The Catholic University of America

James Aloysius Geary

An inventory of the James Aloysius Geary Papers 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: James Aloysius Geary, 1882-1962
Title: The James Aloysius Geary Papers
Dates: 1893
Dates: ca. 1901-1958
Extent: 4 linear feet; 8 boxes, 1 volume
Abstract: The papers span the years from Geary's student days, ca. 1905-1907, to the years just past his retirement, at age seventy in 1953, from The Catholic University of America. The collection includes correspondence, speeches, editorials, research articles, Algonquian and Gaelic language notes, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, poems, and photographs.
Collection Number: ACUA 078
Language: English

Biographical Note

James Aloysius Geary was born to John J. and Mary A. (Walsh) Geary in Worcester, Massachusetts, November 8, 1882. He attended the public schools in Worcester (1887-1899); subsequently, he studied at the College of Holy Cross, Worcester (1899-1903); the Seminaire de St. Sulpice, Paris, France (1903-1906); the American College, Louvain, Belgium (1906-1907, ordained 1907); after four years of parish work in the Diocese of Portland, Maine, and of Springfield, Massachusetts, he did graduate work at The Catholic University of America (1911-1916) where he received his Ph.D. in 1931.

Beginning in 1912, Geary taught courses (including Biology, Philosophy and the Psychology of Education) at The Catholic Sisters College. He first taught Gaelic at Catholic University in 1914 and in 1916 was appointed Instructor of Celtic and Comparative Philology. Made assistant professor in 1936 and full professor in 1949, Geary, until his retirement in 1953, engaged in wide and varied teaching activities that included in addition to Celtic Languages: General LInguistics; Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin; Historical Grammar of Latin; and Algonquian Grammar. Along with his teaching duties, Geary served in various administrative capacities (most notably as Secretary of the Department of German and Comparative Philology), directed many students activities, and sat on numerous faculty committees.

A prominent scholar who published widely in professional journals, Geary was recognized by both the Bureau of Ethnology and the Smithsonian Institution as an expert in American Indian languages; he was frequently consulted by these institutions regarding American Indian words and names. Years of his life were spent studying various Algonquian languages with the view to deriving proto-Algonquian forms. He undertook phonological field studies among the Lake Simon band of Indians living near La Sarre, Quebec (1937-1939) and the Fox Indians in Tama, Iowa (1914-1951). In 1953, Geary was still involved in the long process of translating a Fox text, in possession of the Smithsonian, on the culture-hero, Wisahkaka.

Geary held memberships in many professional societies, including The American Dialect Society, The Linguistic Circle of New York, and the Gaelic Society of Washington. He served as chairman of the Patrick H. Pearse branch of the Friends of Irish Freedom and was a member and president of the Douglas Hyde branch of the Gaelic League.

Geary died in Washington, D.C. on July 4, 1962, and was buried in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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Scope and Contents

The papers span the years from Geary's student days, ca. 1905-1907, to the years just past his retirement, at age seventy in 1953, from The Catholic University of America. The collection includes correspondence, speeches, editorials, research articles, Algonquian and Gaelic language notes, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, poems, and photographs. The personal papers include correspondence with family and friends; legal-financial papers relating to his stock and real estate interests and his contacts with the Internal Revenue Service; and papers relating to the John Spensley estate, for which Geary was executor. Place among the personal papers in addition are materials relating to Geary's avid interest in Irish politics which trace his involvement with the Friends of Irish Freedom and other Irish organizations promoting Irish independence and culture. Correspondence, editorials and newspaper clippings relating particularly to World War I, the League of Nations, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt are also included here.

