Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Vincent Bavetta Collection, circa 1909-1940s

Vincenzo (Vincent) Bavetta, Jr. was born on Feb. 27, 1879 in Agrigento, Sicily. One of four children, he moved to America with his family in 1889 and later became a naturalized citizen in 1894. Between October 1900 and January 1901 Bavetta studied composition with noted composer Edward MacDowell at Columbia University in New York City. Around 1905, Vincent and his two brothers Vito and Anthony became involved in the Brooklyn Marine Band for which Vincent wrote the band’s arrangements and original music. Later, the Bavetta brothers formed their own professional band named, “V[ito]. Bavetta’s Concert Band”. The bands played regularly at Dreamland at Coney Island, Luna Park in Brooklyn, and the Hotel Riccadonna at Brighton Beach. In 1927, Vincent began working at St. John’s University, reviving the college’s long-dormant orchestra. By 1930, the orchestra grew from an extracurricular activity to a fully accredited course. He continued to teach at St. John’s until 1932. In the late 1950’s, Vincent and his wife moved from Brooklyn to Wantagh, Long Island where he died in 1965.

Vincent Bavetta’s unfinished five-part opera centers on the story of Pygmalion (King of Cyprus) who cannot find love because he has studied women and finds them vain and loquacious. His only joy in life is the statue that he created, wishing her warm and alive. The statue speaks, telling him not to blaspheme for fear of punishment by the gods. Pygmalion asks the statue to speak again, saying he doesn’t care about the gods’ punishment. Bavetta likely worked on this piece after his time at St. John’s, possibly in the late 1930s-1940s.  Also included are several photographs of the Brooklyn Marine Band at Coney Island in 1910, when Vincent Bavetta was the conductor.

Finding Aid (PDF)

Bavetta Marine Band, Brooklyn

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Records of St. John the Baptist Church, Brooklyn, 1873-1989

In 1865, the Right Reverend John Loughlin, the first bishop of Brooklyn, invited the Order of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul (the Vincentians) to found a Catholic institution of learning in Brooklyn. Led by the Reverend Edward M. Smith, C.M., a small community of Vincentians purchased a large plot of land for the college, on which was a small house for the brothers. The name originally chosen for the college in 1868 was Mary, Queen of the Isles, but by 1869 was
changed to St. John the Baptist, Bishop Loughlin’s patron. The college grounds would include a parish church, also run by the Congregation of the Mission. The cornerstone of a wooden-framed church was laid in 1869. This wooden church was soon rendered inadequately small by the growth of the parish, and in 1888 the cornerstone to a new church was laid. This new church, designed by the famed architect Patrick C. Keely, was based on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
It took six years to build the stone structure, which was finally dedicated in 1894. When St. John’s College (later, St. John’s University) moved to Queens in the late 1950’s, the direct affiliation was ended. However, it continues to serve as an active parish and as the main church of the Vincentian community that was founded in 1868.

This collection contains various programs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other documents relating to St. John the Baptist Church and the Vincentian community in Brooklyn. Of note are the detailed Sunday Announcement books dating from 1873 to 1936 which list upcoming masses, meetings and events of various parish groups including the college,
parochial school, and Sunday school classes; as well as marriage banns and prayer requests for ill and deceased members of the parish.

Finding Aid (PDF)

Digital Collection

St. John the Baptist Church 1894 program

Jollon Family Papers, 1898-1955

This collection includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other documents related to the Jollon family, of which several members attended St. John’s University. The majority of the papers relate to Alfred J. Jollon, who graduated from St. John’s College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1905 and a Master of Arts in 1908. He served on the St. John’s College Alumni Association and the Board of Trustees, and was awarded an Honorary Honorary Doctor of Laws from St. John’s College in 1929.

In addition, there are various documents that illustrate the university’s history, including correspondence regarding a patent filed and received by Dr. Rev. Edward J. Carey, C.M. of St. John’s College for a type of athletic hurdle equipment (filed October 21, 1922, issued April 14, 1925).

