The Catholic University of America

Religious Communities and Missions Survey Collection

An inventory of the Religious Communities and Missions Survey Collection at The American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives


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

Telephone: 202-319-5065

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Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: Father Thomas Stransky
Title: Religious Communities and Missions Survey Collection
Dates: 1987-1989, 2012
Extent: 10 linear feet; 8 boxes
Abstract:

The Religious Communities and Missionaries Survey Collection reflects scholarly research into the history of American Catholic missionary work. This ambitious undertaking was begun in 1987 through a one page survey mailed to over 400 individual religious orders by Fr. Thomas Stransky, "rector emeritus" of Tantur Ecumenical Institute and former president of the Paulist Fathers. The associated correspondence reveals dialog between numerous individuals, the Overseas Ministries Study Center of New Haven, and the USCM Association to document this rich history.

Collection Number: 198
Language: English

Historical Note

The Religious Communities and Missionaries Survey Collection contains original research performed by Fr. Thomas Stransky, a leader and former president of the Paulist Fathers USA from 1970-1986. In his next position as rector of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute for Theological Studies in Jerusalem, he was afforded the opportunity to explore the history of overseas missionary work performed by American Catholic religious orders. Working in conjunction with the United States Catholic Mission Association (USCMA), Stransky surveyed over 400 individual orders requesting information on their history and mission. That information is collected here. While the Paulists are logically included among those surveyed, this research suggests an independent attempt to objectively document the entire range of holy orders, both male and female, in existence as of 1987.

According to the correspondence, the survey appears to provide the basis of a book proposal in conjunction with the USCMA but the one clear result of his undertaking was a 1987 lecture (on video tape).  Subsequently, a collaboration between Protestant and Catholic researchers came forth to document this rich history through the Overseas Ministries Study Center of New Haven. This led religious historian, Sister Angelyn Dries to produce a definitive work  with the 1998 publishing of "The Overseas Missionary Movement of the U.S. Catholic Church 1853-1990." She has authored several books on Catholic History and has been published in U. S. Catholic Historian.

The USCMA stems from the US Catholic Mission Council that was founded in 1970 in an effort to coordinate the missionary activities of the individual orders with those directed by Rome under the Second Vatican Council. The original USCMC supplanted the post-WWII Mission Secretariat system which until 1969 had represented the last pontifical mission directive linked to Pope Gregory XV's 17th century De Propaganda Fide.

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Scope and Contents

It is well known that the Paulists, founded in the United States by Isaac Hecker, are among the most active practitioners of Catholic evangelism and outreach within the spectrum of religious orders. While this helps explain some of the American tilt to the survey, more importantly it points to Fr. Stransky's knowledge of the range of current missionary practices. Accordingly the survey focuses specifically on those orders maintaining a presence in the U.S., albeit with consideration that some (eg. the Spiritists) were founded in other countries. Other groups among the survey are distinctly home grown. Regardless, it is worth noting that this survey was conducted almost a century after Hecker's passing which provides the reader opportunity to reflect on the modernist legacy in today's overseas missions.

For researchers and historians, what is perhaps most notable about the Religious Communities and Survey Collection is that invites one to consider the nature of missionary activity in America both before and after 1908 when the papacy officially removed the United States from its prior status as mission territory. This set the stage for American based orders to pursue an external or "overseas" focus over the next 80 years as many of the survey responses indicate.

While some responses are quite detailed, Fr. Stransky may have faced some challenges in developing the survey materials housed in this collection. But what exactly caused him to abandon the book project is not entirely clear from the correspondence in Box 8. What is evident is that a number of these holy orders are intensely private, and did not respond to the survey, though they are in communion with the Catholic Church. Non-participants are also included in the collection. Many of those that did participate were indeed quite generous in supplying books and records of their activities. All in all, some 40 volumes of hardbound materials are contained in the collection in addition to the roughly 200 survey responses. Though most survey questions address overseas mission affiliates, one of the more thought provoking questions elicits whether an order's constitution addressed evangelism and/or ecumenism.

