Notre Dame Archives’ Reprints

We are happy to announce that reprints of select photographs and graphics from the Notre Dame Archives are now available for sale on  Use order code ND#1 to save 20% through the January 7, 2013 National Championship game.

GPHR 45/0016:  Basilica of the Sacred Heart and Main Building from across St. Mary's Lake, c1950s..Image from the University of Notre Dame Archives. (University of Notre Dame Archives)
Basilica of the Sacred Heart and Main Building from across St. Mary’s Lake, c1950s.

While we will gradually add more images to this site, this site will only contain a very small fraction of images from the Notre Dame Archives’ collections.  For more information, please contact University Archives directly at or (574) 631-6448.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Students have not always had the luxury to travel home or to other destinations over Christmas break.  Whether due to financial circumstance or University regulations, students and faculty who remained on campus held proper Christmas celebrations — from the traditional midnight mass to ice skating and gift exchanges.  Below is an account from the first volume of the student publication Scholastic of the 1867 Christmas activities at Notre Dame.

Scholastic, December 28, 1867

The University Archives, along with all other Notre Dame administrative offices, will close for the Christmas Celebration on December 23rd and reopen on Tuesday, January 3rd.

Women & Spirit Exhibit

The Women & Spirit:  Catholic Sisters in America traveling exhibit stops in South Bend from September 2 – December 31, 2011, at the Northern Indiana Center for History.  A number of photographs and audio-visual materials from the Notre Dame Archives make an appearance in this exhibit.

Early in Notre Dame’s history in 1843, four Holy Cross sisters joined founder Rev. Edward Sorin.   For over 115 years afterward, they graced the “French Quarter” behind Main Building, now known as the Brownson Hall complex.

 Two unidentified Holy Cross (CSC) Sisters, c1860s-1870s

The nuns at Notre Dame were entrenched in university life from 1843-1958.  “They staffed the laundries, infirmaries, kitchens, and St. Edwards’ Minims School.  There was hardly a facet of Notre Dame life they did not influence.  They set type in the University Press offices located just east of the rear of Brownson Hall, bound books and periodicals, and deciphered mysterious chirography in manuscripts which baffled the editors.  They were tailors, nurses, gardeners, seamstresses, cooks, and charwomen for thousands of Notre Dame priests, brothers, lay faculty and students.  Beginning with only 4 sisters, their numbers grew to 140, then dwindled to only 14 in 1958″ [Schlereth, page 45].

Mass of thanksgiving in the Holy Cross Sisters’ convent chapel, 1958/0504. 
Caption:  “Rev. Arthur Hope, CSC (right), author of Notre Dame: 100 Years, preaches at a Solemn High Mass May 4th marking the departure of virtually all the Holy Cross nuns from the campus after 115 years of devoted service to the University.  Pope Pius XII sent his congratulations and apostolic blessing to the Sisters who vacated the campus convent and returned to their mother-house at St. Mary’s College the following day.  in earlier years more than 100 Holy Cross nuns served Notre Dame in many capacities.  Only five nuns will remain to care for altar linens and staff the student infirmary.”


In its mission to collect, maintain, and preserve records that document the life of the Catholic Church and her people as lived in the American context, the Notre Dame Archives houses a number of collections regarding religious women from various congregations, organizations, and individuals.  Among the larger collections are those of the National Assembly of Religious Women (US), the Leadership Conference of Women Religious of the United States, Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, and the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ.

 Conference of Major Superiors of Women (CMSW), later Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), August 1963



University of Notre Dame: Portrait of History and Campus by Thomas J. Schlereth
GSBA 3/15
GPHR 45/3464

Washington Hall

Notre Dame Film, Television, and Theater professor Mark Pilkinton’s much anticipated book on Washington Hall was released earlier this week.  Look for Washington Hall at Notre Dame:  Crossroads of the University, 1864-2004 at your favorite bookstore or library.  A detailed history of performing arts at Notre Dame is long-over due and this book will enrich the whole story of Notre Dame.

GGPN 15/13:  Washington Hall interior, c1890s. (University of Notre Dame Archives)
Washington Hall interior with ornate decorations, c1890s.
These murals were most likely painted over in the 1956 renovation as
the University embraced modern architecture and decor.

Pilkinton has been a regular here in the Notre Dame Archives for many years as he laboriously researched Washington Hall (built in 1881) and other exhibition halls and theatrical venues that preceded it.  His new book is a comprehensive history of the building architecturally, as well it’s role at the heart of Main Quad as the hub of many theatrical and musical performances, lectures, movie screenings, and other events.

