The Catholic University of America

William Henry Russell

An inventory of the William Henry Russell 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: lib-archives@cua.edu

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

Search this page:

To search for text within this finding aid press Ctrl+F to open your web browser's search box.

   

Descriptive Summary

Repository: The American Catholic Research Center and University Archives
Creator: William Henry Russell, August 3, 1895-July 2, 1953
Title: William Henry Russell Papers
Dates: 1913-1953
Extent: 1.5 linear feet; 3 boxes
Abstract: William Henry Russell was a Catholic priest, educator, and publisher in the early twentieth century. His collection includes grade books, personal and professional correspondence, and manuscripts and publishing information.
Collection Number: 68
Language: English

Biographical Note

The Rt. Rev. Msgr. William Henry Russell was a priest, educator, and writer dedicated to making the Catholic message accessible to the average person.

Russell was born in Mitchell, South Dakota on August 3, 1895, to Michael Henry Russell and Nora Kerby. His mother's early death and his father's financial troubles lead to William, his brother Edmund Paul,  and his two sisters being cared for by his extended family, particularly their uncle, William Joseph Kerby. Under Kerby's financial, emotional, and spiritual influence, Russell was educated in Lawler, Iowa, at Mt. Carmel Parochial School, and Dubuque, Iowa at Loras College, before entering the Grand Seminary in Montreal in 1916. In December of 1919, he was ordained as a priest, and celebrated his first mass in Lawler, Iowa alongside his uncle.

Immediately preceeding his ordination, Russell began his career as an educator. He was first sent back to his alma mater, Loras, first as a teacher, and then as a principal. A demanding and energetic teacher, he taught over twenty hours a week, coached varsity sports teams, and acted as the spiritual advisor for the school.

Russell was invited to teach and study for his Doctorate at the Catholic University of America in 1931. He taught Religion and Religious Education at the university for the next twenty two years, and served as the head of the Department of Religious Education from 1951 until 1953.

During his teaching career, Russell was actively engaged with his priestly duties, publishing efforts, and activism. He wrote and published six original titles, including the influential Chats With Jesus (1941, 1942, 1944), Jesus the Divine Teacher (1944), and Teaching the Christian Virtues (1952), along with a multitude of articles. He helped found and ran the Catholic Evidence Guild of DC for twenty years, an activist group that distributed literature and made weekly public speeches calling people towards the Catholic Church. He also helped found and acted as the first secretary for the William J. Kerby Foundation.

Russell died on July 2, 1953, after suffering through years of ill health and multiple surgeries. He was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, in the Catholic University's plot, in Washington, D.C.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents

The William Henry Russell Papers collection contains 1.5 linear feet of records focused on the professional career of the Right Reverend Monsignor Russell from 1913-1953. The collection consist mainly of correspondence, notes, articles, newspaper clippings, and professional documents associated with his publication and teaching career, along with materials and correspondence associated with his more traditional priestly duties and personal life. The collection is divided into six series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, CUA, Publications, Clippings Scrapbook, and Photographs.

Series 1 (1913-1953) focuses on Russell's personal papers. Consisting primarily of correspondence with close friends and family members, this series holds letters from Russell's uncle, William Kerby, that span Russell's school years and early priesthood. Other materials included in this series are a school book of Greek syntax used by Russell, and the eulogy from his funeral.

Series 2 (1917-1953) contains materials relating to Russell's multifaceted professional life. Consisting primarily of correspondence, brochures, and professional papers, this series spans from his earliest teaching days to his death. It includes original research into Catholic education programs, leadership paperwork for the Catholic Evidence Guild, professional marriage advisement, report cards and disciple letters from his early teaching career, certificates he earned, and literature from professional functions he attended.

Series 3 (1922-1953), consists of paperwork and correspondence from Russell's tenure at the Catholic University of America, both as a student and as a faculty member. Along with his dissertation, this collection includes the official paperwork for his various appointments within the school, inner-faculty memos and correspondence, meeting notes and information for various professional organizations and committees, and a student record book.

Series 4 (1926-1953) consists of notes, manuscripts, brochures, reference materials, correspondence with publishers, and royalty receipts from some of Russell's published works, including 'Chats with Jesus,' 'Christ the Leader,' and 'Jesus the Divine Teacher.'.

Series 5 (n.d.) consists of pages of a dissembled scrapbook that Russell kept of newspaper clippings on Religion, Education, and History that interested him. Several articles in this collection directly influenced his published works, and spurred his later research interests.

Series 6 (1936) consists of a single photograph of the Kerby-Russell extended family, taken in Elk Point, South Dakota, on August 2, 1936. The back of the portrait contains a list of the people pictured.