The bulk of the materials in the collection relates to Geary's academic and professional career as a seminarian and doctoral student, Celtic teacher, Secretary of the Department of German and Comparative Philology, and specialist and researcher in Algonquian and Gaelic languages. The academic material incorporate his student and alumni papers, communications with Catholic University and intra-university correspondence, and his pastoral papers. Many of the papers of his early years at Catholic University, relate to his charge as disciplinarian in Gibbons and Graduate Halls and to such university activities as the Saint Thomas Aquinas Club, the Irish Historical Club, and The Symposium." The papers relating to research among the Fox Indians living near Tama, Iowa reflect Geary's major scholarly activity during the 1940's. Included are etymological studies of Algonquian words and place-names, especially place-names in Wisconsin. Also included are research notes on Algonquian phonology, notes for an intended Algonquian-language Catholic Prayer book, and lists of words for his slip dictionary.

The Gaelic materials include brief etymological studies of Irish words, place-names and surnames, and indications of other work translating Gaelic words and phrases. Much of the correspondence focuses on Irish history, culture, and on the education of students in Gaelic.

Important Correspondence:

Joseph P. Dunn

Albert Gale

Paul Grosjean

John P. Harrington

Vernam Hull

Blanche Mary Kelly

Robert A. Logan

Robert T. Meyer

Truman Michelson

Mary H. Scanlon

S. Shannon

Dorothy Seibel

Carl Voegelin

Robert B. Whitsett

Patrick J. Hurley

Robert Brennan

Harold Knutson

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Arrangement

The Papers of James Aloysius Geary 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

Date Received: August 17, 1971, October 28, 1987, April 20, 2004

Processing Information

Processing completed in October 1978 by EJL with revisions completed in 2004 by Jennifer Larson and William John Shepherd. Data entry completed in 2001 by Mary Beth Fraser. EAD markup completed in March 2005 by Washington Research Library Consortium. Additional EAD markup completed in October 2005 by Jordan Patty.

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Related Material

The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives:

Robert Richard Madden Papers

Robert Theodore Meyer Papers

Bernard Mann Peebles Papers

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Index Terms

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


Organizations:
Catholic University of America

Places:
Ireland--Politics and government

Subjects:
Algonquian and Gaelic philology
American Indian culture
Indians of North America--Languages
Philology, Modern Study and teaching (Higher) United States
World War I, 1914-1918


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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Personal Papers, ca. 1901-1955 (3 boxes)
Correspondence, 1913-1953; Legal-Financial Correspondence, 1914-1955; John Spensley Estate Correspondence and Other Papers, 1903-1940; Irish Politics, 1913-1954 (broken down into major and miscellaneous Irish organizations and into general Irish Activities and Interests); and Photos, Mass Cards, Miscellaneous, ca. 1901-1948.
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence, 9/11/1911-10/04/1938
  2 Correspondence, 5/09/1939-6/08/1943
  3 Correspondence, 11/08/1943-11/17/1947
  4 Correspondence, 6/27/1948-5/13/1952
  5 Correspondence, 6/24/1952-8/09/1953, n.d.
  6 Legal-Financial Correspondence, 1/16/1905-10/26/1909
  7 Legal-Financial Correspondence, 1/15/1910-12/02/1910
  8 Legal-Financial Correspondence, 1/18/1911-6/30/1911
  9 Legal-Financial Correspondence, 7/01/1911-12/05/1911
  10 Legal-Financial Correspondence, 2/02/1912-12/21/1912
  11 Legal-Financial Correspondence, 1/20/1913-12/26/1913
  12 Legal-Financial Correspondence, 1/09/1914-11/11/1914
Box Folder
2 13 Irish Politics, Friends of Irish Freedom Correspondence and Other Papers, 05/05/1922-12/13/1922, n.d.
  14 Irish Politics, All America National Council Correspondence and Printed Material, 1922, n.d.
  15 Irish Politics, All America National Council Memorandum, April-May 1922
  16 Irish Politics, All America National Council Memorandum, 06/15/1922-12/1923, n.d.
  17 Irish Politics, Miscellaneous Irish Organizations Correspondence and Other Papers, 06/15/1915-03/29/1940
  18 Irish Politics, Miscellaneous Irish Organizations Correspondence and Other Papers, 09/17/1941-08/04/1952, n.d.
  19 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests Correspondence, 08/20/1917-10/28/1922
  20 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests Correspondence, 03/30/1931-11/04/1954, n.d.
  21 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests, Speeches, Editorials, Articles, Poetry, 1914-1919
  22 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests, Speeches, Editorials, Articles, Poetry, 1935-1936
  23 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests, Speeches, Editorials, Articles, Poetry, 1921-1922
Box Folder
3 1 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests, Pamphlets, 1915-1922
  2 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests, Newspaper Clippings, 1913-1943
  3 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests, Newspaper Clippings, 1914-1917
  4 Irish Politics, Irish Activities and Interests, Newspaper Clippings, 1915-1918
  5 Photos, Mass Cards, Miscellaneous, 1901-1948
                       
