Gift of Francis Janssens, Archbishop of New Orleans, in the 1890s.
Catholic Church. Archdiocese of New Orleans (La.) Collection (ANO), University of Notre Dame Archives (UNDA), Notre Dame, IN 46556
Chiefly papers of bishops Luis Penalver y Cardenas, 1793-1810; Louis Guillaume-Valentin Dubourg, 1815-1826; Joseph Rosati, CM, apostolic administrator, 1827-1829; Leo Raymond de Neckere, 1829-1833; Anthony Blanc, 1835-1860; Jean Marie Odin, 1861-1870; Napoleon J. Perché, 1870-1883; Francis X. Leray, 1883-1887; and Francis Janssens, 1888-1897.
Other correspondents include the Capuchin bishop, Cyril Antonio Sieni, better known as Bishop Cyril of Barcelona, who was the first resident bishop to have jurisdiction over Louisiana, 1784-1793; Rev. Thomas Hassett, administrator of Louisiana, 1801-1803; Father Antonio de Sedella, auxiliary vicar and pastor of the parish of St. Louis, New Orleans, who was a leader in the power disputes that plagued the new diocese in the first years of the 19th century; and Frederick Lacheze of Guadelope, West Indies (1820s & 1830s).
Also a microfilm copy of a diary kept by Archbishop Jean Marie Odin.
A microfilm edition (12 reels) of the records of the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas (1576-1803) with an accompanying guide has been published by the University of Notre Dame Archives (1967).
Established in 1793 as the Diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas, it took in all the territory from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico except the territory of the Diocese of Baltimore (i.e., territory belonging to the United States). Before 1793 Louisiana had been under the juristiction of the Diocese of Santiago de Cuba, before 1762 under the authority of the Diocese of Quebec.
Catholic Church. Archdiocese of New Orleans (La.) St. Louis Parish, New Orleans Luis Penalver y Cardenas, 1749-1810 Dubourg, Louis Guillaume-Valentin, 1766-1833 Rosati, Joseph, CM, 1789-1843 Neckere, Leo Raymond de, 1800-1833 Blanc, Anthony, 1792-1860 Odin, John Mary, 1801-1870 Perché, Napoleon J., 1805-1883 Leray, Francis X., 1825-1887 Janssens, Francis, 1843-1897 Sieni, Cyril Antonio, 1731-1809 Hassett, Thomas Sedella, Antonio de Lacheze, Frederick
Early in the 1880's Professor James F. Edwards, librarian of the University of Notre Dame, aware that irreplaceable items pertaining to the history of Catholicism in America were constantly in danger of being lost through neglect, carelessness or willful destruction, began to implement a plan which he had conceived for establishing at Notre Dame a national center for Catholic historical materials. The frail but hard-working Edwards set about acquiring all kinds of relevant items, including relics and portraits of the bishops and other missionary clergymen, a reference library of printed materials, and an extensive manuscript collection.
To the manuscript collection, in which he hoped to include all the existing diocesan archives as well as the papers of outstanding Catholic clergymen and laymen, he gave the designation "Catholic Archives of America." Prominent clergymen such as Archbishop William Henry Elder of Cincinnati, Archbishop Francis Janssens of New Orleans, and Father Ignatius Horstmann of Philidelphia, and laymen like Martin I.J. Griffin, editor of the American Catholic Historical Researches, and John Gilmary Shea, the pioneering historian of the Catholic Church in the United States, lent their active and very helpful assistance. Thousands upon thousands of items which have been a boon to historians were acquired.
Unfortunately, Edwards had not the time, nor the money, nor the health necessary to bring his project to completion. Although the collection has been augmented under successors, Father Paul J. Foik, C.S.C., and Father Thomas T. McAvoy, C.S.C., the present Archivist of the University of Notre Dame, the ambitious scheme for an official American Catholic archives had to be given up in 1918 when Canon Law was changed so as to require each bishop to maintain his own archives.