Research and Scholarship at MU

Special Collections and Archives



Selected images of African American Catholics and associated Catholic clergy and religious from the records of the Black and Indian Mission Collection and The Catholic Negro-American Mission Board (both within the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records), and the records of the National Black Sisters Conference.
[Connect to African American Catholics in the United States Digital Image Collection]


Records of an organization of Milwaukee Catholic women, including minutes and yearbooks.


Records of the national Jesuit honor society, founded at Marquette University as Alpha Sigma Tau in 1915-16, including constitutions and bylaws, correspondence of officers, membership lists, publications, and records of meetings and conventions. Included are records of Gamma Pi Epsilon, a national Jesuit honor society for women (also founded at Marquette), which merged with Alpha Sigma Nu in 1973.
[Connect to Alpha Sigma Nu Inventory]

ARCHAMBAULT, SISTER MARIE THERESE, O.S.F., PAPERS, 1937-2008, undated, 0.4 foot.

Papers of a teacher-scholar and a Sister of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity and Hunkpapa Indian from North and South Dakota.
[Connect to Sister Archambault Inventory].

ASSOCIATION OF ROMAN CATHOLIC WOMEN PRIESTS RECORDS, 2010-[ongoing], (2.8 feet and 125 MB unprocessed).

Records of an organization of ordained women from the United States and South America that is part of the global Roman Catholic Women Priests initiative, which seeks full equality for all within the Roman Catholic Church. Records include correspondence, subject files, personnel files, photographs, media releases, blogs, and DVDs.

BEST, MARY McCORMACK, PAPERS, 1927-1987, 2.4 feet

Papers documenting the professional theatrical career of a Marquette University graduate, including playbills and programs, press clippings, photographs, and a limited amount of correspondence.
[Connect to Mary McCormack Best Inventory]


Interviews of women about their birthing experiences, transcribed and archived under assumed names to protect the privacy of the narrators. The interviews were conducted by Dr. Helen Sterk, with the exception of four interviews conducted on Native American reservations and five interviews conducted in China by Dr. Alice Deakins, and three stories which were submitted in written form by the women. The collection included 69 interviews as of July 23, 1997.

CONRAD N. HILTON FUND FOR SISTERS RECORDS, 1986-[ongoing], 94.2 feet (65.6 feet unprocessed).

Records of a fund established by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in 1986 to support humanitarian projects directed by Catholic sisters in impoverished and underdeveloped areas worldwide. Most projects pertain to health care, education, economic development, and welfare. Several projects have served indigenous Native Americans in the United States and elsewhere in the Americas.
[Connect to Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters Inventory]

DALEY, SR. JOEANN, O.P., COLLECTION, 1992-1993, undated, 1.0 foot.

Framed laser art prints and ancillary research and publicity materials regarding the spiritual captivity (1945-1989) and reawakening of women religious during and after Communism in East Central Europe. Included are prints of etchings, paintings, and photo collages, plus field research notes, photography, and video recordings, by Sister Joeann Daley. In 1992, she interviewed several women religious about their restricted life under Communion and their subsequent reemergence, from which she created the prints with the theme, "New Spring, New Spirit". Several prints pertain to Easter. She had met the sisters at a series of 10 meetings in the region, Rome, and Paris, which the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters sponsored to make known its available resources for enabling disadvantaged people in their home countries. 250 representatives attended from several congregations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine.
[Connect to Joeann Daley Inventory]

DAY, DOROTHY-CATHOLIC WORKER COLLECTION, 1933-present, 218.3 feet (48.0 feet unprocessed).

Records of a faith-based movement for peace and social justice through nonviolent direct action, founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in New York City in 1933 and represented today by more than 150 loosely affiliated "houses of hospitality" (including several in Australia, Canada, Europe, Mexico, and New Zealand) in which the poor and homeless are welcomed as guests. The records document the efforts of Catholic Worker volunteers to "live out" the Gospel message, interpreted as pacifist, personalist, and profoundly radical. The collection includes the personal papers of Day, Maurin, and others involved in the movement; records of the New York City and other Catholic Worker communities; photographs; audio and video tapes of interviews, talks, television programs, and peace demonstrations; and a wide variety of publications.
[Connect to Dorothy Day-Catholic Worker Inventory]

EWENS, MARY, O.P., RESEARCH COLLECTION, 1882-1987, 2014, 2.1 feet (2.1 unprocessed).