Though it is possible that some Catholic holy orders may have been overlooked, those targeted for the survey present a significant portrait of those active circa 1985. In Box 8 one may observe that Stransky's research was presented in context of a speech he gave to the U.S. Catholic Mission Association and the NCCCUSA Division of Overseas Ministries in September 1987. The speech notes, many handwritten, are illuminating and provide some helpful insights into the history of Catholic missionary activity in the US. Further correspondence contained herein reveals additional research for the book project post-Stransky and letters exchanged with Sister Angelyn Dries. The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives are grateful to Sister Angelyn for her cooperation in assembling these notes.

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Arrangement

The Religious Communities and Missions Survey Collection has two series:



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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

None. Please note that this collection is stored off site, so that it may take up to 72 hours to retrieve boxes.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Thomas Stransky via John Lynch of the North American Paulist Center in 2004.

Processing Information

Processing completed in 2012 by Carter Rawson. EAD markup completed in 2013 by Carter Rawson.

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Related Material

American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives:

Dolan, Father Luis, C.P. Papers

National Council for Catholic Evangelization (NCCE) Records

Propagation of the Faith Records

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Office of the General Secretary Records

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Records

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Youth Department Records

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Index Terms

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


Persons:
Anderson, Gerald
Dries, Sister Angelyn
Maher, Sister Mary Jo
Stransky, Fr. Thomas

Organizations:
Maryknoll Sisters
Overseas Ministries Study Center
Paulist Fathers
United States Catholic Missions Association

Places:
Jerusalem
New Haven, CT
New York, NY
United States of America

Subjects:
Catholic Missions
Ecumenism
Evangelism
Overseas Missionary Movement
Theology


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Bibliography

Dries, Sister Angelyn (1998). The missionary movement in American Catholic history. Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books

Hill, Samuel S.(1983). Religion in the southern United States: A historical study. Macon, GA: Mercer Press

McBrien, Richard (1995). Harper Collins encyclopedia of Catholicism, New York: Harper Collins pp 871-874