Finding aid (PDF)

Jollon Family Papers image

 

St. John’s University Scrapbook, 1870-1935

This scrapbook contains memorabilia and newspaper clippings related to St. John’s University and to the Catholic community in Brooklyn, including events held at the Lewis Avenue, Brooklyn Campus at St. John’s College Hall, the Church of St. John the Baptist, the St. John’s Seminary, the St. John’s Parochial
School, and events in celebration of John Loughlin, the first Bishop of Brooklyn (1817-1891). There are also programs for various events relating to the centenary celebration of the Miraculous Medal in 1930. A number of St. John’s University presidents, church officials, and other prominent persons related to
early St. John’s history are represented in the scrapbook.

It is inferred that Joseph W. Carroll, a student at St. John’s University from 1870-1874, was the original creator of the scrapbook because of a penmanship sample which matches the remains of correspondence long ago ripped out of the
scrapbook dating to 1870 when he was a student at St. John’s, as well as Carroll’s involvement in the various events for Bishop Loughlin included in this scrapbook.

Finding Aid (PDF)

St. John's University Scrapbook

 

Student Composition Book, 1871-1874

This composition book was handwritten by seventeen students of St. John’s College, Brooklyn, New York, (founded in 1870) between 1871 and approximately 1874. The ledger has a plain cover and lined paper with no page numbers. The title page reads, “Compositions of Class of 1871-72 Saint John’s College Cor. of Lewis + Willoughby avs Brooklyn L.I. N.Y.” in decorative handwriting. The binding is fragile and the ink on some of the pages is faded.

The entries within this volume vary in length; some are shorter and authored by only one or two students, while the longest story, “Edward Bradwell” was written by nine students contributing various chapters. Only a few entries are dated. One entry describes the funeral services of the Rev. David O’Mulane, Pastor of the Church of St. Vincent de Paul, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on October 25, 1873.
The seventeen student authors are listed in the roster of pupils in the St. John’s College course catalogs. The list below shows the academic years in which each student is listed, as well as their home address at the time. Several of the authors of the essays in the book were founding members of the school’s first student society the “St. John’s Literary Union.” The society’s motto was Veritas Semper Vincit (truth always prevails).

Finding Aid (PDF)

Read a blog post about the Composition Book

Student Composition Book 1870's

Catholic Newspaper Collection

A collection of seven Catholic newspapers published in New York and Baltimore, Maryland. Two are German language newspapers.

  • The Record of the Catholic Benevolent Legion (Brooklyn)
  • Metropolitan Record: Official Organ of the Archbishop of New York (New York)
  • The Illustrated Catholic American (New York)
  • New York Freeman’s Journal and Catholic Register (New York)
  • The Catholic Review (Brooklyn)
  • Katholische Kirchen Zeitung (New York)
  • Katholische Volks Zeitung (Baltimore, Maryland)

 

The Record of the Catholic Benevolent Legion (Brooklyn)
1888-1892
1 bound volume
18.5 x 12 inches

1888-12-01 to 1892-03 (v1:12 to v10:3)

Metropolitan Record: Official Organ of the Archbishop of New York (New York)
1860, 1863
2 bound volumes
16 x 11 inches

1860-07-07 to 1860-12-29 (v2:1 to v2:25)
1863-01-03 to 1863-12-19 (v5:1 to v5:51)

The Illustrated Catholic American (New York)
1880-1881
4 bound volumes
16 x 11 inches

1880-01-17 to 1880-06-26 (v1:1 to 1:23)
1880-07-10 to 1880-12-25 (v2:2 to 2:26)
1881-01-01 to 1881-06-25 (v3:1 to 3:26)
1881-07-02 to 1881-12-31 (v4:1 to 4:27)

New York Freeman’s Journal and Catholic Register (New York)
1863-1879, some missing issues
11 bound volumes
22×15.5 inches

1863-04-18 to 1864-03-19 (v24:1 to v:24:50)
1864-04-16 to 1865-04-01 (v25:1 to v25:52)
1865-09-16 to 1867-03-23 (v26:23 to v27:52)
1869-03-27 to 1871-03-18 (v30:1 to v31:52)
1869-09-11 to 1875-05-29 (v30:35 to v36:11)
1870-03-26 to 1871-03-18 (v31:1 to v31:52)
1871-03-25 to 1872-03-16 (v32:1 to v32:52)
1871-03-25 to 1873-03-15 (v32:1 to v33:52)
1873-03-22 to 1873-12-27 (v34:1 to v34:41)
1874-03-21 to 1875-12-25 (v35:1 to v36:41)
1877-03-17 to 1879-03-08 (v38:1 to v39:52)