Facsimiles and research notes regarding the Congregation of the American Sisters -- a congregation of Dakota-Lakota religious sisters in Dakota Territory and Cuba, 1890s -- and the Sisters of the Snows, a series of Yupik Eskimo communities of religious sisters in Alaska, 1920s?-1950s? Box 3 contains audio recordings about the Sisters of the Snows, which are restricted.
[Connect to Mary Ewens Inventory]

FAHY, SR. PETER CLAVER, PAPERS, 1963-1997, 0.6 foot.

Papers of a Trinitarian nun (1899-2004) who founded and directed houses of prayer, established hospitality houses for women, and engaged in prison ministry after her retirement from teaching and social service work. She was a close friend of Dorothy Day, and played a major role in her involvement in the Lacouture retreat movement. Included are personal correspondence and biographical and subject files.
[Connect to Sr. Peter Claver Fahy Inventory]

INSTITUTE OF WOMEN TODAY RECORDS, 1974-[ongoing], 4.3 feet.

Records of a Chicago-based advocacy and service organization for women prisoners and ex-offenders, including files on workshops and projects and correspondence with prisoners and prison officials. Interfaith in its programs and support, the Institute was co-founded and directed for many years by Sister Margaret Ellen Traxler.
[Connect to Institute of Women Today Inventory]


Records of a Marquette University oral history project focusing on American Indian prayer and religious devotions relating to Kateri Tekakwitha, a 17th century Mohawk convert to Catholicism and a candidate for sainthood. The collection is comprised of interview recordings and transcripts, photographs, and field notes documenting American Indians and significant others who have been involved with Catholic Indian missions, parishes, and schools in Arizona, New Mexico, and South Dakota. The interviews include personal histories and descriptions of the respondents' religious beliefs and practices from both the Catholic and their respective tribal traditions.
[Connect to Kateri Tekakwitha Project Inventory]

LERNOUX, PENNY, PAPERS 1964-1989, 0.9 foot.

Papers of an author and journalist who reported on the Catholic Church in Latin America for The Nation, the National Catholic Reporter, and Newsweek, including correspondence concerning her articles and books.
[Connect to Penny Lernoux Inventory]

LINES, EDESSA L. KUNZ, PAPERS, 1905-1952, 1.0 foot.

Records of the Wisconsin chapter of the National League for Woman's Service, for which Lines was secretary, and photographs and lantern slides documenting housing conditions for immigrants to Milwaukee in 1906.
[Connect to Edessa Kunz Lines Inventory]

MADONNA CENTER (CHICAGO) RECORDS, 1865-1979, 4.6 feet.

Correspondence, reports, case files, and related records of a Catholic settlement house in an Italian neighborhood on the near southwest side of Chicago (1912-1965). Also included are personal papers of Mary Agnes Amberg, the head resident, and records of the Christ Child Society of Chicago (1907-1978), with which Madonna Center was closely associated.
[Connect to Madonna Center Inventory]


Records of an organization of Milwaukee Catholic women, including photographs, publications, and scrapbooks.

McGARRY, ANNA, PAPERS, 1937-1991, 1.0 foot.

Papers of a pioneer in the movement for interracial justice, documenting her service on the staffs of Philadelphia's Fair Employment Practice's Commission and its successor agency, the Commission on Human Relations, and her leadership of the Catholic Interracial Council of Philadelphia. Included are clippings, correspondence, memoranda, publications, reports, and tape recordings of talks and an oral history interview.
[Connect to Anna McGarry Inventory]


Records of a United States based organization of women religious, founded in 1968. It provides ongoing communication, education, and support to African American women religious while confronting racism in society and the Catholic Church. The records include correspondence, minutes, unpublished papers, presentations, photographs, conference materials, and other materials documenting the programs and services provided by the National Black Sisters Conference (NBSC). Also included are records from its Development of Educational Services in the Growing Nation (DESIGN) program.
{Connect to the National Black Sisters' Conference Inventory]


Records of "a group of sisters united to study and to speak out on issues related to human rights and social justice," including general correspondence, subject files, publications, and minutes and memoranda of meetings.
[Connect to National Coalition of American Nuns Inventory]


Records of an organization established in 1939 to "awaken and sustain enthusiasm" in retreats for lay Catholic women, including clippings, correspondence with Bishop John J. Wright (the Episcopal advisor), photographs, and reports. These are the files of Pauline O. Kopmeier of Milwaukee, president from 1953 to 1956


Records of an organization of women religious in the vocation apostolate. It merged with the National Conference of Religious Vocation Directors in 1988 to form the National Religious Vocation Conference.
[Connect to National Sisters Vocation Conference Inventory]

PEÑACALAC, JULIANA, PAPERS, 1891-1955, 0.2 foot.