Series 2: Academic Papers, 1893, 1905-1958 (4 boxes)
General Correspondence and Other Papers, 1905-1956; Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 1893, ca. 1907-1958 (broken down into major correspondents, other correspondents, and into Algonquian and Gaelic related correspondence and research materials).
Box Folder
3 6 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 01/1905-11/26/1912
  7 General Correspondence and Other Papers, ca. 1912-1915
  8 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 01/14/1913-04/2/1915
  9 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 06/12/1915-02/15/1917
  10 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 05/31/1917-03/23/1919
  11 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 05/12/1919-08/20/1920
  12 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 05/30/1921-05/22/1921?
  13 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 03/11/1921-07/01/1922
  14 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 08/04/1931-11/21/1931
  15 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 11/23/1931-02/08/1932
  16 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 03/02/1932-10/22/1934
  17 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 04/30/1934-08/03/1937
  18 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 03/14/1938-08/04/1939
  19 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 12/29/1939-12/31/1946
Box Folder
4 1 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 04/23/1948-12/28/1952
  2 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 01/05/1953-06/30/1953
  3 General Correspondence and Other Papers, 07/23/1953-10/19/1956, n.d.
  4 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 08/01/1920-06/14/1948
   
    1. J. P. Gunn, ca.1920-1948
Box Folder
4 5 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 12/11/1950-03/06/1951
   
    1. J. P. Gunn, ca. 1950-1951
   
    2. A. Gale, ca. 1950-1951
   
    3. P. Grossjean, ca. 1950-1951
Box Folder
4 6 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 09/15/1932-12/19/1932
   
    1. P. Grossjean, 1932
   
    2. J. P. Harrington, 1932
Box Folder
4 7 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 06/23/1945-04/03/1947
   
    1. J. P. Harrington, ca. 1945-1947
   
    2. V. Hull, ca. 1945-1947
Box Folder
4 8 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 06/13/1951-10/28/1951
   
    1. V. Hull, 1951
   
    2. B. M. Kelly, 1951
Box Folder
4 9 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 11/09/1945-07/16/1952
   
    1. B. M. Kelly, ca. 1945-1952
   
    2. R. A. Logan, ca. 1945-1952
Box Folder
4 10 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 04/09/1947-07/27/1947
   
    1. R. A. Logan, 1947
Box Folder
4 11 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 1941
   
    1. R. A. Logan, 1941
   
    2. R. T. Meyer, 1941
Box Folder
4 12 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 06/12/1935-09/21/1938
   
    1. T. Michelson, ca. 1935-1938
   
    2. M. H. Scanlon, ca. 1935-1938
Box Folder
4 13 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 06/24/1939-10/20/1940
   
    1. S. Shannon, ca.1939-1940
Box Folder
4 14 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 11/09/1940-09/30/1946
   
    1. S. Shannon, ca. 1940-1946
Box Folder
4 15 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 10/04/1946-08/06/1952, 1958
   
    1. S. Shannon, ca. 1946-1958
Box Folder
4 16 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 1958, n.d.
   
    1. S. Shannon, 1958
Box Folder
4 17 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 07/16/1951-10/16/1952, n.d.
   
    1. D. Seibel, ca. 1951-1952
   
    2. C. Vogegelin, ca. 1951-1952
Box Folder
4 18 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 1936, 08/02/1941-12/07/1944
   
