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Daniel A. Lord, SJ Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS66

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Daniel A. Lord, S.J., Papers contain a large collection of typed manuscripts that were published as books, pamphlets,and articles. A number of these latter publications, along with an abundance of newspaper and magazine clippings of Lord's work, are also in the collection. In addition to Lord's written output for publication, the collection contains a modest amount of correspondence, as well as some photographs, souvenirs, and sound recordings deriving from Lord's activities. These items have been organized into series reflecting the types of materials involved.


  • 1909 - 1956
  • Majority of material found within 1929 - 1955

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.

Biographical note

Daniel A. Lord, S.J., perhaps mid-20th century American Catholicism's most widely recognized producer of popular religious literature, was a prolific writer whose work reflected and responded to the sometimes brusque social upheavals and moral uncertainties of the times. Born in Chicago April 23, 1888, Lord was already an experienced dramatist by the time of his graduation from Loyola University in 1909, immediately following which he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri. After having obtained his M.A. in philosophy from St. Louis University, he taught English there from 1917-1920. He was ordained in 1923, and professed in the Society in 1925.

By 1926, Lord became national director of the Sodality of Our Lady, as well as the editor of "The Queen's Work" magazine. This latter position he held until 1948, when an increasingly heavy burden of commitments forced him to resign. Lord's association with "The Queen's Work" remained close, however, and in the time between 1927 and 1955, he published under the auspices of "The Queen's Work" an almost overwhelming number of pamphlets, booklets, books, and songs. In addition to this output, Lord produced a syndicated weekly column ('Along the Way'), as well as a regular youth feature for "Our Sunday Visitor." Lord was not content to restrict his writings to religious topics isolated from the world at large; he was a tireless advocate of racial fairness, and frequently engaged issues of economic justice, particularly in the late 30s and early 40s, when domestic and world events forced him to articulate a specifically Catholic alternative to the different types of state socialism on the one hand, and unrestricted capitalism on the other.

Lord's concern with social well-being as he saw it, combined with his long-standing interest in and involvement with forms of popular entertainment, led him into a working relationship with Hollywood that culminated in his serving as consultant to Cecil B. DeMille's 'King of Kings,' and in his drafting of the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930. Lord was perhaps best known for his staging of elaborate pageants, the most famous being the 'City of Freedom' pageant, held in Detroit in July of 1951, and 'Joy for the World,' Lord's celebration for the Marian Year 1954. This latter would prove to be his last public production: he died in St. Louis on January 15, 1955.


41 Linear Feet (30 boxes)

Language of Materials


Daniel A. Lord, SJ, Papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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