Tag Archives: New York

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.



Harold Kleinsinger Collection, 1942-1979

Letterhead of 1944 correspondence to Professor Kleinsinger

Finding Aid (PDF)

Harold Kleinsinger was born in New York City on July 20, 1907. He studied at Fordham University and received a Ph. G and Ph. C there. He received his B.S. from the City College of New York and M.S. in Analytical Chemistry from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Kleinsinger was a professor of analytical chemistry and physics at the St. John’s University School of Pharmacy from 1931 to 1973. He established the Iota Chapter of Rho Pi Phi, and was an honorary member of the Skull and Circle honor society. He died in New York City on January 6, 2001.

This collection is comprised mainly of letters sent to Professor Kleinsinger, as well as a few pieces of memorabilia and other papers. Kleinsinger maintained correspondence with his former pharmacy students who joined the war effort, becoming pharmacists, medical technicians, chemists, soldiers and sailors during World War II. The letters include observations of daily life on the military base or aboard navy ships, requests for letters of reference, news of promotions in rank, and progress in their studies and research. On a more personal note, his students also sent announcements of marriages and births, and requested news of former classmates and professors back home at St. John’s University. Some of the students were Jewish, as was Kleinsinger: one former student, Nat Simon, writes to Kleinsinger about facing discrimination due to Jewish quotas in medical schools. There is one letter from pharmacy faculty member Hugh Luongo, who left St. John’s to serve in the war. Many of his students continued the correspondence for years after the war ended. Letters were sometimes addressed to Harold and his wife Frieda and their children. There are also a number of letters sent to Harold by his family members.

St. John’s University made important contributions to the wartime effort. In addition to the work of students in the pharmacy program, the university provided training for two hundred and fifty men for basic engineering. They were subsequently transferred to foreign battlefronts. St. John’s also offered free courses in engineering, science, and management war training with help from the U.S. Office of Education. St. John’s served as a training site for the Army Specialized Training Corps, (3230th Service Command Unit) from December 1943 to April 1944.

Exhibition: Lecture on American Friends of Irish Neutrality

To mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the American Friends of Irish Neutrality, the St. John’s University archives will exhibit some of the records and materials of the World War II era organization at a special academic lecture on Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m. at its Manhattan Campus.
For more information and to RSVP: http://goo.gl/604TUl
American Friends of Irish Neutrality lecture and exhibit

James J. Finn Papers, 1918-1950

James J. Finn papersThis collection contains the personal papers of Lieutenant James J. Finn, a detective in the New York City Police Department. Included are clippings, memorabilia, correspondence, depositions, issues of popular magazines containing articles about kidnappings, undated and untitled lists and bibliography, and a bound pamphlet. There are several photographs, including images the “aerial” or “airplane” burglars, Finn with the “alien squad” and Richard Hauptman. Materials are about the kidnapping cases of Charles A. Lindbergh, III, Lt. John J. O’Connell, Jr., the murder of Norman Redwood, other criminal activities, and Detective Finn’s work on the police force of New York City.

Finding aid (PDF) James J. Finn Papers

Exhibition: A Window onto NYC History: The View from St. John’s University’s Archival Collections

Exhibition Dates: October 6-24, 2014
M-Tu 10-4; Th-Fr 9:30-2:30, Wed by appointment
Opening Reception: October 6, 2014
5:30 pm -7:00 pm
Location: Chin Ying Asian Library, Sun Yat-sen Hall, St. John’s University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Queens, NY 11439


The exhibition highlights more than a dozen collections with connections to the history of New York City. The wide-ranging collections include those that focus on tennis, music and art, science, politics, criminal justice, World War II, the Catholic Church, and Irish-American organizations. The exhibition will be held in the Chin Ying Asian Library, which features carved panels from the Republic of China Pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair.

This event is part of New York Archives Week 2014.

For more information, contact us at 718-990-1465 or archives@stjohns.edu.

Gottscheer Heritage Preservation Collection

Gottscheer Heritage Preservation CollectionGottscheers are the descendents of people from the German-speaking area of Gottschee in the Austrian Duchy of Carniola, presently part of Slovenia. The Slovene name for this district is Kocevje. By 1945, most Gottscheers had left their homeland, and many settled in Queens, New York. In 1997, the first books relating to Gottschee were donated to the University Libraries by representatives of the Gottscheer Relief Association of Ridgewood, New York. The collection has grown to approximately 7 linear feet of primarily published material, in addition to audiocassettes, photographs, and other documents. Subjects covered include the language, literature, music, history, and culture of Gottschee. Newsletters and newspapers such as the Gottscheer Zeitung are also part of the collection.