The Catholic University of America

Anti-Catholic Literature Collection

An inventory of the Anti-Catholic Literature Collection at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


Contact Information:

Mailing Address: The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064

Telephone: 202-319-5065

Email: archives@mail.lib.cua.edu

URL: http://archives.lib.cua.edu/

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The Catholic University of America, The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Democratic National Committee
Title: Anti-Catholic Literature Collection
Dates: 1912
Dates: 1924-1928
Extent: 0.5 linear feet; 1 box
Abstract: The collections consists of largely undated original and photostatic copies of material circulated at the time of the 1928 U.S. presidential campaign and includes both campaign-related items and general examples of the literature.
Collection Number: ACUA 213
Language: English

Historical Note

New York Governor Alfred E. Smith ran for President on the Democratic ticket in the 1928 electoral campaign. His candidacy invoked a vehement anti-Catholic reaction among some factions of the populace, and made evident the American Catholic Church's need for an improved public image. Archbishop McNicholas of Cincinnati called for a Catholic apologetic program, and began by convening a strategic brainstorming session, a National Conference on Apologetics, at the Catholic University of America in February 1929. The Democratic National Committee had collected and exhibited examples of anti-Catholic publications throughout the Smith campaign. Through the good offices of Michael Williams, editor of The Commonweal, this exhibit material was forwarded by the Committee to CUA for a display in connection with the Apologetics Conference. The material arrived in Washington rather late and was poorly exhibited; the collection then remained at Mullen Library.

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Scope and Contents

The Anti-Catholic Literature Collection reflects something of the nature of the last widespread, violent reaction to the Catholic Church in America. The collections consists of largely undated original and photostatic copies of material circulated at the time of the 1928 campaign and includes both campaign-related items and general examples of the literature. The campaign-related items appear to date from 1928 or shortly before. The general anti-Catholic literature is of a more indeterminate date. One item is dated 1912.

The campaign-related material ranges from polemical texts and title pages of broadsides, flyers and pamphlets, to anti-Smith cartoons, graphics and verse. Example titles include: "Why Al Smith Cannot be President of the United States", "How to be a 'Smith Democrat'", "Rome's Tattooed Man", and "Alcohol Smith's Platform". The remainder of the collection is comprised of anti-Catholic material not specifically related to the Smith campaign. There are texts and title pages of inflammatory tracts, in addition to cartoons, slogans, and verse. A few items refer to the murderous Knights of Columbus Oath and several graphics and pamphlets depict the Ku Klux Klan as the patriotic solution. Other items denounce "nunneries"; and Catholic education, or advertise for similar books, pamphlets and lectures. Included is a group of items associated with a petition in 1925 Fairfax, Virginia to remove a Catholic woman from her position as a public school educator.

The Book of Horrors, a binder compiled by Our Sunday Visitor containing photostatic copies of the front pages of anti-Catholic newspapers and periodicals, campaign literature and cartoons, arrived at CUA along with the rest of the collection, and is located in Mullen Library's Rare Books division.

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Arrangement

The Anti-Catholic LIterature Collection consists of two series:



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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Donated in 1929

Processing Information

Processing completed in February 1991 by John Andrew Klenklen. Data entry by Rebecca Hurley in 2001. EAD markup completed in May 2005 by Washington Research Library Consortium. Additional EAD markup completed in October 2005 by Jordan Patty.

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Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.


Subjects:
Catholicism
Democratic Party
Politics
Propaganda


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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Campaign-Related material, 1928, n.d. (8 folders)
Front pages and full text items of ant-Smith broadsides, circulars, leaflets, pamphlets, and graphics.
Box Folder
1 1 Anti-Smith pamphlets and flyers ca. 1928
  2 Polemical leaflets and broadsides ca. 1928
  3 The Religious Issue- pamphlets and flyers ca. 1928
  4 The Religious Issue- pamphlets and flyers ca. 1928
  5 Political advertisements and cartoons ca. 1928
  6 Political advertisements and cartoons ca. 1928
  7 Political advertisements and cartoons ca. 1928
  8 Election circulars and satiric verse ca. 1928
                       
Series 2: General Anti-Catholic material 1912, 1924-1928 (11 folders)
Front pages and full text items denouncing various aspects of Roman Catholicism including: allegiance to Rome, unmarried priests, Knights of Columbus, schools and convents. Pro-Klan materials also included.
Box Folder
1 9 Fairfax County petition and correspondence ca. 1925
  10 Tracts- title pages ca. 1912, 1924
  11 Tracts- title pages ca. 1912, 1924
  12 Menace of Roman Catholicism- flyers n.d.
  13 Horror Stories of "popery" n.d.
  14 Knights of Columbus Oath- pamphlets and broadsides n.d.
  15 Cartoons and graphics n.d.
  16 Ku Klux Klan- flyers n.d.
  17 Catholic Institutions-flyers and broadsides n.d.
  18 Catholic Institutions-flyers and broadsides n.d.
  19 Lecture posters n.d.

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Index Terms

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Campaign-Related material, 1928, n.d.

Series 2: General Anti-Catholic material 1912,1924-1928

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