executive Department (otherwise known as the Office of the General Secretary), the Legal Department (now known as the Office of the General Counsel), the Department of Education, and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL). Records. 1961–2017. 140 feet; 109 boxes.

The NCCL has been known as a leader in Catholic religious education in the United States since 1967. The NCCL is the successor of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD), which originated in the 1930s. Membership consists of religious educators from the spectrum of the Catholic church, including bishops; pastors; diocesan and parish directors of religious education; academics; and publishers of catechetical materials. The NCCL is the only independent national organization exclusively dedicated to serving the church’s catechetical mission.

The collection consists of meeting minutes of the board and committees, publications, and correspondence.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

New Catholic Encyclopedia. Records. 1959–1979. 194 linear feet; 184 boxes, 29 microfilm reels.

In 1959 the American Hierarchy commissioned The Catholic University of America to produce a New Catholic Encyclopedia (NCE) to succeed the prestigious Catholic Encyclopedia of the early twentieth century. The NCE strove not just to update outmoded sections, but to produce a fresh approach to enduring topics and to introduce the newest concerns of the Roman Catholic faith. Fifteen volumes, each containing a million words, were created in the 1960s (with later supplements); aside from defining features of the Church, they encompass Catholic contributions to art, science, literature, and culture.

The bulk of materials archived were created in the preparation of the original NCE volumes and include such critical records as correspondence, minutes, and reports of the editors and staff. In addition, bibliography, art, contributor, contract, and rejected article files were retained.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

Nuesse, Celestine Joseph. Papers. 1930–2010. 38 linear feet; 29 boxes.

Born on November 25, 1913 in Sevastopol, Wisconsin, Nuesse was a Catholic educational administrator and author. He received his B.E. from Central State Teacher’s College (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) in 1934; his M.A. from Northwestern University in 1937; his Ph.D. and later his L.H.D. from The Catholic University of America in 1944 and 1982; and finally his LL.D. from Merrimack College in 1960. Nuesse taught high school in Wisconsin from 1934 to 1940. He joined the faculty of the Sociology Department at The Catholic University of America (CUA) where he has served as Instructor, 1945–1948; Assistant Professor, 1948–1952; Associate Professor, 1952–1964; Professor, 1964–1981; and Professor Emeritus since 1981. In addition, he has served as Dean of the School of Social Science, 1952–1961; Executive Vice President, 1967–1981; Provost, 1968–1979; and Provost Emeritus since 1981.

The Nuesse Papers consist of general correspondence, subject files, travel notes, class lectures, addresses and speeches, and research material for his publications. There are also files related to his CUA activities as both a teacher and an administrator, as well as an editor for the New Catholic Encyclopedia.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

O’Gorman, Thomas Papers. 1891–1902. 1 inch.

The O’Gorman Papers consist mainly of letters received by O’Gorman—a professor of Church history at The Catholic University of America (CUA) from 1890–1896, and later the Bishop of Sioux Falls, 1896–1920. Topics addressed include: the Columbian Catholic Summer School; debate over CUA’s orthodoxy, 1896; and the succession of the Archdiocese of New York, 1902. Also present is material relating to the "Philippine Question," including a 1902 letter to John Ireland, written from Manila by G. A. O’Reilly, a newly appointed Catholic superintendent of schools. Correspondents include Dennis J. O’Connell, Sebastian G. Messmer, John S. Foley, Maurice Egan, Richard L. Burtsell, William J. Onahan, and Conde B. Pallen. Also present are two history notebooks in Latin.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

O’Hara, Frank. Papers. 1922–1923, 1930–1931. 8 items.

O’Hara was an instructor and later professor of political economy at The Catholic University of America, 1909–1938. Organizer and president of St. Anthony’s Parish Credit Union, 1932–1938, he was also chairman of the Parish Credit Union National Committee—which came under the control of the Social Action department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. Three incoming letters reflect his work with parish credit unions. Also present are: material connected with O’Hara’s teaching, including a class book for 1922–1923; John A. Ryan’s book review of Religion and Rise of Capitalism by R.H. Tawnley, clipped from the NCWC Editorial Sheet; and a letter from the Catholic Encyclopedia Revision Department discussing suggestions that O’Hara had made concerning their treatment of the subject of Political Economy.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

Pace, Edward Aloysius. Papers. 1887 (1887–1938) 1963. 8 linear feet; 16 boxes.

A finding aid to the papers of Edward Aloysius Pace.

