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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Patrick Coad family papers, 1798-1880 (MC 37)

Patrick Coad, undated

Patrick Coad (1783-1872), an Irish immigrant who settled in Philadelphia, was the first patentee of a graduated galvanic battery with insulated poles. Touting his battery among other uses as an instrument that helped cure various diseases, Coad’s invention attracted a good deal of attention within the scientific and medical communities. A teacher whose interests focused on medicine and the sciences, Coad also traveled throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding area as a lecturer on the natural sciences.

The collection includes Coad’s correspondence, his lecture and medical notes, and ephemera, such as newspaper clippings, pamphlets and broadsides, publicizing his galvanic battery and lectures. Several of Coad’s family members are also documented through correspondence, ephemera, and estate items, including his son Joseph R. Coad (1829-1868), a prominent Philadelphia physician. A family scrapbook with miscellaneous materials is also included.

2 boxes, 1.5 linear ft.

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

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Robert M. O’Reilly papers, 1862-1925 (MC 34)

Portrait photograph of Robert M. O'Reilly, circa 1870

circa 1870

Robert Maitland O’Reilly (1845-1912) was the 20th Surgeon General of the United States Army serving from September 7, 1902 to January 14, 1909. O’Reilly served a long military medical career beginning as a medical cadet in August 1862 during the Civil War. Other notable appointments include physician at the White House during both of President Grover Cleveland’s administrations, attending surgeon in Washington, D. C., and chief surgeon for several units during the Spanish-American War. He also served as a delegate at the International Conference for the Revision of the Geneva Convention in Geneva in 1906. During his time as surgeon general, O’Reilly made significant improvements by elevating the status and personnel of the army medical corps and furthering medical research.

This collection contains both personal and professional correspondence, much of which documents O’Reilly’s service during the Civil War. Also included are personal papers, including certificates of appointment and assignments, military circulars, and ephemera as well as a scrapbook documenting the 1906 Geneva Convention Conference.

0.4 Linear feet ; 1 box

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William J. Lallou papers, circa 1890-1973 (MC 55)

circa 1945

Born in Philadelphia and a graduate of St. Charles Seminary (Overbrook, PA), William J. Lallou (1880-9173) served as an assistant pastor and pastor of several parishes within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including Our Lady of Lourdes, where he served for 17 years. Lallou taught for several years at St. Charles Seminary and at the Catholic University of America where he himself received his bachelor’s degree and doctorate. He authored The fifty years of the apostolic delegation (1943), and was named a domestic prelate by Pope John XXIII in 1959.

This collection contains sermons as well as scrapbooks and picture books, many of which document both Lallou’s travels abroad as well as Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Personal diaries, family photographs, research notes and books on various topics, such as Central High School, Lallou’s alma mater, are also included.

4.4 linear ft., 11 boxes