    1. R. Whitsett, ca. 1941-1944
Box Folder
4 19 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 12/17/1944-09/24/1946
   
    1. R. Whitsett, ca. 1944-1946
Box Folder
4 20 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 10/06/1946-06/17/1947
   
    1. R. Whitsett, ca. 1946-1947
Box Folder
4 21 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 07/08/1947-12/06/1951
   
    1. R. Whitsett, ca. 1947-1951
Box Folder
5 1 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 01/21/1952-08/25/1953, n.d.
  2 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 1910-08/10/1931
  3 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 09/09/1931-03/23/1936
  4 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 05/26/1936-12/13/1938
  5 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 01/30/1939-06/02/1940
  6 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 06/25/1940-11/14/1942
  7 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 11/21/1942-1942,1943
  8 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 06/28/1944-03/01/1946
  9 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 03/05/1946-02/28/1948
  10 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 03/06/1948-11/25/1949
  11 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 12/05/1949-02/13/1950
  12 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 03/02/1950-05/25/1950
  13 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, 05/30/1950-08/29/1955, n.d.
  14 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers, undated
  15 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Field Research Correspondence, 03/24/1937-04/28/1941
  16 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Field Research Correspondence, 05/07/1941-12/22/1941
  17 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Field Research Correspondence, 01/05/1942-02/02/1943
  18 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Field Research Correspondence, 02/09/1943-03/14/1945
  19 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Field Research Correspondence, 04/04/1945-09/10/1946
  20 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Field Research Correspondence, 09/14/1946-04/08/1948
  21 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Field Research Correspondence, 01/02/1949-09/13/1952
  22 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Etymological Correspondence, 01/18/1940-11/04/1941
  23 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Etymological Correspondence, 11/18/1941-07/02/1946
  24 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Etymological Correspondence, 07/05/1946-01/10/1947
Box Folder
6 1 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Etymological Correspondence, 01/19/1947-05/18/1948
  2 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Etymological Correspondence, 08/18/1949-09/02/1951
  3 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Etymological Correspondence, 03/05/1952-11/28/1955
  4 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin MSS and Printed Articles, 1945, 1953-1954 undated
  5 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin MSS and Printed Articles, 1893, 1941-1945
  6 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin MSS and Printed Articles, 1950
  7 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin MSS and Printed Articles, 1951
  8 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Notes, 1936-1938, undated
  9 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Notes, 1947-1953, undated
  10 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Notes, undated
  11 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Algonquin Newspaper Clippings, 1934-1940, undated
  12 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Correspondence, 06/29/1920-09/28/1932
  13 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Correspondence, 11/29/1932-03/13/1938
  14 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Correspondence, 03/20/1938-09/04/1940
  15 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Correspondence, 12/02/1940-12/02/1947
  16 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Correspondence, 02/04/1948-10/31/1954, n.d.
  17 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Etymological Correspondence, 03/09/1919-09/24/1934
  18 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Etymological Correspondence, 04/27/1935-12/09/1940
  19 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Etymological Correspondence, 11/15/1943-10/09/1952
Box Folder
7 1 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Research Notes, ca. 1907-1908
  2 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Research Notes, ca. 1912
  3 Philological Correspondence and Other Papers; Gaelic Research Notes and Book Reviews, ca. 1931-1941
  4 Certificate "La Medaglia Benemerenti", 1939
Box Folder
8 1 Five Bundles-Gaelic Slip Dictionary, n.d.
  2 Four Bundles-Gaelic Slip Dictionary, n.d.
  3 Alumni Plaque, College of Holy Cross, Class of 1903 , 1903
  4 Memorial Scrapbook of reception for Geary at Catholic University , 1921

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Personal Papers, ca. 1901-1955

Series 2: Academic Papers, 1893, 1905-1958

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