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Please contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections for assistance with accessing these materials.

7. Papers of Individual Priests of the Maryland Province, 1790 - 2003


Scope and Contents

This series consists of the fragmentary personal papers of selected Jesuit priests who were members of the Maryland Province. The Maryland Province had a longstanding practice of retaining the personal papers of its members for its Archives. In the early twentieth century, archivists selected from among these personal papers the materials they deemed of highest interest for retention within the Maryland Province Archives (because of the individuals involved in the creation of the materials, the events these materials documented, or both). The most extensive of these were created by George Fenwick, S.J. (1701-1857); Jose Lopez, S.J. (1816-1838); John McElroy, S.J. (1806-1877); J. William Michelman, S.J. (1917-2003); and Thomas O'Donnell, S.J. (1918-1997). Because of their volume, the papers of each of these individuals is organized into a separate subseries. The Province also retained the correspondence and travel journals from a group of scholastics who studied in Rome between 1820 and 1829 to prepare for leadership positions within the Province; these materials are also included within this series.

Materials in this series include certificates of baptism, ordination, and death; vital records, including naturalization papers; spiritual writings, such as prayers, homilies, and retreat notes; personal diaries, particularly those documenting travels; academic writings; correspondence with family members and friends; and papers related to personal property held by individual priests and their families.

Materials on Slavery

Some folders in this series contain references to slavery, slaveholding, and enslaved individuals. Relevant folders are noted in the finding aid.


This series is organized into the following subseries:

  • 7.1 Individual Priests (1790-1979)
  • 7.2 George Fenwick, S.J. (1818-1856)
  • 7.3 Jose Lopez, S.J. (1816-1944)
  • 7.4 John McElroy, S.J. (1813-1877)
  • 7.5 J. William Michelman, S.J. (1955-2003)
  • 7.6 Thomas O'Donnell, S.J. (1955-1995)
  • 7.7 Scholastics in Rome (1819-1836)

Folder Descriptions

**Please note: the finding aid contains Scope and Contents notes for each folder. This folder-level description has been imported from an older finding aid. Researchers may encounter outdated or potentially offensive terminology and occasional inaccuracies. If you would like to notify Special Collections of any issues that need correcting, please contact us.**

Conditions Governing Access

Most materials dated 1900 and later have not been digitized. Materials dating 1900-1939 are available for research use at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. All materials dated 1940 and later are restricted.

Related Collections

The Booth Family Center for Special Collections is also the custodian of the manuscript papers for many members of the Maryland Province. It received several of these collections before the transfer of the Maryland Province Archives in 1977.

Georgetown manuscript curators also separated some personal papers from the Georgetown University Archives, Maryland Province Archives, and collections of individual priests to create the Catholic Historical Manuscripts Collection. It comprises 108 short manuscript collections, including additional papers of several priests represented in this series of the Maryland Province Archives.


  • 1790 - 2003

Conditions Governing Access

The Maryland Province Archives is on deposit at Georgetown University and is the property of the USA East Province of the Society of Jesus. As stewards of the Archives, the Georgetown University Library’s Booth Family Center for Special Collections is responsible for managing access to the material based on policies set forth by the USA East Province. Researchers may view these materials in the Reading Room of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections. General policies for using Special Collections can be found here.

Access to the Archives is governed by the USA East Province and is subject to all Library and Special Collections policies and procedures in addition to the specific guidelines below. These guidelines are a summary of access policies; the Archives may include materials that fall outside the scope of these general guidelines. For information on access to specific materials, please contact the Special Collections staff.


1. All Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring before January 1, 1940, shall be open for review unless otherwise restricted, subject to Library policies and procedures.

2. All unpublished Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring on or after January 1, 1940, shall be open for review upon request subject to a decision by the Provincial or someone designated by the Provincial.

3. Researchers may quote from the materials.

4. Researchers may take their own photographs of the material for scholarly and research purposes. Allowing photographs is not an authorization to publish or to deposit the material in another library or archive.

5. Written permission from the USA East Province is required for the publication of substantive portions of any material or publication-quality reproductions of any material.

6. Material not yet processed is not available to researchers; permission will not be granted to access any unprocessed material.

7. Audiovisual, microfilm and other material in the Archives, the original of which is held in another archive, may be consulted and transcribed only. Written permission from the archive holding the original material is required for any duplication, reproduction, or publication of that material.

8. Use the Permission Request Form to request permission (i) to access any restricted processed material or (ii) to publish reproductions or quote substantive portions of the material. Send the completed form by email to the Booth Family Center for Special Collections (


From the Collection: 308 boxes (212 regular boxes, 25 oversized boxes, 58 restricted regular boxes, 13 restricted oversized boxes, plus 14 card catalog drawers )

Language of Materials

From the Collection: Multiple languages


Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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