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Microfilm in the Notre Dame Archives

Scope and content of microfilm in the archives, with advice on how to use particularly challenging collections.


The forty reels of microfilm from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the first diocese in the United States, include the papers of such early archbishops as John Carroll, Leonard Neale, Ambrose Marechal, James Whitfield, Samuel Eccleston, Francis Patrick Kenrick, Martin John Spalding, and James Roosevelt Bayley, with a record group devoted to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, and another representing Baltimore Cathedral. The inventory includes a detailed list of documents in the archdiocesan archives from the administration of John Carroll, nearly all of which appear on the microfilm; for later archbishops the inventory indicates only the range of reels, but more detailed lists appear on the microfilm itself.

Vincennes / Indianapolis

The thirty-one reels of microfilm from the Diocese of Vincennes (later Indianapolis), 1742-1938, contain many books and pamphlets documenting the history of anti-Catholicism in the United States, pastoral letters, estate records, and diocesan records including correspondence of Bishops Simon Brute, Celestine de la Hailandiere, and Francis Chatard, including some correspondence with bishops of other dioceses such as Benedict Flaget, Peter Kenrick, and Camillus Paul Maes.

Saint Louis

We have twenty-three reels representing the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, including nineteen reels of diocesan correspondence involving bishops Dubourg, Rosati, Kenrick, and Kain, priests and laymen of the diocese, and many members of the American hierarchy, with records of synod and council meetings; one reel concerning the Sisters of Loretto, mostly material in the 1820s and 1830s; and three reels of historical material collected by Henry van der Sanden (d. 1910), Chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and diocesan historian.


From the Diocese of Richmond we have twelve reels of microfilm, 1841-1939, representing the adminstrations of Bishops Richard Whelan, John McGill, James Gibbons, John Joseph Keane, and Augustine Van de Vyver, and Dennis O'Connell, who also served as rector of the North American College in Rome, 1885-1895. Reel 11 of this collection contains an inventory and index for reels 1-10. Reel 12 contains images from Catholic University's collection of Richmond letters,1880-1894.

Bardstown / Louisville

We have eight reels of microfilm, 1808-1967, representing the Diocese of Bardstown (later Louisville), including diocesan documents, 1810-1861, letterbook of Bishop Benedict Flaget and records of St. Francis Xavier Church, 1828-1912, letterbooks of Bishop Benedict Flaget, 1808-1850, the diary of Bishop Benedict Flaget, 1815, papers of Rev. Joseph Haseltine, 1823-1848, papers of other clergy of the diocese, 1811-1887, records of Archdiocesan property sales, 1814-1898, a book listing priests ordained by Bishop Floersh, 1923-1967, and letters from priests providing information about themselves, 1915.


Our Cincinnati microfilm (four reels) consists of documents, 1815-1843, selected from our own Archdiocese of Cincinnati manuscript collection, chiefly of letters received by Bishops Edward Dominic Fenwick, O.P., and John Baptist Purcell.