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BOOK REVIEWS Calendar of Documents in the Santa Barbara Mission Archives. By Maynard J. Geiger, O.F.M., Ph.D. (Publications of the Academy of American Franciscan History. Bibliographical Series, Vol. 1). Washington, D. C: Academy of American Franciscan History, 1947. Pp. xiv, 291. Cloth bound, $5.00. Paper bound, $3.50. If there is one field of endeavor where it can truthfully be said the Franciscan Order has always particularly excelled, it is that of missionary work. And one of the most successful and widespread Franciscan mission fields was that of Spanish America, from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. But when it comes to a detailed and coherent historical record of those glorious missioners, modern Friars are forced to admit the truth of those sad words of Fr. Heribert Holzapfel, one of the Order's chief modern historians, who says: "The Franciscan Order, though surpassed by none in missionary labors, has been surpassed by almost all other Orders in writing the history of those labors". It was to help wipe away that indictment that the Academy of American Franciscan History was founded in 1944. This Academy, formed of Friar members of all the American Franciscan provinces, has for one of its purposes "the discovery, editing and publishing of documents, bibliographies and original historical works pertaining to the history of the Franciscan Order in the Americas". This is indeed a worthy and long-delayed purpose, but a difficult, time-consuming one. For instance, the volume under review, published by the Academy, was the work of many years and many hands. Fr. Francisco Palou scrutinized and marked many of the documents listed, as did Fr. Estevan Tapis, Fr. José Señan, Fr. Joseph O'Keefe, Fr. Theodore Arentz and Fr. Zephyrin Engelhardt. Fr. Maynard Geiger, the author and editor of the Calendar, who is Archivist of the Old Mission, Santa Barbara, and an Academy member, states in the introduction that he himself devoted seven years to examining and arranging the documents and writing the explanatory texts for each one. It was a labor of love, I am sure, but it was nonetheless a difficult task, for which Father Geiger deserves much credit. That is why the Academy is proud to present this, the first volume of its Bibliographical Series. Fr. Maynard has divided the documents, transcripts and photostats of the Santa Barbara Mission Archives into six sections and lists them 205 206BOOK REVIEWS chronologically according to this division, with appropriate explanations for each item. Section One lists the documents (404 of them) of the "Junípero Serra Collection, 1713 to the Present Time". The original archive was in the hands of Fr. Junípero Serra until his death in 1784. With the gradual secularization and confiscation of the California missions in the early nineteenth century, more and more documents came to Santa Barbara, the only California mission to remain permanently under Franciscan control to the present day. These official papers, mostly letters, form the Junípero Serra Collection. The second Section is called "California Mission Documents, 16401853 ". It forms by far the largest part of the Calendar, listing 1,682 items, which are concerned with mission history of California in general, as distinguished from Serra documents. Because of the chronological listing, it is possible to follow the progressive steps of disintegration which the California missions were made to suffer. From 1853 to 1885 Aiission Santa Barbara was an Apostolic College for training missionaries. Section Three, "Documents of the College of Our Lady of Sorrows at Santa Barbara" treats of this college. The items listed (756) are mostly private or quasi-private ecclesiastical documents, of interest mainly to Franciscans and church authorities. Section Four is entitled "Reports, Statistical Tables, Lists, Etc." and covers the period from the beginning to 1934, during which years the Santa Barbara friary was successively an Indian mission, an Apostolic College, a convent belonging to the Sacred Heart Franciscan Province (1885-1916) of Saint Louis, Missouri, and finally one of the principal convents of the Franciscan Province of Santa Barbara (1916- ). Included in this section are 27 valuable lists of missionaries who worked in California during the years 1796 to 1821. General and special reports (informes) on...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 205-207
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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