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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives:
A Guide to Resources in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Table of Contents - Preface/Acknowledgements - Abbreviations
Lists of Entries: District of Columbia - Maryland - Virginia

The Catholic University of America
American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives

Address: 101 Life Cycle Institute
620 Michigan Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20064
Telephone Number: (202) 319-5065
Contact Persons: Dr. Timothy Meagher/ Archivist,Museum Director

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Monday--Friday 9:00 a.m.--5:00 p.m.
Open to the public: By appointment only.
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: No

Some donor-imposed restrictions apply to certain collections. Photocopying can be done by Archives staff at 10 cents page for the first 25 letter size (8½ x 11) copies; 20 cents per page over 25 letter size copies; 25 cents per copy for all legal size (11 x 14) copies; 50 cents per copy for all oversize (11 x 17) copies. The Archivist recommends a limit of 50-70 per day.

Reference Policy:
Reference service is provided on site and via mail, telephone, and e-mail.
Borrowing Privileges:
There are no borrowing privileges except for special circumstances such as exhibits and duplication.
Washington Research Libraries Consortium
Background Note:
The Department of Archives, Manuscripts, and Museum Collections was established in 1948. Total holdings for the growing collections are approximately 8,000 cubic feet.

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Description of Collections

Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
The Archives has the retired records of major American Catholic organizations such as the National Conference of Catholic Charities, the National Catholic Educational Association, the Catholic Interracial Council of New York, and the United States Catholic Conference. There are also records for other institutions, such as the American Catholic Historical Association (restrictions apply), the Catholic Anthropological Conference, Catholic Charities USA, the Catholic Commission on Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, the Catholic Theological Society of America (restrictions apply), the Christ Child Society (restrictions apply), the Committee on the Revision of the New Testament, and the International Federation of Catholic Alumnę.

The Department also has custody of the personal papers of a number of prominent Catholics, including Archbishop John Carroll, Paul J. Hallinan (Vatican II Council Collection; restrictions apply), Aloisius Cardinal Muench (restrictions apply), George Gilmary Higgins, Paul Hanly Furfey, John Montgomery Cooper, John Augustine Ryan, Francis Haas, Eli Lindesmith, Peter Guilday, John Tracy Ellis, and Thomas Joseph Shahan. There are also archival records for such publications as the Catholic Educational Review, the Catholic Encyclopedia, and the Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium.

Among the smaller archival collections are materials on the Americanist controversy, anti-Catholic literature from the 1920s, printed matter related to James Cardinal Gibbons (1869-1962), a collection of autographed papal documents (1578-1865), materials on the Ursuline convent in Massachusetts (1832-1903), materials on Catholic missions among native Americans (19th century), and an annotated register of participants in the Vatican I Council (1869).

There are listings for many of the manuscript collections on the CUA website at
For further information contact Dr. Timothy Meagher, Archivist/Museum Director.

The Department has microfilm copies of records for such organizations as the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish College in Rome, the Josephite Fathers, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of the Archdiocese of Washington. There are also a number of microfilmed collections of personal papers, including papers of Henry Cardinal Manning, Archbishop John Hughes and Bishop Denis O'Connell.
Videos and Sound Recordings:
The collection is still in development.
Vertical files:
There are numerous file cabinets of mostly 20th-century materials. The emphases of these files is on the history of Catholic University, its records and manuscript collections, within the overall context of the American Roman Catholic Church.
Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
The Museum Collection contains numerous paintings, prints, and artifacts reflecting Catholic material culture. Photographs abound in numerous manuscript collections such as the papers of Terence Vincent Powderly, John Mitchell, George Gilmary Higgins, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and the Catholic Interracial Council of New York. There are also substantial photograph holdings from the records of Catholic University's Public Affairs Office. Emphases include Catholic education, Catholic activism including race relations and labor unions, and portraits of noted religious and lay persons.

There are finding aids for many of these collections, generally on the series level.

Subject Headings

Anti-Catholicism; Biblical studies; Carroll, John, Archbishop, 1735-1815; Catholic Church--Publishing; Catholic Church--Societies, etc.; Catholic Church--United States--History; Christian biography; Church history; Dissertations; Ecumenical movement; Education and religion; Ellis, John Tracy, 1905-1992; Gibbons, James, Cardinal, 1834-1921; Indians of North America--Religion; Liberation theology; Manning, Henry Edward, 1808-1892; Missions and missionaries; Muench, Aloisius Joseph, Archbishop, 1889-1962; Religion and communism; Religion and state; Theological education; Vatican I Council; Vatican II Council; Women and religion


Department of Archives, Manuscripts, and Museum Collections [Online]. Available HTTP. URL August 2000.

Index to Manuscript Collections [Online]. Available HTTP. URL August 2000.

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  June 22, 2017
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