Posts Tagged ‘Collection Spotlight’

Collection Spotlight: Tennessee Williams Baptism Collection

Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the death of American playwright Tennessee Williams.

Tennessee Williams was born Thomas Lanier Williams on March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. After spending his later childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, Williams eventually moved to New Orleans, a city that would inspire much of his writing. Williams wrote notable plays as The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he earned the Pulitzer Prize, and is considered one of the greatest American playwrights of the Twentieth Century.

In 1941, Williams moved to Key West, Florida. After decades of alcohol and drug abuse, as well as struggling with mental illness, William’s brother Dakin came to visit in 1969. Having recently been converted to Catholicism himself, Dakin convinced Williams to meet with a Catholic priest, Father Joseph L. LeRoy, S.J. of St. Mary of the Sea church. Five days later Williams was baptized into the Catholic church, even though he had previously been baptized and raised as an Episcopalian. According to LeRoy, Williams said he believed he had always been a Catholic, in spirit. Williams claimed later to have never taken his conversion seriously.

In the aftermath and publicity, it was determined that since Williams was likely already baptized as an Episcopalian, Father LeRoy had violated guidelines set forth by the Vatican in 1947 which stated, “indiscriminate conditional Baptism . . . cannot be approved” unless “reasonable doubt persists” as to the previous baptism of the person. Father LeRoy was unaware of these guidelines at the time of the baptism and was thus called forth to explain his actions to Church leaders.

Tennessee Williams died on February 25, 1983, in New York City, apparently from an accident resulting from too much drug and alcohol use.

Father Joseph L. LeRoy, S.J. was a member of the New England Province, had been a missionary to Jamaica and was the Reverend at St. Mary, Star of the Sea church in Key West, Florida.

The Tennessee Williams Baptism Collection is available for viewing in Special Collections & Archives Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

Collection Spotlight: Historic Postcard Collection

Series I of the collection includes postcards that consist of true photographs, both hand colored and black and white, as well as hand drawn images of Catholic structures and locations throughout the state of Louisiana, including postcards of Loyola University in New Orleans. The majority of the postcards depict the exterior of churches, but there are several interior images and other exterior subjects included. A majority of the postcards in this series are addressed to Mrs. Lena Sawyer, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana.

This is an artificial collection informally collected over time at the Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections & Archives.

Series II of the collection features postcards and postcard booklets from foreign locations, mainly in France and Switzerland. None of the postcards in this series are addressed.

Special Collections & Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Collection Spotlight: Janet Mary Riley Papers

Collection Spotlight: Janet Mary Riley Papers

Janet Mary Riley is pictured on the top row, at left.

This photograph, along with over 6,700 others, is part of the Loyola University Photographs Collection which is available to view online through the Louisiana Digital Library.

Janet Mary Riley was the first woman to hold a full-time law school faculty position in New Orleans and is credited with helping to change Louisiana law to make women equal partners in their marriages. Janet Mary Riley was born in New Orleans in 1915. She earned her B.A., cum laude, from Loyola University New Orleans in 1936. After a short time teaching in public schools, Riley earned her B.S. in Library Science from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She returned to New Orleans as an assistant in the circulation department of the New Orleans Public Library and later as an assistant librarian at Loyola University. In 1943, during World War II, Riley left Loyola to serve as Post Librarian at Camp Plauche and LaGarde General Hospital, both in New Orleans.

After the war, Riley returned to Loyola to work as a law librarian and, in an effort to become familiar with the language and literature of law, began taking courses at the law school. This led to her work as a substitute law instructor. In 1952, Riley graduated third in a class of 28 from Loyola Law School. In 1956, she was hired as the first full-time female law professor in New Orleans and the seventh in the United States. At the age of 43, in 1960, she earned an L.L.M. from the University of Virginia. In 1971, after teaching for 15 years, she achieved the rank of Professor of Law. Riley retired in 1986, but continued to teach seminars until 1997.

During her tenure as a law professor, Riley wrote the first casebook on Louisiana community property law, Louisiana Community Property – Cases and Materials on Louisiana Property Law and Marriage, which was published in 1972. The following year, the Louisiana State Law Institute appointed Riley to lead a committee to draft proposed revisions to the Louisiana Civil Code on matrimonial regimes, community property and all Louisiana legislation which unreasonably discriminated on the basis of sex. Until then, Louisiana’s community property laws made the husband “head and master of the community” and thus granted him total control of his wife’s assets. Riley’s proposed “equal management” approach to the community, which let either spouse manage the property of the marriage, was adopted by the Louisiana legislature in 1978 and formally incorporated into the Civil Code in 1980.

In addition to her efforts on behalf of women, Riley worked to eliminate racial discrimination. She was a member of the Commission on Human Rights of the Catholic Committee of the South, which assisted in the implementation of the New Orleans Archbishop’s 1953 order forbidding any further racial segregation in Catholic Churches. She was a member of the Community Relations Council, a bi-racial group in New Orleans, which worked toward the integration of playgrounds, restaurants and other public spaces.