Overseas Ministries Study Center: http://www.omsc.org/. Accessed 12.17.2012

Notes supplied by Sister Angelyn Dries 1.2.2013

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Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series One, 1987 (8 boxes)
Series One: Boxes 1 -7 contain folders of survey responses by individual orders along with supplementary books and pamphlets. A list of non- responsive orders is included with Box 8.
Box Folder
1 1 59. Holy Ghost Fathers - CSSP, Bethel Park, PA 1987
  2 62. Jesuits - SJ, Bronx, NY, 1987
  3 64. Jesuits - SJ, New Orleans, LA, 1987
  4 67. Jesuits - SJ, Chicago, IL, 1987
  5 68. Jesuits - SJ, Portland, OR, 1987
  6 69. Jesuits - SJ, Detroit, MI, 1987
  7 70. Jesuits - SJ, Milwaukee, WI, 1987
  8 70A. Jesuit Conference, Washington DC, 1987
  9 73. Marist Fathers -SM, Chestnut Hill, MA, 1987
  10 77. Marianists - SM, Dayton, OH, 1987
  11 78. Marianists - SM, St. Louis, MO, 1987
  12 79. Marianists - SM, Cupertino, CA, 1987
  13 81. Oblates of Mary Immaculate - OMI, San Antonio, TX, 1987
  14 84. Oblates of Mary Immaculate - OMI, St. Paul, MN, 1987
  15 87. Vincentians - CM, St. Louis, MO, 1987
  16 90. Trinitarians - OSST, Pikesville, MD, 1987
  17 92. Missionaries of LaSalette- MS, Attleboro, MA, 1987
  18 93. Missionaries of LaSalette - MS, St. Louis, MO, 1987
  19 96. Passionists - CP, Chicago, IL, 1987
  20 97. Paulists - CSP, Scarsdale, NY, 1987
  21 137. Alexian Brothers - CFA, Elk Grove Village, IL, 1987
  22 138. Congress of Christian Brothers - CFC, New Rochelle, NY, 1987
  23 139. Congress of Christian Brothers - CFC, Romeoville, IL, 1987
  24 140. Brothers of Christian Instruction - FIC, Alfred, ME, 1987
  25 149. Holy Cross Brothers - CSC, Notre Dame, IN, 1987
  26 151. Holy Cross Brothers - CSC, New Rochelle, NY, 1987
  27 156. Brothers of Sacred Heart -SC, Belvidere, NJ, 1987
  28 157. Xaverian Brothers - CFX, Kensington, MD, 1987
Box Folder
2 1 102. Precious Blood Fathers - CPPS, Dayton OH, 1987
  2 103. Norbertines - O Praem, De Pere, WI, 1987
  3 104. Redemptorists - CSSR, Brooklyn NY, 1987
  4 106. Redemptorists - CSSR, SF, CA, 1987
  5 109. Josephite Fathers - SSJ, Baltimore, MD, 1987
  6 110. Priest of the Sacred Heart - SCJ, Hales Corners, WI, 1987
  7 111. Congregation of the Sacred Heart - SSCC, Fairhaven, MA, 1987
  8 112. Missionaries of St. Charles - CS, NY, NY (Scalabrinians), 1987
  9 113. Society of St. Columbian - SSC, St Columbans, NE, 1987
  10 114. Society of St. Edmund - SSE, Burlington, VT, 1987
  11 116. Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Toledo OH, 1987
  12 118. Salesians -SDB, New Rochelle, NY, 1987
  13 123. Missionaries of Africa - M. Afr (White Fathers), Washington DC, 1987
  14 124. Xavierian Missionary Fathers - SX, Wayne, NJ, 1987
  15 125. Missionhurst - CICM, Arlington, VA, 1987
  16 128. Suplicians - SS, Baltimore MD, 1987
  17 131. Sons of Mary Missionary Soc. - FMSI, Framingham MA, 1987
  18 132. Pauline Fathers - OSP, Doylestown, PA, 1987
Box Folder
3 1 168. Benedictine Sisters - OSB, St. Joseph, MN, 1987
  2 171. Missionary Benedictines - OSB, Norfolk, NE, 1987
  3 172. Olivetan Benedictine Sisters - OSB, North Jonesboro, AR, 1987
  4 173. Corpus Christi Carmelites, 1987
  5 174. Discalced Carmelite Nuns - OCD, Towson MD, 1987
  6 176. Discalced Carmelite Nuns - OCD, Santa Fe, NM, 1987
  7 178. Sisters of Charity of Incarnate Word - CCVI, Grapevine, TX, 1987
