Elizabeth Sarah Kite papers, 1865-1954 (MC 2)

Elizabeth Sarah Kite (1864-1954) was a teacher, social scientist, historian, author, and archivist. Born in Philadelphia to Quaker parents, Kite was educated at Westtown Boarding school and the Philadelphia Friends’ Select School; and then studied extensively in Europe. In 1906, she converted to Catholicism, after her experiences with French Catholics. From 1909 to 1918, Kite was employed in the research laboratory at the Vineland Training School, and conducted research in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. She translated Development of Intelligence in Children and The Intelligence of the Feeble-Minded by Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon (translation published 1916). She also researched and published on various historical topics, in particular the influence of French participation during the American Revolution, and served as the archivist for American Catholic Historical Society from 1932 to 1949. Kite became the first laywoman to receive an honorary doctorate of literature from Villanova University in 1933.

The Elizabeth Sarah Kite papers date from 1865 to 1954, with bulk dates of 1890 to 1935, and document the life and literary endeavors of Elizabeth Sarah Kite. This collection contains mostly correspondence, including Kite family letters, as well as ephemera, poems, research notes, autobiographical writings, and drafts and published copies of articles written by Kite.

1.1 linear feet; 3 boxes

*Materials in this collection have been digitized and can be viewed at the Digital Library @ Villanova University.

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Herman Joseph Heuser papers, 1811-1933 (MC 1)

Herman Joseph Heuser, D.D. (1851-1933) was a prominent Catholic intellectual and prolific writer who influenced scholarly circles and clerical life in the United States and abroad through his publications, including the  journal the American Ecclesiastical Review (1889-1975), which he edited for many years.

Along with editing the American Ecclesiastical Review, Heuser also organized and directed the Dolphin Press of Philadelphia, which printed many ecclesiastical works. From 1900 to 1908 he published the Dolphin, a general Catholic literary magazine that began as a book supplement to the American Ecclesiastical Review. In 1907, during the controversy over Modernism, Heuser was appointed by the Apostolic Delegate as general censor for all Catholic publications in the United States.

Heuser also acted as a consultant to religious orders. He helped to write the constitutions of the Sisters of Mercy, Merion, Pa., where his sister was for a time General Superior, and of Katharine Drexel’s Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.

He served as an adviser to the Pontifical Commission on Anglican Orders in 1896, and received an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from Pope Pius X.

This collection largely contains correspondence, both personal and professional in nature. A significant portion of the correspondence is between Heuser and prominent figures within the Catholic Church, including Cardinal James Gibbons, Archbishop Patrick J. Ryan of Philadelphia, Katharine Drexel, and Thomas C. Middleton. Other notable correspondents include Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Princess Catherine Radziwiłł, and Leopold Stokowski. Some of the topics covered include Catholicity in Russia, church architecture, Catholic American Indians, and the religious aspects of the issue of vasectomy.

A significant amount of materials in the collection relate to Canon Patrick Augustine Sheehan of Doneraile, Ireland, specifically Sheehan’s book, My New Curate; a story gathered from the stray leaves of an old diary, which appeared serially in Heuser’s magazine. Items, such as drafts and research notes, deriving from Heuser’s work with the American Ecclesiastical Review and the Dolphin, are also included. The collection also contains prayers, sermons, some genealogical information, and scrapbooks with miscellaneous materials.

Most of the materials in the collection are in English, though some are written in German, French, and Italian.

27 boxes, 10.4 linear ft.

Researchers will find it useful to use the more recent (html) finding aid in conjunction with the legacy finding aid, which includes item-level information.

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John W. Keogh papers, 1906-1960 (MC 50)

circa 1943

Msgr. John W. Keogh (1877-1960) served as a college chaplain for the University of Pennsylvania’s Newman Club (1913-1938), and was the first “Chaplain General” of the national Federation of College Catholic Clubs (1917-1938). He also served as a chaplain for several Catholic organizations and institutions including the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Ladies Auxiliary of that association, and St. Bede’s Chapel.

Keogh was also very involved in the total abstinence movement. He served as president of the Catholic Total Abstinence Union of American. He also served as president  and was instrumental in the founding of the Priests’ Total Abstinence League of America.

The collection is mostly comprised of correspondence, both personal and professional, that mainly documents his work as chaplain of the Newman Club at the University of Pennsylvania.  Also included are clippings, research notes, and published materials reflecting Keogh’s interests in various current events of the first half of the 20th century, particularly those that the Catholic Church was engaged in, such as abstinence, communism, birth control, and Catholic Action. The collection also contains sermons and photographs as well as some legal and estate materials as Keogh was the executor of several wills and estates.

4.8 linear ft., 12 boxes

Joseph M. Corrigan papers, 1896-1942 (MC 25)

A prominent orator and preacher, Bishop Joseph M. Corrigan, D.D. served as the sixth rector of the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. from 1936 until his sudden death in June 1942. He was also rector of and a professor at St. Charles Seminary (Wynnewood, Pa.) from 1918 to 1936.

After his ordination in Rome in 1903, Corrigan returned to Philadelphia where he played a very active role in the city’s religious and social affairs. He served as assistant pastor in several parishes, and for several years was in charge of the Madonna House and settlement work among Italians. Following his parish work, Corrigan was named Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities and was placed in charge of the Catholic Children’s Bureau.

Corrigan was also a member of the board of directors of the Community Council of Philadelphia (the Welfare Federation). He served as state chaplain of the Pennsylvania State Council of the Knights of Columbus, and was also a judge of the matrimonial court and moderator of the priests’ vigilance committee. Corrigan also served as the first retreat master of the Philadelphia Laymen’s Weekend Retreat League, also known as the Men of Malvern.

The same year that he became rector of St. Charles, Corrigan was made a domestic prelate by Pope Pius XI. His elevation to the episcopacy came in 1940.

This collection contains correspondence as well as some of Corrigan’s sermons, speeches, and radio addresses, and a few photographs. Much of the collection includes ephemera, specifically newspaper clippings, relating to Corrigan’s endeavors and achievements, which are contained in several personal scrapbooks. Also included are materials concerning Catholic University, including a notebook documenting Corrigan’s schedule during his time as rector as well as some items relating to Corrigan’s involvement with the Knights of Columbus. Items relating to Corrigan’s death, such as sympathy letters to his sister and newspaper clippings, are also included. [3 boxes, 3 scrapbooks, 2.6 linear ft.]