Riley was an attorney of record and wrote the Petitioners’ Brief in Lombard v. Louisiana, a pivotal sit-in case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in the early 1960s. In that case, four students, three of whom were black and one of whom was white, were arrested and convicted of trespassing after refusing to leave a New Orleans lunch counter reserved for whites only. The state court upheld the convictions, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and held that the Louisiana decision enforced racial discrimination and therefore could not stand.

Riley was a member of the Society of Our Lady of the Way, a secular organization of employed unmarried women that followed the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola, taking vows of chastity, obedience and poverty, and striving to find a balance between worship of God and life in the world.

In 2000, Riley received the Adjutor Hominum award, presented annually to an outstanding alumnus of Loyola whose life exemplifies moral character, service to humanity and unquestionable integrity. Two years later, the Janet Mary Riley Distinguished Professorship was established. In 2004, Riley received the St. Ives Award, presented annually to a Loyola Law School graduate who has volunteered services to the law school or the university, maintained the highest standards of the profession, and furthered the mission of the alumni association. In 2005, Loyola Law School gave Riley an honorary doctorate. She died in 2008 at the age of 92.

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The arrangement of this collection is alphabetical and based on Janet Mary Riley’s own organization. The collection spans from 1934 until 1991, with the bulk spanning from 1965 until 1979.

The Papers primarily reflect Riley’s academic career, including documents on the courses she taught: Community Property, Canon Law, Constitutional Law, Donations, First Amendment, Insurance Law, Juvenile Law, Legal Bibliography, Obligations, Persons, Successions, and Trusts and Estates. Also included are papers reflecting Riley’s vast university service on the Curriculum Committee, Faculty Council, Faculty Handbook Negotiating Committee, Institutional Self-Study / Steering Committee, Loyola Law Review, Rank and Tenure Committee, Student Petitions Committee for Admissions and Readmissions, St. Thomas More Law Club and the University Senate.

Papers on academic conferences, association affiliations, articles authored by Riley, awards and honors received by her, general correspondence and faculty meeting minutes and memorandums can be found within the collection.

A significant portion is dedicated to her efforts with the Louisiana State Law Institute to revise antiquated community property laws contained in the Civil Code. The collection includes materials and drafts of her book, Louisiana Community Property – Cases and Materials on Louisiana Property Law and Marriage. A copy of this book can be found in Special Collections, Monroe Library, Loyola University (KFL 97 .R5 1972).

Riley’s work on outside cases, issues and organizations is represented but is a small minority of the collection. These include federal contempt proceedings, divorce law, the Equal Rights Amendment, Equal Credit Opportunity Law, family law, First Amendment rights, juvenile justice, the League of Women Voters, the Louisiana Library Association, and the Louisiana State Bar Association Admissions Advisory Committee.

To view an oral history video of Janet Mary Riley, visit the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s website.

Special Collections & Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

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Collection Spotlight: Anthony J. Stanonis Collection

Anthony J. Stanonis received a B.A. in history from Loyola University New Orleans in 1997, then an M.A. in 1998 and a Ph.D. in 2003, both in history, from Vanderbilt University. Stanonis’s research interests have centered on the cultural and economic implications of urban tourism. While researching the history of tourism in New Orleans for his dissertation, he acquired an assortment of artifacts generated by that city’s tourist industry. His research resulted in the publication of his book, Creating the Big Easy: New Orleans and the Emergence of Modern Tourism, 1918-1945, published in 2006 by the University of Georgia Press.

This collection comprises Stanonis’s personal acquisitions of materials pertaining to the New Orleans tourist industry. It includes guides, maps, brochures, books, and other literature put out by public and private groups and businesses, spanning roughly from 1902 to 1960.

Special Collections & Archives, located on the third floor of Monroe Library, is open for research and quiet study Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

Collection Spotlight: Kate Holmes Collection of Southern Stories and Poems

Kate Holmes was the daughter of a sea captain and a writer from New Orleans who produced poems and stories about New Orleans and Southern history. Her writings were published in both local newspapers and other Southern periodicals such as the Times- Picayune (New Orleans, LA), Dixie-Roto Magazine (New Orleans, LA), Cycle-Flame Poetry Magazine (San Angelo, TX), and Scimitar & Song Poetry Magazine (Sanford, NC). She died in New Orleans on March 10, 1975 at the age of 79.

The collection consists of twenty poems, three song lyrics, and eight newspaper articles written by Kate Holmes and published from 1947 through 1974.

“Camel-Back” Homes-1909

Lagniappe: The Camelback Shotgun is essentially a Shotgun single or a Shotgun double with a second story rising at the rear portion of the building. To read more about building types and architectural styles prevalent in New Orleans, click here!

To view the Kate Holmes Collection of Southern Stories and Poems visit Special Collections & Archives on the third floor of Monroe Library Monday-Friday, 9:00-4:30.

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Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.