Posts tagged St. Ignatius College Chicago
Posts tagged St. Ignatius College Chicago
A new post at the Religion in American History blog site announces the launch of the JESUIT LIBRARIES PROVENANCE PROJECT:
Over the course of the fall semester, sixteen graduate students in the Digital Humanities, History, and Public History Programs at Loyola University Chicago created a virtual library system out of the original (c.1878) manuscript library catalogue for St Ignatius College (Loyola’s precursor). (For more on the Jesuit Libraries Project, see this RIAH blog post from last September). Researching and reconstructing the 5200+ titles in the library catalogue raised fascinating questions about the intellectual and spiritual life of the young Jesuit college. (To learn more about the students’ preliminary answers to these questions, check out the videos of their final presentations). The students’ work also revealed that an impressive number of original library books still survive in the university libraries’ collections.
Frankly, no one had any idea at the start of the Jesuit Libraries Project how many original library books might survive. The question was frequently asked, but there were too many other tasks to complete and no time to come up with an informed estimate. The question came to the fore once again in late September as the students quickly realized when harvesting MARC records that the more surviving books they found in Loyola’s online library catalogue the less guesswork they would have to do on Worldcat. As students shared the results of their first passes at researching their segment of the catalogue it became apparent that a substantial number had survived. By the end of the semester we realized that perhaps over a third (1750/5200) of the original books might still survive in the university libraries’ collections today. Why is this surprising? Primarily because the reconstruction of the catalogue revealed that the vast majority of the books that the Jesuits collected were inexpensive mid-nineteenth-century books – i.e. books mass-produced on that highly acidic, and now brittle paper familiar to all who work on the period. After 140 years of hard use, many should have been lost of disintegrated. READ MORE …
In May 1890, a group of Catholic educators and members of clergy and religious orders met and decided that a Catholic Educational Exhibit at the 1892 World’s Fair, also called the World’s Columbian Exposition, would be a fabulous way to showcase advances in Catholic education as an important part of American Christianity. The exhibit would also be a way to favorably present American Catholicism to the general citizenry, and the Catholic Congress that met in Boston in July 1890 agreed.
The Catholic Congress appointed a committee that in turn sent out an invitation for Catholic education institutional leaders and others interested in Catholic education to meet in Chicago on October 8, 1890. The twenty-one representatives that attended agreed an exhibit could potentially assist in eliminating or significantly decreasing animosity towards Catholics in general and their education system because there was simply not much known about it among non-Catholics. By December 1890, a pamphlet with information on compiling material for exhibits had been mailed to various education institutions, including grade schools and colleges. The board of directors met two more times, once at the Columbus Club in Chicago on July 1, 1891, and again at the Lindell Hall in St. Louis on November 30, 1891. At the final meeting, the board of directors recommended appointment of executive officers and how the CEE would be supported financially. Cardinal and archbishops agreed with the report and named J. L. Spalding, the Bishop of Peoria, the president and Brother Maurlein, president of Christian Brothers College (now University) in Memphis, the secretary and manager. Brother Maurlein’s appointment may have been due to the strong presence of the Christian Brothers’ educational exhibits at previous world’s fairs. As a final sign of the exhibit’s potential, Pope Leo XIII stated his support in a letter dated July 20, 1892.
An important aspect of the Catholic Educational Exhibit may very well have been to counter efforts of the American Protective Association (APA), which claimed that Catholics wished to impose their values on public schools. Beginning in 1869 in Cincinnati, Ohio, incidents between Catholics, the public schools, and national and state governments occurred, especially in the late 1880s and early 1890s in other Midwest states. Established in Clinton, Iowa, in 1887, by Henry Bowers, the APA sought to elect anti-Catholic officials and reached its most powerful point in 1894 before declining in the late 1890s. To the APA, the growing number of problems with Catholics and the public schools appeared to be an assault for a Catholic takeover. The takeover would not necessarily have to be through direct control, but could also be as a result of Catholics draining public funds for their schools, which the APA believed produced wicked children. The Catholic Educational Exhibit would make a strong stand for the positive aspects of the religion in a part of the country where the APA had decided to try and win significant political power in 1892 and 1893.