Pilkinton was also instrumental in the development of the Theatre Chronology database, hosted on the Archives’ website, which attempts to detail every student theatrical performance ever held at Notre Dame.  Pilkinton is continuously updating the database as new performances are staged and as new information on old performances is unearthed.




Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The University Archives, along with all other Notre Dame administrative offices, will close for the Christmas Celebration on December 24th and reopen on Monday, January 3rd.

CAZA 40/01:  Christmas Card to Dr. Albert Zahm from the Wrights of Dayton, Ohio
(a certain Orville and Wilbur), 1909.

Dr. Zahm was a physics professor at Notre Dame from 1883 to 1892.  He was a pioneering figure in the development of aviation and aeronautics.  His relationship with the Wright brothers, however, deteriorated when he testified against them in favor of Glenn Curtiss in a patent lawsuit in the early 1910s.

October is American Archives Month

Explore the University Archives
A lot of information about the Notre Dame Archives can be found on our website.  Don’t know where to begin?  About our Collections details the main types of records held at the University Archives:  official University records, manuscript collections, photographs, audio-visual material, and printed material.  Also take a look at our online list of collections and subject guide for our manuscript collections.  The subject guide can be a good starting point, but it is not a definitive resource — there may be other collections not listed that address a particular subject, but not on as a large of a scale as those listed.

Subject:  Orphanages.   Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago, run by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ – Six orphans with a banner thanking donors for their Golden Jubilee gift, 1915.

Search our Collections provides an index to our finding aids.  This is a text-only database and you will not see any images or documents.  Due to the sheer volume of materials in relation to the small staff and resources, most archives do not describe at the item level or transcribe individual items.

The calendared items are found in a separate finding aid.  The calendar is a summary of individual documents mostly collected by our first archivist James Farnham Edwards.  For more information about the calendar, see this previous post.

The University Archives has also complied a few other Specialized Indexes, including indexes to Scholastic, Voice, and Observer, early students and faculty, and a chronology of theatrical performances on campus.

In order to view items, you will have to visit the University Archives or request photocopies (not all items are able to be photocopied).  We are open Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.  Appointments are encouraged, but not required.  Please see Information for Researchers for more information about visiting the University Archives.

We do offer a number of resources online, including online exhibits, full-text publications, and ND Quick Facts.  Our online Latin Dictionary is one most visited pages of the entire University’s web site.

GPHR 45/2646:  Four Notre Dame Presidents Gathered Together, 1956/1221.
Caption:  “Four decades of growth at ND are represented by these Holy Cross priests who have served as president of the famed university.  The Most Rev. John F. O’Hara, CSC, (seated left), Archbishop of Philadelphia, was ND president from 1934-1940.  Rev. Matthew Walsh, CSC, (seated right) headed the university from 1922-1928.  ND’s president today is Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, (standing left) [1952-1987] and his immediate predecessor is Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, CSC, (standing right), director of The ND Foundation, who was university president 1946-1952.  The photo was made recently (December 21 [1956]) when Archbishop O’Hara visited the campus.”

Donate your materials
Please also consider donating your materials to the University Archives that fit within our collecting scope.  Many of our collections exist because of the generosity of individuals.  These materials are preserved for future generations to learn from and enjoy.

A page of ephemera from William Schmitt’s scrapbook.  Schmitt was a member of the 1909 Western Championship football team.  Scrapbooks like this provide an intimate view into the life of a student that is difficult to replicate through other sources.

News – Fall 2009

In October, Michael A. Diebold gave us 26 cassette audio tapes containing interviews he conducted with teaching priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville, and transcriptions of the interviews. Sister Rose Marie Mantin, O.P., donated a collection of prayer books, missals, and hymnals used by the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Michigan, before the Second Vatican Council.  The Notre Dame Center for Liturgy sent papers of Rev. Gerald Shirilla, consisting of research files having to do with the Catholic Church and its liturgy: collected material, articles, note cards, and drafts of chapters of his dissertation, amounting to approximately three linear feet.

In November, Sister Dorothy Ann Blatnica, S.C., sent 2.5 linear feet of research material gathered for her doctoral dissertation, “In Those Days”: African American Catholics in Cleveland, 1922-1961 (Case Western Reserve University, 1992), published as At the altar of their God: African American Catholics in Cleveland, 1922-1961 (New York: Garland, 1995). This collection consists of audio tapes and transcriptions of interviews; photocopies of historical documents including correspondence, reports, and newspaper clippings; photographs; releases signed by subjects of interviews; the prospectus for her dissertation, with critiques; and a copy of the dissertation itself.

