The Catholic University of America

Sister Marie Inez Hilger Collection

An inventory of Sister Marie Inez Hilger's 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: lib-archives@cua.edu

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

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Sister Marie Inez Hilger, 1891-1977
Title: Sister Marie Inez Hilger Collection
Dates: 1924-1972
Extent: 0.5 linear feet; 1 box
Abstract: Enrolling in September 1924, Sister Marie Inez, O.S.B., then a teacher at St. Benedict's College, St. Joseph, Minnesota, was the first woman to be officially admitted as a student to regular classes at The Catholic University of America (CUA). The correspondence is primarily replies from various Catholic universities to Sister Inez's requests for curriculum information, dated 1924, 1929, 1936, illustrate the dearth of Catholic graduate education then available to women. In a 1929 letter to William J. Kerby, head of the CUA Department of Sociology and organizer of the National Catholic School of Social Service (NCSSS), Sister Inez gives an overview of her struggle to be admitted to CUA, relating her dissatisfaction with available secular education, the intervention of Joseph F. Busch, Bishop of St. Cloud, who secured permission for her to attend CUA, and her very positive experiences while attending the institution. Another prominent correspondent is Msgr. John A. Ryan, at the time of writing, lecturer in social ethics at the NCSSS. Present also are copies of her 1939 CUA dissertation and various books and articles she published between 1937 and 1972 related to Native American peoples.
Collection Number: ACUA 244
Language: English, German

Biographical Note

Sister Marie Inez Hilger (1891-1977) was born on October 16, 1891 in Roscoe, Minnesota. Joining the order of the Sisters of St. Benedict in 1914, she became a teacher with the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minnesota. While the College was originally a high school when Hilger began working there, plans to transition it into a college spurred Hilger to pursue graduate work in sociology. She was the first women to be fully admitted to The Catholic University of America in 1924, earning an MA in sociology and social work in 1925. Returning to Catholic in 1936, she earned a Ph.D. in anthropology in 1939. Her field work began in the 1930s, the Chippewa Indians of Minnesota, and soon expanded to focus on child. Over her long career, she studied the child life of the Chippewa, Arapaho, Arauncanian, Ainu, and Japanese cultures. In 1955, she began to serve as a research associate with the Bureau of American Ethnology. She passed away in 1977.

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Scope and Contents

The Sister Marie Inez Hilger Collection spans the years 1924-1972. Constructed to highlight the story of Hilger's admission to Catholic University, it also provides examples of her lifelong contributions to anthropology. The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1, Admission Documents, 1924-1959, is in Box 1. It consists of a copied correspondence describing Hilger's attempts to apply to a variety of Catholic graduate programs, and the process of her admission at The Catholic University of America. It includes a letter detailing Hilger's reflection on the process.

Series 2, Publications, 1937-1972, is arranged by publication type and chronologically in Box 1. This series consists exclusively of reprinted anthropological articles, studies, and a book all written by Hilger.

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Arrangement

Sister Marie Inez Hilger Collection consists of 2 series:



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Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Sister Marie Inez Hilger donated the admission documents in 1959. Renee Rau donated the publications in 2007.

Processing Information

Processing and EAD markup completed in 2018 by Shane T. MacDonald.

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Related Material

The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives:

John Montgomery Cooper Papers

John Montgomery Cooper and Regina Flannery Herzfeld Ethnographic Field Notes

Roy J. Deferarri Papers

Msgr. Paul Hanley Furfey Papers

William Joseph Kerby Papers

Edward Aloysius Pace Papers

John A. Ryan Papers

Thomas Joseph Shahan Papers

At other institutions:

Sister M. Inez Hilger Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

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Index Terms

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


Persons:
Hilger, Sister Marie Inez

Organizations:
Catholic University of America, The
College of St. Benedict and St. John's University
Smithsonian Institute

Places:
Minnesota
Washington (DC)

Subjects:
Anthropology
College Admission
Graduate Studies
Women's History


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Bibliography

Roy J. Deferarri. Memoirs of the Catholic University of America, 1918-1960. Boston: Daughters of St. Paul, 1962.

E. Catherine Dunn and Dorothy A. Mohler, eds. Pioneering Women at The Catholic University of America: Papers Presented at a Centennial Symposium, November 11, 1988. Hyattsville, MD: International Graphics, 1990.

Sister Inez Hilger, College of St. Benedict Archives

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Admission Documents, 1924-1959 (1 Box)
The first series contains correspondence and other materials detailing the admission of Sister Hilger at The Catholic University of America.
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence regarding Sr. Hilger's admission to Catholic University, 1924-1959
                       
Series 2: Publications 1937-1972 (1 Box)
Series two consists anthropological works written by Sister Hilger.
Box Folder
1 2 Chippewa Interpretations of Natural Phenomena (Leaf), The Scientific Monthly, Repint, 1937
  3 The Aracanian Weaver, Boletin del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural, 1967
  4 The Ainu of Japan, National Geographic Society Research Reports, 1964 Projects, Reprint, 1969
  5 Notes on Crow Culture, Baessler-Archiv, Neue Folge, Band XVIII, 1970
  6 A Source List in Ethnobotany, New York Folklore Quarterly, Reprint, 1972
  7 A Social Study of One Hundred Fifty Chippewa Indian Families of the White Earth Reservation of Minnesota, Catholic University of America Dissertation, 1939
  8 Chippewa Child Life and its Cultural Background, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 146, 1959
        2 copies
  9 Arapaho Child Life and its Cultural Background, Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 143, 1952
        2 copies
  10 Field Guide to the Ethnological Study of Child Life, Behavior Science Field Guides, Vol. 1, 1960
  11 Huenun Namku: An Araucanian Indian of the Andes Remembers the Past, 1966
        Signed by Sister Hilger
  12 Araucanian Child Life and its Cultural Background, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, Vol. 133, 1957
        Signed by Sr. Hilger

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Admission Documents, 1956-2000

Series 2: Publications 1937-1972

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