Within the Catholic community, the discussion as to whether Catholic education should be a part of the American education system became a more pressing issue as more and more Catholics immigrated to America by the mid-19th century. READ MORE …
A 1950 comic book depiction of the life of Saint Tarcisius, one of the patron saints of altar boys. (“Saint Tarcisius: Boy Martyr of the Eucharist,” The Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact, 1950. The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives, the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.)
Reprinted in Robert A. Orsi, “Printed Presence: Twentieth-Century Catholic Print Culture or Youngsters in the United States,” Education and the Culture of Print in Modern America, eds. Adam r. Nelson and John L. Rudolph (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2010) 81-99, at 89.
It is interesting to note the way in which the college library’s divisions reflect the curriculum at St. Ignatius College (as illustrated, for example, by the 1913 -1914 college catalog) —- the curriculum, in turn, being a late-19th-century adaptation of the 1599 Ratio Studiorum.
Page from 1875 St. Ignatius College Library Catalog.
The entire catalog has been digitized and is now available for download HERE at the Loyola University Chicago Archives and Special Collections website.
Thanks to Loyola University Chicago Archives and Special Collections.
Click HERE to download pdf flyer.
October 1: Ellen Skerrett, “Reconsidering Chicago’s Holy Family Parish and the Hull-House Settlement.”
Over the decade following its founding in 1870, St Ignatius College (today’s Loyola University) emerged as the Jesuit educational institution for Chicago’s immigrant Catholic population despite dogged opposition to its founding, a lack of financial resources, and a massive fire that leveled much of the city.
As early college prospectuses attest, at the heart of the college was its library, which rapidly grew to over ten thousand volumes within a few years. Recorded in the pages of a c.1878 manuscript library catalogue, a remarkable survival in its own right, are Old World classics, New World bestsellers, and an ambitious desire to combine both in the education of generations of Chicago’s future leaders.
Over 140 years later, sixteen students from Loyola’s Digital Humanities, History, and Public History graduate programs are reconstructing that original catalogue in an innovative virtual library system as part of a class under the direction of Assistant Professor Kyle Roberts. These students are tracking down surviving books in Loyola’s stacks, identifying missing titles, and creating an online resource that will be launched to the public in 2014 as part of Loyola’s commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Restoration of the Jesuits (1814-2014).
In conjunction with this class, leading scholars of religion, history, and print culture are coming to Loyola as part of a seminar series cosponsored by the Loyola History Department and the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage. Each seminar features a leading historian either delivering a lecture or discussing a pre-circulated paper. The seminars take place on Tuesday evenings at 6 pm in the Palm Court, 4th Floor of Mundelein Hall. Each seminar is free and open to the public. Several of the seminars have pre-circulated papers that will be available a week in advance, so please send an email to Kyle Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a copy of the paper.
“Reconsidering Chicago’s Holy Family Parish and the Hull-House Settlement”
Ellen Skerrett, Chicago-based researcher for the Jane Addams Papers Project, Duke University; co-curator of “Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women, Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014,” Loyola University Museum of Art, 19 July – 19 October, 2014.
“Printed Presence: Twentieth-Century Catholic Print Culture for Youngsters in the United States”
Robert Orsi, Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies, Northwestern University
“Borrowing Patterns: The Muncie (Indiana) Public Library and its Patrons, 1891-1902″
James Connolly, Director, Center for Middletown Studies; Professor of History, Ball State University; and Project Co-Director, What Middletown Read
“Following the Flows: Diversity, Santa Fe, and Method in Religious Studies”
Thomas Tweed, Professor, Harold and Martha Welch Endowed Chair in American Studies, Notre Dame University; Vice President, American Academy of Religion
“Nineteenth-Century Jesuits in the United States and the Global Catholic World They Made: A Case Study”
John T. McGreevy, Dean, the College of Arts & Letters; Professor of History,
Notre Dame University