In November and December, Peter Denio sent records (1983-2009) of the National Pastoral Life Center amounting to some 180 linear feet; including general office files, church magazine files, development files, pastoral services files, Roundtable files (The Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors), New Pastors’ Workshop files, Executive Director files, and files of NPLC founder and director Msgr. Philip J. Murnion, with photo albums, videos, and other audio-visual material; and some 50,000 computer files amounting to 33 gigabytes of digital data.

News – Spring and Summer 2009

Last February Christine Doan, archivist for the Sisters of the Presentation in San Francisco, donated papers documenting the participation of Sister Patricia Marie Mulpeters in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Since we serve as the archival repository for LCWR, we were happy to receive these papers.

In March Alice Osberger donated a small collection of papers (1921-1975) of her brother, Frank B. Flynn, representing his educational career at Cathedral School, Christian Brothers High School (St. Joseph, MO), the University of Notre Dame, and Drury College (Springfield, MO), and his service in World War Two. The collection also includes a few later papers.

In April Mary Louise Hartman donated the first accession of Records of the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), 1980-1990; consisting of foundational documents, publications, working papers, advocacy, dissent, publicity, action alerts, and Board of Directors’ files.

In July Mary Charlotte Chandler, RSCJ, sent records of the Center for the Study of Religious Life in Chicago, which closed on June 30th. These records document the whole history of the Center (1998-2009); they include files from the CRLS Board and Corporation, financial records, programs and publications, files on organizations including LCWR, CMSM, USCCB, and other religious life organizations and educational institutions; topical files, committee files, files on scholars, director’s presentations and travel files, and a file on significant historical moments.

Also in July John Walbridge donated the papers of his wife, Linda Walbridge, a Catholic anthropologist who studied Christians in Pakistan, including Bishop John Joseph, the first Punjabi Catholic bishop. These papers also include her research files on Arab Shi’ism among Lebanese immigrants in Michigan.

In August Mary Good donated the William and Mary Good Papers, which include records dating from the late 1950s through the 1990s representing Bill Good’s work with college Young Christian Students, including correspondence, minutes of meetings, study workshops, study days, study weeks, retreats, newsletters, reports, working documents, pamphlets, inquiry booklets and mimeographed circulars. Mrs. Good also sent papers that she collected from her participation in Young Christian Workers. These papers supplement our large collections of records from Young Christian Students and Young Christian Workers.

Also in August Irene Leahy donated papers of her husband Eugene J. Leahy, consisting chiefly of course material for the music classes he taught at Notre Dame. Mary Craypo donated papers of her husband Charles Craypo, including research files for his book on Wal-mart (the manuscript of which was almost finished at the time of his death) and records of his earlier studies of the working poor, his work on the telegraph industry, and his teaching at Notre Dame.

News – Summer and Fall 2008

Last July we received the Walter Ufer Papers from Dean Porter, Professor Emeritus of Art, Art History, and Design, and former director of the Snite Museum of Art on the Notre Dame campus. Walter Ufer (1876-1936) was an American artist associated with Taos, New Mexico; he is known for his paintings of Native Americans, particularly those of the Taos Pueblo. Dean Porter donated eight linear feet of Ufer correspondence and other papers dating chiefly from 1913 to 1936, including one linear foot of notebooks or diaries.

Along with the Ufer Papers, Porter sent eight linear inches of Howard Norton Cook Papers. Cook is also an artist known for his paintings of the American Southwest. Porter donated photocopies of letters received by Cook with related papers and four cassette audio tapes containing interviews with Cook.

In September and November Anthony O. Simon donated a collection of correspondence exchanged between twentieth-century Thomistic philosophers. Simon is the son of philosopher Yves R. Simon and director of the Yves R. Simon Institute. He has for many years been active in the American Maritain Association. The collection includes photocopies of correspondence between Jacques Maritain and John U. Nef, between Yves R. Simon and John U. Nef, and between Jacques Maritain and his bibliographer Donald Gallagher, along with some other papers of Yves R. Simon. Years ago Anthony O. Simon donated a large collection of Yves R. Simon’s papers to the Jacques Maritain Center at Notre Dame, which also has an important collection of Jacques Maritain’s papers.