  8 180. Daughters of Charity - DC, Emmitsburg, MD, 1987
  9 181. Daughters of Charity - DC, St. Louis, MO, 1987
  10 182. Daughters of Charity - DC, Evansville, IN, 1987
  11 183. Daughters of Charity - DC, Albany, NY, 1987
  12 187. Sisters of Charity (Grey Nuns) - SGM, Lexington, MA, 1987
  13 188. Sisters of Charity - SC, Mt. St. Joseph, OH, 1987
  14 189. Sisters of Charity - St. Hyacinth - SCSH, Lewiston, ME, 1987
  15 191. Sisters of Charity - Leavenworth - SCL, Leavenworth, KS, 1987
  16 192. Sisters of Charity of Nazareth - SCN, Nazareth, KY, 1987
  17 194. Sisters of Providence - SP, Seattle WA, 1987
  18 195. Sisters of Providence - SP, Spokane. WA, 1987
  19 196. Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ, 1987
  20 198. Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent, Bronx, NY, 1987
  21 199. Sisters of Charity of Seton Hall - SC, Greensburg, PA, 1987
  22 202. Sisters of Charity of BVM - BVM, Dubuque, IA, 1987
  23 208. Sisters of Good Shepherd - RGS, St. Louis, MO, 1987
  24 213. Sisters of Divine Savior - SDS, Milwaukee, WI, 1987
  25 217. Dominican Sisters - OP, Columbus, OH, 1987
  26 419. Sisters of St Joseph - SSJ, Holyoke, MA, 1987
  27 420. Sisters of St Joseph - CSJ, Wichita, KS, 1987
  28 421. Sisters of St Joseph Carondelet, St Louis, MO, 1987
  29 422. Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet, St Paul, MN, 1987
  30 423. Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet, St Paul, MN, 1987
  31 425. Sisters of St. Joseph Carondelet, Honolulu, HI, 1987
  32 426. Sisters of St. Joseph of Chamberg, West Hartford, CT, 1987
  33 428. Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille, New Orleans LA, 1987
  34 430. Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1987
  35 431. Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, Bellevue, WA, 1987
  36 435. Society of St. Ursula, Rhinebeck, NY, 1987
  37 436. Ursuline Nuns - OSU, Bronx NY, 1987
  38 437. Ursuline Nuns - OSU, Chrystal City, MO, 1987
  39 439. Ursuline Nuns - OSU, Dedham, MA, 1987
  40 440. Ursuline Nuns - OSU, Louisville, KY, 1987
  41 441. Ursuline Nuns - OSU, Cleveland, OH, 1987
  42 442. Ursuline Nuns of Tildork - RU, Jamaica, NY, 1987
  43 443. Vincentian Sisters of Charity - VSC, Pgh, PA, 1987
  44 448. Sisters of Lamb of God - AD, Philpot, KY, 1987
  45 452. Poor Clare Missionary Sisters - MC, Santa Ana,CA 1987
Box Folder
4 1 218. Dominican Sisters - OP, Sinsinawa, WI, 1987
  2 219. Dominican Sisters - OP, San Rafael, CA, 1987
  3 220. Dominican Sisters - OP, Amityville, NY, 1987
  4 222. Dominican Sisters - OP, Racine, WI, 1987
  5 223. Dominican Sisters - OP, Springfield IL, 1987
  6 224. Dominican Sisters - OP, Sparkill, NY, 1987
  7 226. Dominican Sisters - OP, Adrian, MI, 1987
  8 227. Dominican Sisters - OP, Grand Rapids, MI, 1987
  9 228. Dominican Sisters - OP, Blauvelt, NY, 1987
  10 233. Dominican Sisters - OP, Kenosha, WI, 1987
  11 234. Maryknoll Sisters - MM, Maryknoll, NY, 1987
  12 254. Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph - FSSJ, Hamburg, NY, 1987
  13 259. Sisters of St. Francis - OSF, Glenn Riddle, PA, 1987
  14 260. Sisters of St. Francis - OSF, Pgh, PA, 1987
  15 262. Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Conception - SMIC, Patterson, NJ, 1987
  16 264. School Sisters of St. Francis - SSSF, Milwaukee, WI, 1987