The Catholic Review (Brooklyn)
1872-1893
38 bound volumes
15 x 10.5 inches
Also available on 15 reels of microfilm 1872-1895

1872-04-20 to 1872-12-28 (v1:1 to v2:26)
1873-01-04 to 1873-06-28 (v3:1 to v3:25)
1873-07-05 to 1873-12-27 (v4:1 to v4:26)
1874-01-04 to 1874-07-27 (v5:1 to v5:26)
1874-07-04 to 1874-12-26 (v6:1 to v6:26)
1874-09-05 to 1875-06-26 (v6:10 to v7:26)
1875-07-05 to 1875-12-25 (v8:1 to v8:26)
1876-01-01 to 1876-06-24 (v9:1 to v9:26)
1876-06-24 to 1876-12-23 (v10:1 to v10:26)
1877-01-01 to 1877-06-30 (v11:1 to v11:27)
1877-01-01 to 1877-12-29 (v11:1 to v12:26)
1877-07-07 to 1877-12-29 (v12:1 to v12:26)
1878-01-05 to 1878-12-21 (v13:1 to v14:25)
1879-01-04 to 1879-06-28 (v15:1 to v15:27)
1879-07-05 to 1879-12-27 (v16:1 to v16:26)
1880-01-03 to 1880-06-26 (v17:1 to v17:26)
1880-07-10 to 1880-12-25 (v18:1 to v18:26)
1881-01-01 to 1881-06-25 (v19:1 to v19:26)
1881-07-02 to 1881-12-31 (v20:1 to v20:27)
1882-01-07 to 1881-06-24 (v21:1 to v21:25)
1882-06-05 to 1881-12-30 (v22:1 to v22:27)
1883-01-06 to 1883-06-30 (v23:1 to v23:26)
1883-06-14 to 1883-12-29 (v24:1 to v24:26)
1884-01-06 to 1884-06-28 (v25:1 to v25:26)
1884-07-05 to 1884-12-27 (v26:1 to v26:26)
1885-01-03 to 1885-06-27 (v27:1 to v27:26)
1885-07-04 to 1885-12-26 (v28:1 to v28:26)
1886-01-02 to 1886-06-26 (v29:1 to v29:26)
1886-07-13 to 1886-12-25 (v30:1 to v30:26)
1887-01-01 to 1887-06-25 (v31:1 to v31:26)
1887-07-02 to 1887-12-31 (v32:1 to v32:27)
1888-01-07 to 1888-06-30 (v33:1 to v33:26)
1888-07-07 to 1888-12-29 (v34:1 to v34:26)
1889-01-05 to 1889-12-28 (v35:1 to v36:26)
1890-01-04 to 1890-12-27 (v37:1 to v38:26)
1891-01-03 to 1891-12-26 (v39:1 to v40:26)
1892-01-02 to 1892-12-31 (v41:1 to v42:27)
1893-01-07 to 1893-12-16 (v43:10 to v44:24)

Katholische Kirchen Zeitung (New York)
1852-1863
12 bound volumes
16 x 10.5 inches

1852-06-10 to 1853-06-26 (v7:1 to v7:52)
1853-06-16 to 1854-06-08 (v8:1 to v8:52)
1854-07 to 1855-07 (v9:1 to v9:52)
1855-07 to 1856-07 (v10:1 to v10:52)
1856-07 to 1856-07 (v11:1 to v11:52)
1856-01 to 1856-12 (v10:25 to v11:23)
1857-01-23 to 1858-07 (v12:1 to v12:52)
1857-07-09 to 1857-07-23 (v11:51 to v12:1)
1858-07 to 1859-07 (v13:1 to v13:52)
1858-06-17 to 1863-12-31 (v12:48 to v18:22)
1859-07 to 1860-07 (v14:1 to v14:52)
1860-07 to 1861-07 (v15:1 to v15:52)

Katholische Volks Zeitung (Baltimore, Maryland)
1861-1869
5 bound volumes
18 x 12.5 inches

