Major Subject Areas in the Manuscript Collections
Below are the major subject areas found in the manuscript collections. Click on the hyperlink to view the finding aid for the individual collections listed within each subject. This is not a comprehensive listing for each subject area. A more detailed subject guide to our collections can be found here.
Catholic Press and Publishing
Catholic Higher Education Catholic Social Action
Catholic Press and Publishing
Catholic publications naturally reflect current Catholic attitudes; they can also act as agents of change. Records kept by publishers of books and magazines often tell the story behind the scenes and allow scholars to trace the development of new ways of thinking as editors, depending on their own views, react against or support them. Many of the attitudes common after the Second Vatican Council appear in these records years or decades before the Council began.
The University Archives holds records of Catholic publishing firms, publications, and press organizations including the following:
Ave Maria Press
Sheed and Ward
(see also their Family Papers)
National Catholic Reporter
Our Sunday Visitor
Ave Maria Magazine
Catholic Press Association
Catholic Higher Education
Among the leaders in Catholic higher education in the twentieth century, Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., is preeminent. The Archives holds not only the official University Records he generated as President of the University of Notre Dame (1952-1987), but also his personal papers representing his many activities outside the University. These records include those that relate specifically to higher education, such as Fr. Hesburgh’s work with the International Federation of Catholic Universities, the Carnegie Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the Midwest Universities Research Association, and the Institute of International Education.
Several other collections reflect an interest in Catholic higher education, such as the records of the National Federation of Catholic College Students, the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy, the Venerable English College (Rome), and the Irish College (Rome); papers of James W. Armsey, Murray Sperber, and many professors from Notre Dame and other Catholic colleges and universities.
Catholic Social Action
In the twentieth century Catholic action provided an answer to the challenge of socialism. The Catholic resistance to the advance of communism did not consist entirely of reactionary retrenchment. In the social encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII (Rerum Novarum, 1891) and Pope Pius Xi (Quadragesimo Anno, 1931) Catholics found a progressive alternative. Catholic action promoted social justice and peace without endorsing a radical rejection of traditional religious values.
The University Archives holds records representing Catholic action in the lay apostolate from the Christian Family Movement (with the related papers of Patrick and Patricia Crowley), Young Christian Workers (with the related papers of Mary Irene Zotti), and the Young Christian Students (with related papers of Fr. John J. Berkery), along with records kept by the national chaplain of all of these groups, Msgr. Reynold Hillenbrand. Documentation of the Catholic Relief Services organization can be found in the papers of James J. Norris and Msgr. Joseph Harnett.
The Archives also has records of many social action organizations including:
Collections relating to the Catholic peace movement include:
James F. Edwards did not entirely neglect lay people in his collecting during the nineteenth century, but he certainly favored bishops and the clergy in his collecting. Recognition of the contribution of lay people to the Church grew in the twentieth century and achieved official recognition in and after the Second Vatican Council.
In recognizing the importance of the laity in the Church, one must not make the mistake of underestimating the importance of the clergy. During the twentieth century, the University Archives continued James Edwards’ tradition of collecting records of clerical organizations and papers of individual priests. These materials include:
National Federation of Priests
Religious orders were of the greatest importance in the Church before and after the Second Vatican Council in their role as educators, nurses, administrators, contemplatives, and reformers. As leaven in the Church, religious men and women contributed to the ferment of the years before the Council and were generally among the most enthusiastic participants in the changes that took place after it.
The Archives holds records of national religious organizations and congregations including:
Charismatic Christianity has existed for many years. The founders of Methodism, Pentecostalism, and the Holiness Movement among Protestants led Christian revivals long before any Catholics thought of themselves as charismatics. However, as part of an ecumenical movement in the twentieth century, many Catholics did feel moved by the Holy Spirit in a way previously unknown in the Catholic Church. After the Second Vatican Council much of the fervor of traditional Catholic devotions, both Eucharistic and Marian, seemed to diminish. At the same time, charismatics found new enthusiasm and renewed fervor in their communities of prayer.
The University Archives has a small collection of records of True House, a charismatic community in South Bend, and records of charismatic conferences held at Notre Dame, but most of the collections documenting the charismatic renewal consist of personal papers, including those of James E. Byrne, Judith Church Tydings, James Connelly, CSC, John and Kathleen Ferrone, Adrian and Marie Reimers, Edward O'Connor, CSC, and Louis Rogge, O. Carm.
Changes in the liturgy after the Second Vatican Council followed years of preparation by scholars who studied the liturgy and artists who worked to renew it. Influences on the Council Fathers from the liturgical movement go back to the 1830s, but the momentum of the movement increased in the twentieth century after Pope Pius X encouraged more active participation in the liturgy. Several organizations helped to promote liturgical development in the years before Vatican II; others in the years after the Council worked to implement its liturgical reforms.
The Archives holds records of the Liturgical Arts Society, Catholic Art Association, Liturgical Conference, Vernacular Society, International Commission on English in the Liturgy, English Language Liturgical Consultation, and Consultation on Common Texts and papers of Maurice Lavanoux, Fr. Michael Mathis, CSC, Dr. Joseph P. Evans, and sculptor Ivan Mestrovic.
This page was last updated 16 October 2014