  17 267. Servants of the Holy Infancy - OSF, N. Plainfield, NJ, 1987
  18 268. Sisters of the Infant Jesus - IJ, Daly City, CA, 1987
  19 269. Sisters of St. Francis - OSF, Green Bay, WI, 1987
  20 271. Sisters of St. Francis - OSF, Denver, CO, 1987
  21 277. Sisters of St. Mary - SSM, St. Louis, MO, 1987
  22 281. Franciscans of Mary Immaculate - FMI, Amarillo, TX, 1987
  23 283. Sisters of St. Francis - OSF, Milwaukee, WI, 1987
  24 286. Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother - SSM, Milwaukee, WI, 1987
  25 288. Sisters of St. Francis - OSF, Rochester, MN, 1987
  26 289. Franciscan Sisters of Allegany - OSF, Allegany NY, 1987
  27 290. Sisters of Immaculate Heart - SCIM, Saco, ME, 1987
  28 291. Sisters of the Holy Cross - CSC, Notre Dame, IN, 1987
  29 292. Sisters of the Holy Cross - CSC, Pittsfield, NH, 1987
  30 294. Servants of the Holy Spirit - SSPS, Techny, IL 1987
  31 295. Sisters of the Holy Spirit - SHSP, San Antonio, TX, 1987
  32 296. Sisters of Holy Family - SSF, NO LA, 1987
  33 299. Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth, Phila, PA, 1987
  34 335. Sisters of IHM, Scranton, PA, 1987
  35 343. Sisters of Mercy - RSM, W. Hartford, CT 1987
  36 346. Sisters of Mercy - RSM, Pgh PA, 1987
  37 349. Sisters of Mercy - RSM, Rochester, NY, 1987
  38 350. Sisters of Mercy - RSM, Burlingame, CA, 1987
Box Folder
5 1 237. Monastery of St. Clare- OSC, Mpls, MN, 1987
  2 239. Bernadine Sisters - OSF, Villanova, PA, 1987
  3 240. Franciscan Sisters - FSPA, LaCrosse, WI 1987
  4 241. Sisters of St. Francis - OSF, Oldenburg, IN, 1987
  5 242. Sisters of St. Francis - OSF, Joliet, IL, 1987
  6 243. Felician Sisters - CSSF, Livonia, MI, 1987
  7 248. Franciscan Missionaries of Mary - FMM, New York, NY, 1987
Box Folder
6 1 1. Society of African Missions - SMA, Tenafly, NJ, 1987
  2 3. Franciscans of Atonement - SA, New York, NY, 1987
  3 5. Augustinians - OSA, Olympia Fields, IL, 1987
  4 10. Benedictine Fathers - OSB, Collegeville, MN, 1987
  5 11. Benedictine Fathers - OSB, Achison, KS, 1987
  6 13. Benedictine Fathers - OSB, Lisle, IL, 1987
  7 14. Benedictine Fathers - OSB, Richardton, ND, 1987
  8 17. Benedictine Fathers - OSB, St. Meinrads, IN, 1987
  9 19. Benedictine Fathers - OSB, St Joseph, LA, 1987
  10 20. Benedictine Fathers - OSB, St Benedict, OR, 1987
  11 22. Benedictine Fathers - OSB, Benet Lake, WI, 1987
  12 28. Capuchin Friars - OFM Cap, Pgh, PA, 1987
  13 33. Legion of Christ - LC, Cheshire, CT, 1987
  14 34. Claretion Priests and Brothers - CMF, LA, CA, 1987
  15 40. Franciscan Friars - OFM, Cincinnati, OH, 1987
  16 42. Franciscan Friars - OFM, Pulaski, WI, 1987
  17 48. Conv. Franciscans - OFM, Conv, Baltimore, MD, 1987
  18 55. Holy Cross Fathers - CSC, South Bend, IN, 1987
  19 333. Sisters of I.H.M., Monroe, MI, 1987
  20 363. Xaverian Missionary Society - XMM, Worcester, MA, 1987
  21 364. Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, Washington DC, 1987
  22 365. Comboni Missionary Sisters - CMS, Richmond, VA, 1987
  23 366. Mission Helpers of Sacred Heart - MHSH, Baltimore, MD, 1987
  24 368. Religious Teachers of Filipinni - MFP, Morristown, NJ, 1987
  25 369. Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, Huntington IN, 1987
  26 370. Adorers of Blood of Christ - Red Bud, IL, 1987
  27 371. Adorers of Blood of Christ - Wichita, Kansas, 1987
  28 372. Sisters of Precious Blood - CPPS, Dayton, OH, 1987