Records pertaining to the Cupeño Indians of Pala, California, including information on their family life, schooling, and relations with the community and military. Most notable is the correspondence of Juliana PeñaCalac and the school work completed by her brother, Nicholas J. PeÑa, while he was a student at the Sherman Institute, Riverside, California.

POWERS, JESSICA, PAPERS, 1924-2001, undated, 1.7 feet.

Papers of a Wisconsin poet and Discalced Carmelite nun (Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, 1905-1988) including correspondence (mostly letters received), handwritten and typescript drafts of poems, clippings of her poetry and other writings from magazines and newspapers, and writings about her. Notable correspondents include August Derleth, Raymond E. F. Larsson, Robert F. Morneau, and Regina Siegfried.
[Connect to Jessica Powers Inventory]

HILDEGARDE (LORETTA SELL) PAPERS, 1918-1996, 11.7 feet [5 reels microfilm] (3.5 cubic feet unprocessed).

Correspondence, diaries, photographs, press clippings, programs, scrapbooks, and ephemera documenting the career of the cabaret and cafe singer/pianist Hildegarde Loretta Sell (known professionally as "The Incomparable HILDEGARDE!), a native of Adell, Wisconsin who attended the Marquette University School of Music in 1924-1925. Most of the documents are contained an extensive collection of diaries and scrapbooks.
[Connect to Hildegarde Inventory]


Records of an organization, founded in 1954 as the Sister Formation Conference (the name changed in 1976 when men formation personnel were added to its membership), which helped bring about a dramatic change in the status of women religious within the Catholic Church and within American society as a whole, including general correspondence and subject files, minutes of meetings of the national leadership, records of conferences and workshops, and publications issued by the Conference. Personal papers of Ritamary Bradley and Annette Walters concerning their involvement in the Sister Formation movement are also included. The conflict in the early 1960s between the Sister Formation Conference officers and the leadership of the Conference of Major Superiors of Women over the restructuring of the SFC to more directly subordinate it to the CMSW is especially well documented in correspondence, memoranda, and reports. Notable correspondents include Ritamary Bradley, Michael Novak, Mary Emil Penet, David Riesman, and Annette Walters.
[Connect to Sister Formation Conference/Religious Formation Conference Inventory]

SISTERS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT RECORDS, 0.1 foot [2 reels microfilm].

Records of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. Consult an archivist for further information.

SISTERS UNITING RECORDS, 1970-1981, 0.5 foot.

Records of "a council of representatives of national organizations of women religious" which sought "to facilitate cooperation and coordination among the organizations," including correspondence, memoranda, press clippings, press releases, and reports.

TRAXLER, SR. MARGARET ELLEN, PAPERS, 1916-1918, 1924, 1941-2002, 6.4 feet.

Papers of  an outspoken advocate for the rights of women in society and the Catholic church , who was instrumental in founding the National Coalition of American Nuns and the Institute of Women Today (directing the latter from 1974 until 2000, after eight years on the staff of the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice). Traxler also championed the State of Israel and the cause of Jews seeking to emigrate from the Soviet Union.  Included are correspondence, subject files, press clippings, and publications. There is extensive correspondence resulting from her decision to join 23 other nuns (she was a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame) in signing an ad in the New York Times on the diversity of Catholic teaching on abortion. The “Vatican 24” were threatened with dismissal from their congregations if they did not retract their support for the statement. Notable correspondents include Ritamary Bradley, Mary Margaret Johanning, and Jessica Powers.
[Connect to Sr. Margaret Ellen Traxler Inventory]


Records of a United States based organization promoting "the ordination of women as priests and bishops into a renewed priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church," including minutes and reports of meetings, newsletters and other publications issued by the Conference, subject and project files, and other records documenting the group's activities.
[Connect to Women's Ordination Conference Inventory]

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