Edward Aloysius Pace was born on July 3, 1861 in Starke, Florida. He went on to study at St. Charles College in Maryland, the North American College in Rome (where he was ordained in 1885), and the Universities of Leipzig in Louvain and Paris. He received his doctorate in psychology in 1891 and, in the same year, began his long academic career at The Catholic University of America (CUA). Pace would remain at CUA until his death in 1938. He worked with the Catholic Education Association (CEA), later the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA), and the Department of Education of the National Catholic Welfare Council/Conference (NCWC). Pace was also a co-founder of Trinity College, a women’s college in Washington, D.C.

The Edward Pace Papers consist mainly of academic and professional papers from 1889 to 1938. The collection contains Pace’s files from his work with the Institute of Pedagogy, the CEA/NCEA and the NCWC, Department of Education.

Ryan, Patrick Joseph. Interview. 1975. 2 items; Cassette tape; Typed transcript.

Ordained in 1927, Ryan served in the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps, 1928–1958, becoming Chief of Chaplains in 1954. The interview, the first in a planned but uncompleted series, was conducted by then-CUA archivist George Hurneni, and covers Ryan’s childhood and education in Minnesota, from his birth in 1902 to his recollections of St. Thomas’ College (where he received a B.A. in 1923) and of St. Paul’s Seminary (where he earned an S.T.B. in 1927).

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

Shahan, Thomas Joseph. Papers. ca. 1813–1950. 28 linear feet: 50 boxes.

A finding aid to the papers of Thomas J. Shahan.

The fourth Rector of The Catholic University of America (CUA), Shahan was born on September 11, 1857 in Manchester, New Hampshire (although some sources say Salem, Massachusetts). He studied at the Sulpician College in Montreal, 1872–1878, and the North American College in Rome, 1878–1882, where he was ordained a priest on June 3, 1882. He served as Secretary to the Bishop and Chancellor of his home diocese of Hartford, Connecticut, 1883–1888, and was asked to join the faculty at CUA as a lecturer in church history, but put off the appointment to pursue further studies. He eventually joined the faculty of CUA in 1891. Shahan was appointed domestic prelate and Rector of CUA in 1909. Serving until 1928, his administration was the longest of any rector and is remembered for its many new building projects; that said, formal exclusion of black students at CUA also began under Shahan.

Shahan's personal papers include professional correspondence, writings and essays, reference and research, photographs, and oversized items such as awards and diplomas. Material related to Shahan's administration can be found in the records of the rector.

Shields, Thomas Edward. Collection. 1896–ca. 1933. 5 feet; 1 box.

A professor of psychology and education at Catholic University from 1909–1921, Shields was perhaps the foremost Catholic educator in the first quarter of the twentieth century. The collection includes the draft M.A. thesis Dr. Thomas E. Shields and his Educational Theories; 25 lessons from a correspondence course in the psychology of education which Shields began taking in 1905; a pamphlet containing Shields's 1895 doctoral dissertation, The Effect of Vapours upon the Blood Flow; and a lighthearted article in which he discusses coeducation.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives.

Sloyan, Rev. Gerard Stephen. Oral History Transcript. 1994. 1 inch; 1 item.

Sloyan, a Roman Catholic Priest who was born in New York City in 1919, was interviewed by William Bean Kennedy as part of the Religious Educators Oral History: Religious Education History in the Twentieth Century in the United States: A Fourteen Volume Project in Oral History, 1992–1997. Sloyan’s interview, which was volume 12, focused on his Catholic educational experience, especially biblical scholarship in the Catholic and ecumenical world and through his capacity as a teacher at both The Catholic University of America and Temple University.

An online finding aid is not available for this collection. Please contact the archives. 

Ursuline Convent, Charlestown, Massachusetts. Collection. 1832–1903. 5 inches; 1 box.

A finding aid to the collection of the Ursuline Convent.

The collection documents: the history and work of the Ursuline Community in the Boston area, its foundation in 1817, its destruction by an anti-Catholic mob in 1834, and the subsequent prosecution and acquittal of the rioters. Material within the collection evidences the strong anti-Catholic sentiment typical of New England in the 1800s.

Washington, Archdiocese of. Associated Catholic Charities. Records. 1825–1970. 34 linear feet; 49 boxes.

A finding aid to the records of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Records include minutes, correspondence, administrative files, scrapbooks, and photographs of St. Joseph’s, St. Vincent’s, and St. Rose’s orphanages in Washington, D.C.