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James H. Bailey papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS402

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The papers of James H. Bailey comprise this collection. The first series is made up of alphabetically listed correspondence between Bailey and a number of scholars, associates, friends, and publishers. In particular there are numerous letters between Bailey and author Charles C. Tansill. He also corresponds with Peter Ireton, the Bishop of Richmond, and Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Many of the letters discuss Bailey's dissertation work or job positions at Georgetown University and Manhattan College. Also included in this series are letters from John F. Kennedy to Bailey regarding Kennedy's book, "Profiles in Courage." Series 2 is made up of personal letters from novelist and biographer Hector Bolitho to James H. Bailey. Series 3 contains letters between Mary Virginia Merrick, who established The Christ Child Society, and Bailey. She often refers to her sister Mildred Merrick, also a friend of Bailey. They discuss mutual acquaintances and The Christ Child Society. The letters also refer to the possible publication of Merrick's book, "The Altar of God", by Doubleday & Company, where Bailey worked at the time. Also included in this series are printed materials related to Mary Merrick. Series 4 contains materials from or related to opera singer Rosa Ponselle. It includes Christmas cards from Ponselle, as well as photographs and letters. Also included in this series are cards and letters from Charlotte Bielenberg (maiden name von der Schulenburg) to Bailey and newspaper clippings about Rosa Ponselle. Series 5 contains printed materials by and about James H. Bailey. There are numerous articles related to St. Peter's Church as well as writings by Bailey regarding Virginian history.


  • 1945-1989
  • Majority of material found within 1945 - 1989

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical note

James Henry Bailey was born on November 1, 1919 to John Henry Bailey, a public official, and Elizabeth Beasley Bailey. He was educated at the University of Virginia and received an A.B. from the College of William and Mary in 1939. He also received his M.A. from the University of Virginia in 1942 and Doctorate of Philosophy from Georgetown University in 1953. Through Bailey's school career he maintained an interest in genealogical research, acting, and the preservation and restoration of old buildings. Meanwhile, in 1942 through 1946, Bailey served in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of second lieutenant. After receiving his doctorate, Bailey took a position as assistant professor of history at the Medical College of Virginia in 1959. In 1962 he became a professor of history and remained the chairman of the department of history and political science at Brenau College until 1967. At this point he took a job at the Petersburg Department of Tourism as a historical adviser. Finally, from 1974 on Bailey worked as a member of the board of directors of the Southside Virginia Community Concerts. Bailey, a Roman Catholic, incorporated religion into some of his writings, including "A History of the Diocese of Richmond: The Formative Years" (1956) and "The Miracle of Jesus for Today" (1977). Other notable works include "Old Petersburg" (1976), "Henrico Home Front" (1963), on which he was an editor, and "Petersburg in the Revolution: 1781" (1981), a copy of which is included in this collection. Bailey also contributed to a number of newspapers and magazines, such as the Virginia Cavalcade, as well as to the New Catholic Encyclopedia and Catholic Youth Encyclopedia.

Source: Contemporary Authors Online


0.20 Linear Feet (1 Hollinger Slim Document Case)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

Status: Open. Provenance: Gift of James H. Bailey, 3/6/1991. Processed by Meredith Manning, October 2009.

James H. Bailey papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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