Raynor memorial libraries

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Why Marquette for Native Catholic collections?

The archival and manuscript collecting program of the Marquette University Department of Special Collections and University Archives is an extension of the spiritual, philosophical, and scholarly strengths of Marquette University. As a Christian, Catholic, and Jesuit institution, Marquette is committed to serving the church and the public at large. Its specific commitment to documenting Native Catholic evangelization began with the acquisition of records about Père Jacques Marquette, S.J., soon after the department was founded in 1961

Marquette University’s archivists are leading professionals who are certified by the Academy of Certified Archivists and active in regional, national, and international associations.
Subject Expertise

Marquette University is the premiere repository of Catholic evangelization of Native Americans in the United States. Its more than three dozen collections pertaining to North and South America, Marquette’s records and papers by and about native peoples document over 100 diverse tribes and groups in over two dozen native and European languages through more than 700 cubic feet of records in diverse formats from the 16th century to the present.

Marquette University serves as the official archives of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions, the Commission for the Catholic Missions among the Colored People and the Indians, the Marquette League for Catholic Indian Missions, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Native American Catholics, and the international Tekakwitha Conference, which are the five leading organizations that have provided specialized support to Catholic evangelization of Native Americans in the United States. Because research often requires accessing several collections, this core, together with Marquette’s holdings of over 50 related collections, supports widespread research about Native Americans and the Catholic Church’s evangelization among them.

Marquette University has exceptional experience in appraising and identifying Native Catholic records for permanent retention and in describing the diverse Native and Catholic groups represented in the records that are ultimately preserved and made available for research. Its collections contain records by and about thousands of missions, parishes, schools, dioceses, and allied Catholic organizations and their evangelization of hundreds of Native North Americans tribes and communities.

Marquette University is experienced and capable in serving diverse research needs relative to Native Americans and the Church, including genealogy, legal, institutional, and scholarly research for exhibits, publications, and other purposes.

Marquette University knows the universe of Native Catholic documentation and has created the online Guides to Catholic-Related Records for the United States about Native Americans, http://www.marquette.edu/library/collections/archives/teaching.html, which redirect researchers to other repositories as needed.


The Marquette University Department of Special Collections and University Archives are located within the new Raynor Memorial Libraries, which opened in 2003 and are equipped with state-of-the-art environmental, fire suppression, and security systems.

Marquette University provides worldwide access to its Native Catholic collections through online collection descriptions, http://www.marquette.edu/library/collections/archives/indians.html (coupled with loans of microfilmed records via interlibrary loan), online digitized collections of selected images, http://www.marquette.edu/library/MUDC/ and the online display of high-interest exhibits, http://www.marquette.edu/library/collections/archives/projects/index.html.

Marquette University is experienced in preserving and reformatting photographs and audio and video recordings with diverse formats.


Marquette University provides donors with complementary records management and archival reference services.


Marquette University is located in Milwaukee (near Chicago) with convenient access for visiting researchers from throughout the world.

Milwaukee has the lowest incidence of natural disaster risk among the 50 largest cities in the United States: http://www.sustainlane.us/natural_disaster_risk.jsp. This is according to 2006 data, which is the most recent data available. Tied with Milwaukee is Mesa, Arizona.

For further information, please contact:

Mark G. Thiel, CA, Archivist

Department of Special Collections and University Archives,

Marquette University Raynor Memorial Libraries, R360

P.O. Box 3141

Milwaukee, WI 53201-3141

1355 W. Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53233

Phone 414-288-5904

Email Mark.Thiel@Marquette.edu

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