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Bernard A. Maguire, S.J. Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: GTA-GAMMS17

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Bernard A. Maguire, S.J. Papers include correspondence (mainly letters to Father Maguire) during both of his tenures as President of Georgetown College, although not all of the content pertains to College affairs. Also present are: notes from a diary he kept between 1839 and 1870 which references events in his life and happenings on campus, including the impact of the Civil War; clippings relating to his death and funeral; and handwritten notes relating to theology lectures he attended in the late 1840s and early 1850s. Although Father Maguire was known as a gifted public speaker, unfortunately only one text of a speech he wrote survives in these papers, for an undated commencement speech he gave at his alma mater, St. John's Literary Institution in Frederick, Maryland.


  • 1848 - 1886
  • Majority of material found within 1848 - 1867

Collection-level Access Restrictions

All published documents housed in the University Archives are open for use. Unpublished documents are governed by the following use restrictions: unpublished material dating from 1971 and later may only be consulted with the permission of the office which created it; unpublished material dating from 1970 or before may be used with the permission of the Archivist or the creating office, unless otherwise restricted.

Biographical note

Bernard A. Maguire, S.J. was born in Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland, on February 11, 1818. At the age of 6, he came to the United States with his family, and settled in Frederick, Maryland. His early education was at St. John's Literary Institution in Frederick. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate there in 1837 and then came to Georgetown where the Jesuit Scholasticate was located. He was ordained on September 27, 1850.

Fr. Maguire was to play an important part in the life of Georgetown College in the mid- to late- 19th century - first as a teacher, then as First Prefect and finally as President. He served at this latter post from 1853 to 1858 and again from 1866 to 1870.

During his first term as Georgetown College President, student enrollment almost doubled and the Dramatic Association was formed. One of his first steps in the role was to segregate the younger preparatory students from the College students. The Small Boys Building, which today bears his name, was begun in June 1854. Additionally, a large greenhouse was built and extensive gardens laid out on campus. In 1858, he was succeeded by Fr. John Early and moved, first to St. Joseph’s Church in Baltimore, then to St. Aloysius Church in Washington, D.C.

Much of Fr. Maguire's efforts during his second term, which ran from January 1866 to July 1870, were focused on the recovery of the College after the Civil War. Additionally, a new roof was put on the North Building and its towers were remodelled and built up an additional 30 feet, the front of the College grounds were enclosed by a stone wall, and a Law Department was established in 1870.

At the end of his second term as President, he returned to St. Aloysius Church and was subsequently stationed in Boston. He died in Philadelphia, at St. Joseph's Church in Willing's Alley, on April 26, 1886 and is buried in the Jesuit Community Cemetery on Georgetown’s campus.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Bernard A. Maguire, S.J. Papers
Under Revision
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Archives Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057