  29 373. Sisters of Precious Blood - CPPS, O'Fallon, MO, 1987
  30 374. School Sisters of Notre Dame - SSND, Milwaukee, WI, 1987
  31 375. School Sisters of Notre Dame - SSND, Baltimore, MD, 1987
  32 376. School Sisters of Notre Dame - SSND, St. Louis, MO, 1987
  33 383. Sisters of Notre Dame - SND, Ipswich MA, 1987
  34 386. Sisters of Notre Dame - SND, Cincinnati, OH, 1987
Box Folder
7 1 249. Franciscan Missionaries for Africa. Brighton, MA, 1987
  2 250. Franciscan Missionary Sisters - OSF, Soquel, CA, 1987
  3 253. Franciscans of Christian Charity, Manitowoc, WI, 1987
  4 302. Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception - Montreal CANADA, 1987
  5 306. Ancilla Domini Sisters - PHCJ, Donaldson, IN, 1987
  6 307. Religions of Jesus and Mary - RJM, Hyattsville, MD, 1987
  7 312. Society of the Holy Child Jesus - SHCJ, Drexel Hill, PA, 1987
  8 317. Marist Missionary Sisters - SMSM, Waltham MA, 1987
  9 318. Religious of heart of Mary - RSHM, Tarrytown, NY, 1987
  10 325. Sisters of Presentation of Mary - PM, Manchester, NH, 1987
  11 327. Sisters of Presentation - PBVM, Dubuque, IA, 1987
  12 328. Sisters of Presentation - Newburgh, NY, 1987
  13 329. Sisters of Presentation - PBVM, SF, CA, 1987
  14 334. Sisters of IHM, Immaculata, PA, 1987
  15 352. Sisters of Mercy - RSM, Chicago, IL, 1987
  16 355. Sisters of Mercy, RSM, Dobbs Ferry, NY, 1987
  17 357. Sisters of Mercy - RSM, St. Louis, MO, 1987
  18 391. Daughters of St. Paul - DSP, Jamaica Plain, MA, 1987
  19 392. Little Sisters of the Poor - LSP, Queens Village, NY, 1987
  20 395. Sisters of Divine Providence - CDP, Allison Park, PA, 1987
  21 396. Sisters of Divine Providence - CDP, Melbourne, KY, 1987
  22 397. Sisters of Providence - SP, Holyoke, MA, 1987
  23 398. Sisters of Providence - SP, St Mary of Woods, IN, 1987
  24 399. Sisters of Resurrection - CR, Chicago IL, 1987
  25 401. Religion of Holy Union - SUSC, Fall River, MA, 1987
  26 404. Congress of St. Agnes - CSA, Fond du Lac, WI, 1987
  27 408. Missionary Sisters of St. Columbian, Chicago, IL, 1987
  28 411. Sisters of St Joseph - CSJ, Brighton, MA, 1987
  29 414. Sisters of St. Joseph - SSJ, Erie, PA, 1987
  30 415. Sisters of St. Joseph - SSJ, Nazareth, MI, 1987
  31 416. Sisters of St. Joseph - CSJ, Baden, PA, 1987
  32 418. Sisters of Joseph - CSJ, Concordia, KS, 1987
                       
Series Two, 1987-1989, 2012 (1 box)
Box 8 contains correspondence pertaining to the Religious Communities and Missions Survey along with original research and VHS tapes of Stransky lecture
Box Folder
8 1 Religious Communities and Missionaries Survey Collection Notes 2012
  2 Dries, Angelyn, 1988
  3 Loretto Sisters - China, 1987
  4 Kennelly, Karen, 1988
  5 Maher - USCMA Writing of History, 1987-1989
  6 SSND Missions, (n.d.)
  7 Stransky Ideas: History of American Missions, 1987
  8 Stransky Talk September 1987, 1987
  9 Bibliography - Missions, 1987-1988
  10 USCMA - Annual Missionary Survey, 1982-1987
  11 USCMA - Attitudes Toward Mission, 1977, 1984
  12 USCMA - Archives, (n.d.)
  13 Assorted Stransky research, ca.1987
  14 Stransky Talk VHS, 1987
        (2 VHS tapes of lecture)

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Related Material

Index Terms

Bibliography

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series One, 1987

Series Two, 1987-1989, 2012

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