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

John LaFarge, SJ Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS69

Scope and Contents

The John LaFarge, SJ Papers contain correspondence, typescripts, manuscripts, clippings, and other items covering the entire range of his life and activities.


  • 1844 - 2000
  • Majority of material found within 1925 - 1963

Conditions Governing Access

The John LaFarge, SJ Papers are on deposit at Georgetown University and are 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 All unpublished Archives materials dated or bearing solely on events occurring on or after January 1, 1940, shall be open for review upon request subject to a decision by the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 (

Biographical Note

John LaFarge, SJ was born February 13, 1880 to artist John LaFarge and Margaret Mason Perry LaFarge of Newport, Rhode Island. He received his early education in Newport before attending Harvard University where he obtained his BA in 1901. LaFarge then studied theology at the University of Innsbruck (Austria), was ordained in 1905, and entered the Poughkeepsie seminary of the Society of Jesus. Following service as a teacher and chaplain in New York and Baltimore, Fr. LaFarge went to Southern Maryland where from 1911-26 he engaged in missionary activity with the predominantly black population of rural St. Mary's County (what he referred to as his "Negro Apostolate"). As part of this work, Fr. LaFarge helped to organize the Cardinal Gibbons Institute in Ridge as well as the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. Fr. LaFarge went to New York City in 1926 to work as an editor for the Jesuit magazine America. He became the magazine's Executive Editor in 1942 and was Editor-in-Chief from 1944-1948. He was to continue as a Senior Editor until his death in 1963.

From the 1930s on, Fr. LaFarge involved himself in the founding of interracial organizations and groups, chief of which was the Catholic Interracial Council, headquartered in New York City. By the 1950s, the Catholic Interracial Council expanded to include a number of affiliated branches in various cities across the United States. Consistent with his work with interracial groups was Fr. LaFarge's work promoting better interfaith relations for which he would receive a World Brotherhood Award. Further, he was author of No Postponement (1950), The Catholic Viewpoint on Race Relations (1956), Reflections on Growing Old (1963), and his autobiography The Manner is Ordinary (1953). He died in 1963.


48.75 Linear Feet (70 boxes)

Language of Materials


Metadata Rights Declarations

John LaFarge, SJ Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

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