Collection Overview

Welcome to the collections of the Maryknoll Mission Archives!

We house the recorded history of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America (Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers), the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic (Maryknoll Sisters), and the Maryknoll Mission Association of the Faithful (Maryknoll Lay Missioners). Additionally, we provide a home for the records of the United States Catholic China Bureau (USCCB), the Religious Task Force On Central America and Mexico (RFTCAM), and the United States Catholic Mission Association (USCMA, formerly known as the US Catholic Mission Council (USCMC) and the Mission Secretariat).

For first time visitors or those looking for a general overview, this page provides brief descriptions of select collections that are available to researchers. Those interested in accessing more detailed descriptions of these and other open collections should utilize our collection management system.

Missioners’ Personal Papers and Creative Works

collectionsThe Society’s and Congregation’s Creative Works Collections primarily contain materials created and/or gathered by their memberships. Organized by individual missioner, the collections include, among other things, art, articles, correspondence, diaries, ephemera, interviews, media, notebooks, poetry, and talks pertaining to their lives and mission work.

The Congregation has one personal papers collection, that of its Foundress, Mother Mary Joseph Rogers. This collection contains documents created by Mother including her correspondence and writings, books and memorabilia owned by her, and records created by others addressing her family, education, and special events.

The Society has multiple personal papers collections, including that of its Founders, Bishop James A. Walsh and Father Thomas F. Price, Bishop James E. Walsh, Bishop Francis X. Ford, Father John Considine, Bishop Patrick J. Byrne, Father Albert Nevins, Father Anthony Cotta, Bishop Raymond A. Lane, and Father James M. Drought.  These collections contain materials created by or about the life and mission work of these Society members.

Mission Area Records

ringcrossFrom the beginning of their mission work until the 1960s, Society members and Sisters were required to keep daily diaries. These records now comprise our Diaries, 1918-1969 (Society) and Diaries, 1912-1968 (Sisters) collections.

For each country or area in which they worked, the Sisters created History Collections containing documentation of their mission work and activities there. There are more than 25 of this type of collection available to researchers.

Those interested in the Society’s first mission territory will want to explore the Early China Missions Collection.

Mission Education Records

All expressions of Maryknoll have been engaged in mission education using a variety of methods. The following collections speak to some of their initiatives in this area.

– Magazines – The Society’s original mission education vehicle was its magazine, first known as The Field Afar and later as Maryknoll Magazine. Beginning in 1980, its Spanish language sister publication, Revista Maryknoll, began and is now known as Misioneros Maryknoll.

sightssoundsEducational Resources Collection this collection consists largely of publications – primarily by Maryknoll – for use in elementary and high schools including books, plays, games, activities, coloring books, and lesson plans. It also includes resources published for use more specifically in catechetical instruction.

Mission Education Publications this collection contains publications produced by the Society for the purpose of educating American laity and clergy about mission. They include Maryknoll Junior, SHARE, World Campus, World Horizon Report, and World Parish.

– Photographs – Visual documentation of Maryknoll’s mission work and the people they serve has been integral to its mission education activities. The Archives houses more than a century’s worth of mission photography, some of which is accessible through the International Mission Photography Archives project at University of Southern California. Other photographic collections accessible by request.

– Audio/Visual – Film and audio have been effective mediums through which Maryknoll has shared its mission work and addressed topical issues that affect the people they serve. These resources can be made available to researchers upon request.

Published Resources The Maryknoll Mission Archives maintains a substantial collection of primary and secondary published resources. The books and periodicals in the collection are authored by both Maryknollers themselves as well as historians or subject-specialists and primarily document Maryknoll’s founders, missioners and mission work throughout the world.