1861-11 to 1862-05
1862-05 to 1862-11
1865-08 to 1866-04
1866-05 to 1867-04
(v2:26 to v2:52)
(v3:1 to v3:29)
(v6:16 to v6:52)
(v7:1 to v7:52)
1862-06 to 1864-04 (v3:8 to v4:54)
1864-05 to 1866-04 (v5:1 to v6:50)
1866-05 to 1868-06 (v7:1 to v8:52)
1868-05 to 1869-04 (v9:1 to v9:52)

Rev. John W. Moore, C.M. Family Papers

The Moore Family Papers include correspondence between John William Vincent Moore, seventh president of St. John’s University from 1906 to 1925, and various members of his family. Also included are several pieces of ephemera and a candlestick rumored to date from the Reformation, when it was used by priests who offered Mass surreptitiously, in secret chapels in the homes of Catholic Scots by the documentation provided. The letters from Fr. Moore detail his life as a seminary student in Germantown, Pennsylvania, his first time visiting St. John’s College in Brooklyn (a temporary assignment before he eventually became President), visiting New York City and touring several churches and other famous sites in New York for the first time, including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and “the Great Bridge of Brooklyn.” He also writes about family life, including the death of his father, whose funeral he was not able to attend, and marriage advice for his sister. Letters from July and August 1914 provide information on Rev. John W. Moore in Europe (Germany, France, and Spain) at the breakout of World War One. A letter dated February 5, 1911 from “Bud,” Fr. Moore’s nephew, to his mother, Mary Weber, provides a description of his last months at the seminary in Germantown, and the reasons why he left to be with his uncle and study at St. John’s College.

Finding Aid (PDF)

Digital Collection

 

George J. Crane Papers, 1898-1949

George James Crane graduated from Boys High School, Brooklyn, in 1910, and then earned a B.A. (cum laude) at St. John’s College in 1914, an M.A. at Columbia University in 1917, and a Ph.D. at Fordham University in 1929. He also served in the armed forces during World War I. Crane was a teacher and principal at several New York City area elementary and high schools including Boys High and Boys Summer High in Brooklyn; East Side Evening High in Manhattan, and P.S. 71. He was the first principal of Bayside High School in Queens, from 1936 until 1951 when he retired. Additionally, from 1920, Crane taught courses in English and American Literature at St. John’s University and Manhattan College. George Crane passed away in 1966.

This collection contains the personal papers of George Crane, including memorabilia, correspondence, photographs, clippings, class and lecture notes, a master’s thesis, dissertation, and publications. There are two scrapbooks; one contains personal items such as school and drama club materials, newspaper clippings, and photographs. The other scrapbook was compiled by Crane’s students in 1933 prior to his trip to England.

George J. Crane portrait

Thomas F. Meehan Catholic History Collection

Thomas Meehan (1854-1942), Brooklyn native, was a historian, newspaper editor, and writer. He was an authority on Irish Catholics, especially in New York. Meehan was managing editor of the “Irish-American” weekly newspaper, New York correspondent for several national and international papers, assistant managing editor of the “Catholic Encyclopedia” and long-standing contributor to “The Tablet,” the newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The collection at St. John’s represents subject files on various topics, primarily focused on the Catholics and Catholic organizations of New York. They were likely used by him as support material for his research. Most of the collection is comprised of newspaper and magazine clippings. Almost all materials except the clippings are in the process of being digitized and added to our digital collections website, including correspondence, pamphlets, images, ephemera, and other documents.

meehan_6_010c

Arthur B. Carton Collection, 1921-1925

carton_baseball_01

Finding Aid (PDF)

Arthur B. Carton received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s College in 1925, and graduated from St. John’s School of Law in 1928. He was the secretary of his freshman class, an editor of the student publication Red and White, a member of the Joyce Kilmer Fraternity, and the manager of the St. John’s College baseball team (1922-1923) and football team (1923). He was actively involved in the Alumni Association for many years.

This collection is comprised primarily of St. John’s sports memorabilia, along with a few class registration cards and academic schedules. The baseball scrapbook contains newspaper clippings about the St. John’s baseball team, some memorabilia, and letterheads mainly from colleges and universities. There is a miniature football-shaped charm inscribed, “St. J. 13 Fordham 0 / Arthur B. Carton MGR / 1923” which he received as the manager of the first entirely St. John’s College football team (without St. John’s Prep students).