Fall 2013 Seminar Series

Circulation Patterns: Print Culture, a Chicago Jesuit Library, and American Catholic Identity

Over the decade following its founding in 1870, St Ignatius College (today’s Loyola University) emerged as the Jesuit educational institution for Chicago’s immigrant Catholic population despite dogged opposition to its founding, a lack of financial resources, and a massive fire that leveled much of the city.  As early college prospectuses attest, at the heart of the college was its library, which rapidly grew to over ten thousand volumes within a few years.  Recorded in the pages of a c.1878 manuscript library catalogue, a remarkable survival in its own right, are Old World classics, New World bestsellers, and an ambitious desire to combine both in the education of generations of Chicago’s future leaders.

Over 140 years later, sixteen students from Loyola’s Digital Humanities, History, and Public History graduate programs are reconstructing that original catalogue in an innovative virtual library system as part of a class under the direction of Assistant Professor Kyle Roberts.  These students are tracking down surviving books in Loyola’s stacks, identifying missing titles, and creating an online resource that will be launched to the public in 2014 as part of Loyola’s commemoration of the Bicentennial of the Restoration of the Jesuits (1814-2014).

In conjunction with this class, leading scholars of religion, history, and print culture are coming to Loyola as part of a seminar series cosponsored by the Loyola History Department and the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage.  Each seminar features a leading historian either delivering a lecture or discussing a pre-circulated paper.  The seminars take place on Tuesday evenings at 6 pm in the Palm Court, 4th Floor of Mundelein Hall.  Each seminar is free and open to the public.  Several of the seminars have pre-circulated papers that will be available a week in advance, so please send an email to Kyle Roberts (kroberts2@luc.edu) for a copy of the paper.

October 1:
“Reconsidering Chicago’s Holy Family Parish and the Hull-House Settlement”
Ellen Skerrett, Chicago-based researcher for the Jane Addams Papers Project, Duke University; co-curator of “Crossings and Dwellings: Restored Jesuits, Women Religious, American Experience, 1814-2014,” Loyola University Museum of Art, 19 July – 19 October 2014.

October 15:
“Printed Presence: Twentieth-Century Catholic Print Culture for Youngsters in the United States”
Robert Orsi, Grace Craddock Nagle Chair in Catholic Studies, Northwestern University

October 22:
“Borrowing Patterns: The Muncie (Indiana) Public Library and its Patrons, 1891-1902″
James Connolly, Director, Center for Middletown Studies; Professor of History, Ball State University; and Project Co-Director, What Middletown Read

October 29:
“Following the Flows: Diversity, Santa Fe, and Method in Religious Studies”
Thomas Tweed, Professor, Harold and Martha Welch Endowed Chair in American Studies, Notre Dame University; Vice President, American Academy of Religion

November 5:
“Nineteenth-Century Jesuits in the United States and the Global Catholic World They Made: A Case Study”
John T. McGreevy, Dean, the College of Arts & Letters; Professor of History,
Notre Dame University

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