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The Catholic Historical Review 88.2 (2002) 395-396

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Book Review

A Guide to Jesuit Archives

McCoog, Thomas M., S.J. A Guide to Jesuit Archives.[The Institute of Jesuit Sources: Studies on Jesuit Topics, No. 23, Series IV; Institutum Historicum Societatis Iesu, Subsidia ad Historiam Societatis Iesu, No. 12.] (St. Louis: The Institute of Jesuit Sources. 2001. Pp. xii, 178. $19.95 paperback.)

A Guide to Jesuit Archives is the creation of Father Thomas M. McCoog, S.J., whose name is familiar to readers of this journal. Father Mark A. Lewis, S.J., Director of Archivum Historicum Societatis Jesu, and Father John W. Padberg, S.J., Director and General Editor of the Institute of Jesuit Sources, were very supportive during the preparation and publication of this reference tool.

In early 1998 McCoog sent a cover letter to all the Jesuit provincials and regional superiors with two questionnaires to be forwarded to the archivist within their province or region. The first questionnaire asks the question: should there be a conference to discuss the current state of archives within the Society and, if the answer be yes, would they help organize the event? With a positive response to the questionnaire, Reverend Father General Peter Hans Kolvenbach approved the meeting of the group in October, 2001.

The second questionnaire was mailed to all the archivists of the Society in the English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish languages. Unfortunately, not every province or region responded! In addition to the usual questions, one finds information on access, restrictions, and major collections (no. 14). The response of each province or region is published here in its original language with an English translation. When a province, region, or mission did not respond, McCoog provided the postal address, fax number, and e-mail address taken from the respective province catalog. The reviewer was impressed with the various detailed responses to the questionnaire, e.g., the Japanese Province and the four-province cluster arrangement of the Midwest Jesuit Archives (Missouri).

If another edition is published, the reviewer suggests that an appendix be added listing the personal paper collections which are listed in the fourteenth question, e.g., Constant Lievens, Thomas Betagh, Joseph Cataldo. If a selection of major repositories which hold Jesuit records could be listed in another list, that may be helpful to the researcher.

This Guide will be useful to anyone, Jesuit or non-Jesuit, researching the history of the Society of Jesus. The reviewer recommends that a copy be located in the reference section of major public libraries and academic libraries throughout the world. [End Page 395]

Father McCoog deserves resounding applause for master-minding this work and bringing The Guide to the public in so short a time.


Michael Grace , S.J.
(Loyola University Chicago)



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