In 1930, Reverend Paul J. Foik, C.S.C., in his work entitled Pioneer Catholic Journalism, traced the origins, scope, and design of the earliest published Catholic newspapers and journals in the United States, beginning with Reverend Gabriel Richard's Michigan Essay, or Impartial Observer (1809). On June 22, 1822, Bishop John England of the Diocese of Charleston established one of the earliest Catholic newspapers in the United States, the United States Catholic Miscellany (1822-1861) to instruct the faithful of his diocese in the doctrines of the Catholic faith. The Truth Teller (1825-1855), founded in New York on April 2, 1825, championed the rights of civil and religious freedom for Ireland and Catholicism. The Jesuit, or, Catholic Sentinel, established September 5, 1829, continues today as the Pilot, and is considered by some to be the oldest Catholic newspaper in the United States still in existence. The Catholic Telegraph, established October 22, 1831 in Cincinnati, Ohio, also ranks among one of the earliest Catholic newspapers still in existence. From the earliest times to the present, the Catholic press has defined its mission as one of preserving and defending the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.
Notre Dame's Catholic newspaper collection has long been regarded by American Catholic historians as one of the finest in the United States. The formation of the collection dates back to the late nineteenth century, when James F. Edwards (1850-1911), one of Notre Dame's first and foremost librarians, obtained extended runs of the United States Catholic Miscellany, the Truth Teller, the Catholic Mirror, and a number of other Catholic newspapers published in the nineteenth century. Others who have contributed to the growth of this collection include Reverend Paul J. Foik, C.S.C. (1879-1941); Paul R. Byrne (1889-1980); Reverend Thomas T. McAvoy, C.S.C. (1903-1969); and Francis P. Clark (1936-1979). The collection continues to expand, with ongoing efforts to ensure its preservation.
Entries contain the following elements of information, whenever available: title; imprint, including the city of publication, the publisher, and the dates of publication; description (number of volumes) only if complete; publication history (inception and cessation dates); frequency; continues and/or continued by notes; language notes; other notes; call number, and holdings information. The abbreviations s.l. (sine loco) and s.n. (sine nomine) signify that no place and no publisher have been cited in the work. The call number indicates the local microfilm number assigned to a title by the Hesburgh Library. The Northwestern Chronicle, for example, has been assigned as its call number Microfilm no. 19. Library holdings are in positive microfilm only. The University Archives holds the master negative of many of these papers. With few exceptions, the geographic index is organized by state, then city, and title. Several publications from Canada, England, and the Vatican have also been included. These titles are filed in the geographic index under their respective countries. Three anti-Catholic publications: Menace (Aurora, Illinois); New Menace (Kansas City, Kansas); and Downfall of Babylon (New York, N.Y.) have also been included.
Both the Summary Holdings version and the Detailed Holdings version have been published by the University Libraries of Notre Dame and The Charles and Margaret Hall Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. Copies are available from The Cushwa Center, 614 Hesburgh Library, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556-5629.
In summary holdings statements, a hyphen represents a range of holdings, indicating that at least one issue is held for each of the years included:
A comma represents a gap in holdings of one or more years. In the following example, the comma indicates that no issues are held for the year 1850:
A plus sign (+) indicates that the title is currently being received in microform by the Hesburgh Library:
To obtain the latest information regarding titles currently received, access UNLOC directly.
The Center for Research Libraries, Chicago, Illinois, holds more than 6,100 titles of foreign newspapers on microfilm, including some religious newspapers. Listings of these titles are available through The Center for Research Libraries' online catalog. Titles can be accessed through the Center's web site (http://wwwcrl.uchicago.edu/paper/Foreign_newspapers.html).
While no online union list of Catholic newspapers currently exists, collaborative efforts combined with advances in technology may facilitate such a listing in the future.
Theodore M. Hesburgh Library
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5629
Office Number: (219) 631-6260
Telefax Number: (219) 631-8887
William Kevin Cawley, University Archives, prepared the layout, the index, and the online version of this work. His time and expertise are very much appreciated. R. Scott Appleby, Director of the Cushwa Center, has contributed significantly in countless ways to the publication of this directory. For his kind assistance I am always most deeply grateful.
Theodore M. Hesburgh Library
March 7, 1997