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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

Saint Joseph Society of the Sacred Heart
Josephite Archives

Address: 1130 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202-3802
Telephone Number: (410) 727-3386
Fax Number: (410) 385-2331
Contact Persons: Father Peter Hogan, S.S.J., Archivist

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Monday--Friday 9:30 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m.
Open to the public: By appointment only
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: No

The Archives is open to the scholarly community with primary access to the Josephite Administration. Please call or write ahead.

Reference Policy:
Telephone and mail questions are answered as promptly as possible. Involved research requires that the researcher come to the Archives.
Borrowing Privileges:
Not a circulating collection.
Background Note:
Founded in 1866 by Herbert Cardinal Vaughan from the Missionary College of St. Joseph at Mill Hill near London. In 1871 four Mill Hill Fathers along with their Superior arrived in Baltimore to work with African-Americans newly freed from slavery. By 1892-93, Mill Hill had an American community of Josephites consisting of 16 men serving eight churches and two institutions under the direction of the Very Reverend John R. Slattery, S.S.J.
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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
Approximately 4,500 books from the 19th and 20th centuries (some earlier) with emphases on Catholic Church history, African-American church history and related subjects.

There is a computer catalog with an author and title index.

Periodicals and newspapers:
75 current subscriptions and several hundred linear feet of older journals. Dates range from 1850 to the present although the strongest collections are those after 1960. Highlights include those listed under books above. Specific strength in Josephite magazines.

There are various tools for location of materials including computer indexing.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
Approximately 600,000 pages in the Official Archives dating from 1892; approximately 900,000 pages in the manuscript collection dating from the 1830s. These include indexed records, partially indexed records, and holdings added since April 1990. Indexed records: Records of the Josephite Society up to the end of the administration of Father Matthew J. O'Rourke, 1979. These include:

  • Records of the Very Reverend John R. Slattery, S.S.J., including some of the original Mill Hill material, 1871-1903, arranged, indexed and microfilmed.
  • Records of Mrs. Fry Thomas Donovan and Justin McCarthy, 1903-1918. Partially arranged and outlined. Index of correspondence.
  • Records of Father Louis Pastorelli, 1918-1942. Boxed and filed by year and topic. Index of correspondence.
  • Records of Fathers Edward Casserly and Thomas McNamara. Filed by topic. Index of folders.
  • Records of Father George O'Dea, 1959-1970. Filed by topic.
  • Records of Father Matthew J. O'Rourke, 1970-1979. Filed by topic. Index of folders.
  • Annual Reports from parishes and institutions to the Society, arranged by year and a second set arranged by parish or institution. Non-financial statistics have been computerized.

    Partially indexed records: Parish records of several closed parishes; parish bulletins; Seminary, Novitiate and College records (copies if not originals); papers of several deceased members of the Society, (e.g. Fathers Pastorelli, John Albert, Edward Murphy, John Gillard and others); blue prints of several institutions and parishes; Josephite parish histories; surveys of Josephite parishes and areas of interest; chapter and conference information; correspondence from some departments; and tapes and transcripts of interviews for oral history program.

    Holdings added since April 1990:

  • Robert Giles papers. An African-American reporter, now semi-retired, who served among other places on the Texas Catholic Herald in Houston. His papers contain his writing and research.
  • Dyer papers (also at the Sulpician Archives). Father Dyer was a long-term secretary of the Commission for Catholic Missionary Efforts Among the Negro and Indians (known as N&I). The period covered is between approximately 1890 and 1904.
  • Father Albert Foley, S.J., papers. Twenty-two boxes dealing mainly with the Healy family, research for his book, God's Men of Color, and other allied topics.
  • Sister Anthony Scally, R.S.M., research materials. Copies of the Carter G. Woodson materials have been given to the Moorland-Springarn Collection at Howard University.
27 microfilm reels containing Mill Hill material from the 1860s to 1904. A small portion is also in transcript form.

There is a computer index for these reels.

Approximately four file drawers of state and area maps for Josephite missions in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia, and Texas from the 1920s through the 1960s.

A location listing book is available for this collection.

Videos and Sound Recordings:
Approximately 110 video tapes with inclusive dates from 1970 to the present. This collection covers areas of African-American Catholic interest such as meetings and events of groups such as the Oblate Sisters of Providence and the Society of the Divine Word. Television programs of African-American Catholic interest are also collected.

A location listing book is available for this collection.

Vertical Files:
Four rooms of file cabinets, approximately three million pieces of paper with inclusive dates from 1870 to the present, with most materials dated after 1960. Strengths include Catholic Church history, African American church history and related subjects.

There is a computer index for these files.

Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
Approximately 100 boxes of photographs, with inclusive dates from 1870 to the present, illustrative of Josephite work.

Subject Headings

African American Catholics; African American churches; African religions; Catholic Church; Catholic Church--Clergy--African American; Catholic Church--United States--History; Christian biography; Church history--African American; Church work with African Americans; Gibbons, James, Cardinal, 1834-1921; Josephites; Missions and missionaries; Missions and missionaries, Nigerian; O'Connor, Michael, 1810-1872; Slattery, John R., 1851-1929; Spalding, Martin John, Archbishop, 1810-1872; Vaughan, Herbert, Cardinal, 1832-1903; Women and religion

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  June 22, 2017
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