Records of the Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide comprise this collection of letter-copy books and related manuscripts which shed important light on Catholic missionary activities in China, the Philippines, and South Asia in the first half of the 18th century.
The principal Jesuit interest in the collection resides in the record of the ongoing dispute over the Chinese Rites and repeated attempts to obtain unconditional obedience from the Jesuits. Letters to the head of the Society repeatedly forbid use of the Chinese Rites and give examples of willful disobedience to a papal bull on the subject, and are especially critical of Jesuit practice in accommodating Chinese traditions in funeral rites. While much, if not all, of this material is - theoretically - available in the Vatican Archives, these duplicate letter books of the Far East section provide a remarkable resource for focussed research.
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.
The copies in each letter book were bound in chronological order. Item counts for each volume refer to the number of letters; in each volume individual letters were numbered at the top of the first page, not counting the first free page marked "Indie Orientalis", numbered 1 in each volume.