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Collection Highlights

The SLU Archives is comprised of several hundred archival collections, covering a variety of topics and disciplines. A few selected highlights include:

University History

These collections contain items dating from as early as 1639 to as late as 1966 and document the founding of the University, the early work of the Jesuits in the St. Louis region, and student and academic life at the University. 

Saint Louis University Dissertations and Theses

Original copies of doctoral dissertations and master's theses do not circulate but are available for consultation in the Archives reading room. Browse the library's catalog for individual titles.  Please contact the Archives ( with any questions or to learn if dissertation reproduction is available for a specific title.

The Walter J. Ong, S.J. Papers

Walter J. Ong, SJ (1912-2003) was a professor of English at Saint Louis University for over thirty years. Over the course of his career, Ong wrote a number of groundbreaking studies in the fields of orality and literacy studies. The Walter J. Ong, S.J. Papers Collection includes Ong’s personal and professional papers, with documents from his teaching, research, and writing.

The James B. Macelwane, S.J. Papers

James B. Macelwane, S.J., was a renowned scientist and professor in the field of geophysics and seismology. The James B. Macelwane, S.J. Papers Collection supplies valuable evidence of Fr. Macelwane’s research and geological studies.

The Alphonse Schwitalla, S.J. and University Hospital Papers

The Alphonse M. Schwitalla Manuscript Collection provides insight into some of the concerns of a Catholic medical educator and hospital administrator in the early and mid-twentieth century and reflects the theological study and religious devotion of a dedicated priest. The collection also offers material for the early history of Firmin Desloge Hospital and is a source of information on the military service of Saint Louis University Medical School graduates in World War II.

The Kurt von Schuschnigg Papers

The Kurt von Schuschnigg Manuscript Collection opens a window on Schuschnigg's political life as the embattled chancellor of Austria between 1934 and 1938 and his later private existence as controversial elder statesman cum academic attempting to interpret his policies and his time to posterity.

The George Wendel Papers 

The George D. Wendel Manuscript Collection sheds light on the socioeconomic distress of many central cities in the late twentieth century and reflects the passion of a committed scholar and teacher of urban change.  It also commemorates the many redevelopment entities at work in St. Louis during the last few decades of the nineteen hundreds and chronicles their improvement efforts.

The Ravenna Mosaic Company Papers

The Ravenna Mosaic Company Papers Collection encompasses all the surviving corporate records of the Ravenna Mosaic Company of St. Louis, MO, which executed some of the most renowned mosaic decoration of religious and commercial buildings in the United States. 

The Timothy and Jeanne Drone Historic Newspaper Collection

A recent donation to the University, the Drone Collection includes newspapers from the 17th century to the present, documenting the evolution of print culture in the United States and Europe. 

Parks College Papers

This expansive collection includes documents from faculty, students, and administration of the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology, founded by Oliver Parks in 1927. Parks College was America’s first federally certified aviation school and holds FAA Air Agency Certificate #1. 

The Joseph Heathcott Collection of Counter-Culture Publications

The Joseph Heathcott Collection of Counterculture Publications consists of approximately 500 publications, predominantly zines, booklets, and pamphlets, though also including a number of newspapers, magazines, journals, and event programs. The publications are of a generally counterculture or underground nature, most frequently anarchist and anti-authoritarian. These materials were collected by Joseph Heathcott, Ph.D., in the course of his work as an activist, community organizer, and later scholar of American Studies.

Saint Louis University Histories

The Saint Louis University Histories collection contains a number of major histories of Saint Louis University. These volumes -- some long out of print -- have been digitized and organized into fully searchable online resources to make them immediately accessible to the community of SLU students, faculty, staff, and alumni and to researchers beyond the university. Each volume is online in its entirety and full-text searchable. However, because of the variety of layouts and typefaces used in these materials, browsing the collection may provide better results than performing a keyword search.

Judge Nathan B. Young, Jr. 

The Nathan B. Young, Jr. Papers document the life and career of St. Louis’s first Black municipal judge and a prominent local civil rights activist. The collection includes Young’s prolific creative achievements, including essays, plays, and paintings. 

The Catholic Parish History Collection 

The Catholic Parish History Collection includes information on select parishes from all 50 states. A notable piece of this collection is the St. Elizabeth’s Church collection, documenting St. Louis’s first Black Catholic parish, with documents starting in 1898. 

The Daniel A. Lord, S.J. Collection

The Daniel A. Lord Collection contains more than 500 pamphlets, articles, plays, musical compositions, and children’s books published by the Queen’s Work, the publishing arm of the Sodality of Our Lady, under the direction of Father Dan Lord (1888-1955). He authored many of the materials himself mainly for the spiritual growth of young people. 

The Peter B. Munch and Charles E. Marske Tristan da Cunha Collections

The Peter A. Munch/Charles E. Marske Tristan da Cunha Collection provides a nearly complete picture of the history and culture of the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha from its discovery in the sixteenth century to about 1984, when the creator of the collection, Peter A. Munch, died. The bulk of the material dates from 1937 to 1970, the years of Munch's professional relationship with the Tristan people. The items in the collection therefore also highlight Munch's own research interests in the areas of culture and personality, inter-group relations, and acculturation.