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Francis A. Barnum, SJ papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS56

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Rev. Francis A. Barnum, SJ Papers contain a wide variety of material, including correspondence, Fr. Barnum's notebooks on language and other topics, a mass of printed ephemera relating to the World War I and its aftermath, and manuscripts and correspondence on Eskimo languages and Alaska. Note: In keeping with Fr. Barnum's terminology, all references to Central Yup'ik are indexed as 'Innuit.'


  • 1869-1985
  • Majority of material found within 1869-1921

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

Rev. Francis A. Barnum, SJ was born in Baltimore in 1849. After having attended Loyola School in Baltimore and Georgetown College in Washington, DC, Fr. Barnum joined the Society of Jesus, although circumstances warranted his withdrawal from Frederick Novitiate soon thereafter. He rejoined the Society in 1880, after a period of time spent traveling throughout the world. After ordination, Fr. Barnum was sent to Alaska, where he spent the better part of the 1890s. While there, he accumulated knowledge of Innuit, a native Alaskan language (now known as Central Yup'ik). In 1901 he published a grammar of Innuit, entitled 'Grammatical Fundamentals of the Innuit Language as Spoken by the Eskimo of the Western Coast of Alaska' (Boston: Ginn & Co., Publishers, The Athenaeum Press). Fr. Barnum left Alaska in 1898, after which time he served as a chaplain on Ward's Island in New York Harbor, finally settling at Georgetown, where he was made archivist. Fr. Barnum died at Georgetown in 1921.


6 Linear Feet (13 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials


Separated Materials

The photo album "A Souvenir of the Arctic Cruise of the Bear, 1989" was removed from Box 10, Folder 4, and housed in a custom phase box after receiving conservation/restoration treatment. It is now housed in Box 14.

Francis A. Barnum, SJ papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Local Practice
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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