Return to the Table of Contents


Arrangement

The William Henry Russell Papers consists of 6 Series:







Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

None

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

This collection was acquired in deposits by Russell between 1938 and 1944, and posthumously by his department at the Catholic University of America in 1953. Additional materials pertinent to this collection were obtained from the William Joseph Kerby Papers and the William J. Kerby Foundation Records.

Processing Information

Processing completed in March 2011 by Lauren Kanne. EAD markup completed in March 2011 by Lauren Kanne.

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

Kerby, William Joseph Papers

William J. Kerby Foundation Records

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

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


Persons:
Kerby, William Joseph
Russell, William Henry

Organizations:
Catholic Evidence Guild
Catholic University of America
Loras College
William J. Kerby Foundation

Places:
Dubuque, IO
Lawler, IO
Washington, D.C.

Subjects:
Catholic Education
Education and culture


Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection

                       
Series 1: Personal Papers, 1913-1953 (1 Box)
This series consists primarily of correspondence with close friends and family members, this including letters from Russell's uncle, William Kerby, that give significant insight into Russell's school years and early priesthood.
Box Folder
1 1 Eulogy, 1953
  2 Greek Syntax, n.d.
  3 Kerby, William Joseph, 1913-1938, n.d.
  4 Leary, William, 1937-1938
  5 Rice Family, 1930-1931, n.d.
                       
Series 2: Professional Papers, 1917-1953 (1 Box)
This series consists primarily of correspondence, brochures, and professional papers. It includes original research into Catholic education programs, leadership paperwork for the Catholic Evidence Guild, professional marriage advisement, report cards and disciple letters from his early teaching career, certificates he earned, and literature from professional functions he attended.
Box Folder
1 6 Army Orientation Course, 1943
  7 Cahill, Esther Marie, 1935-1936
  8 Catholic Education Programs, 1944-1952
  9 Catholic Evidence Guild, 1934-1951
  10 Certificates, 1917, 1950, n.d.
  11 Discipline and Recommendation Letters, 1930-1936
  12 Ford, Benson, 1950
  13 Hefron, Edward, 1946
  14 Horan, Ellamay, 1932, 1943
  15 Marriage Advisements, 1934-1948
  16 Ryan, John K., 1952-1953
  17 Student Records, 1923-1931
  18 Washington Post, 1938-1939
                       
Series 3: The Cathollic University of America (CUA), 1922-1953 (2 Boxes)
This series consists of paperwork and correspondence from Russell's tenure at the Catholic University of America, both as a student and as a faculty member.
Box Folder
1 19 Alumni Association, 1940-1952
  20 Appointments, 1941-1953
  21 Catholic University Correspondence, 1922-1952
  22 Dissertation, 1932-1934
  23 Faculty Club, 1944
Box Folder
2 1 Letters from CUA Students, 1942, 1952
  2 Priests and the University, 1946
  3 Student Record Book, 1941-1947
                       
Series 4: Publications, 1926-1953 (1 Box)
This series consists of notes, manuscripts, brochures, reference materials, correspondence with publishers, and royalty receipts from some of Russell's published works.
Box Folder
2 4 B. Herder Book Co., 1926-1951
  5 Bruce Publishing Co., 1933-1952
  6 Catholic University and Trinity College, n.d.
  7 Chats with Jesus, 1941-1948
  8 Christ the Leader, n.d.
  9 Christ the Leader Manuscript, 1937
  10 Compiled References, n.d.
  11 Jesus the Divine Teacher, 1941-1944
  12 P.J. Kennedy and Sons Publishers, 1941-1953
  13 Publication Correspondence, 1926-1953
                       
Series 5: Clippings Scrapbook, n.d. (1 Box)
This series consists of pages of a dissembled scrapbook that Russell kept of newspaper clippings on Religion, Education, and History that interested him.
Box Folder
3 1 Religion [1], n.d.
  2 Religion [2], n.d.
  3 History [1], n.d.
  4 History [2], n.d.
  5 History [3], n.d.
  6 Education, n.d.
                       
Series 6: Photographs, 1936 (1 Box)
This series consists of a single photograph of the Kerby-Russell extended family, taken in Elk Point, South Dakota, on August 2, 1936.
Box Folder
3 7 Family Portrait, 1936

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, 1913-1953

Series 2: Professional Papers, 1917-1953

Series 3: The Cathollic University of America (CUA), 1922-1953

Series 4: Publications, 1926-1953

Series 5: Clippings Scrapbook, n.d.

Series 6: Photographs, 1936

Search the University Libraries' website