Tag Archives: st. john’s history

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

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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

 

Christopher J. Gorman Collection, 1932-1940

Christopher Joseph Gorman received his B.A. from St. John’s University in 1934. As an undergraduate he was active in many student organizations, including the Skull & Circle honor society (president), Sigma Zeta Chi, Crusade Club, Student Council,  Torch (business manager), Vincentian (organization editor), Glee Club, Orchestra, and Dramatic Society, as well as class football and basketball, among other activities. Gorman went on to study at St. John’s Law School, from which he graduated in September 1936.  He acted as editor-in-chief of the Law Review journal of St. John’s Law School in 1935-1936.

This collection contains memorabilia collected by Christopher J. Gorman during his time at St. John’s University and as an alumnus, including two scrapbooks he compiled about his education, career, and personal life.

Finding Aid (PDF)

Christopher Gorman yearbook photo

Elaine M. Lilli Collection, 1952-1956

Elaine Marilyn Lilli (née Andrews) graduated from University College at St. John’s University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in June, 1956. She was a member of the Squaw Society (a sorority at University College), Chorus, The Gaels, History Seminar, Intramurals, and St. John’s News, among other activities. This collection contains memorabilia from Elaine M. Lilli’s time at St. John’s University from 1952 to 1956.  The items reflect her academic and extracurricular activities.

Finding Aid (PDF)

Elaine M. Lilli yearbook photo

St. John’s University Audio Collection

This collection contains audio recordings of historical events at St. John’s University, including songs performed by the St. John’s College Glee Club.

Listen to the audio recordings here.

St. John's College Glee Club record

 

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).

 

Exhibition: A Decade of Change: St. John’s University in the 1960s

On view December 2-22, 2014
St. Augustine Hall 3rd Floor

1960s logo largeThe University has witnessed enormous change since its humble beginnings on Lewis Avenue in Brooklyn in 1870. One of the most pivotal decades of all was that of the 1960s. The Queens campus expanded tremendously as the University’s Brooklyn presence shrunk, academic programs blossomed, the student body diversified and grew in numbers, the faculty unionized and had greater curricular input, and the administrative structure was altered to include more lay people on its Board and in senior positions. A faculty strike in 1966 marked a time of divisiveness and healing. The 1960s saw the University at the cusp between its first century of existence and the future. Change was in the air.

The curators of the exhibition are the graduate students in the course on Archives and Manuscripts (LIS 249), taught by Dr. Blythe E. Roveland-Brenton. The students are enrolled in the Library & Information Science and Public History master’s programs. Assistance was provided by Alyse Hennig.

Laura Andrews
Brian Awgul
Abigail Banks
Eileen Brennan
Alana Coulum
Valerie Denton
Kanisha Greaves
Lisa Ha
Alma Sakic
Sonali Sugrim
Brandon Williams