The Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to be Dedicated in New Location in Northeast Philadelphia

The Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHRC), formerly known as The Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC) and located at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood (Montgomery County), will be dedicated at its new location, the former Our Lady of Ransom School, in the Northeast Section of Philadelphia.

The name of the center was changed to emphasize the broad scope of the existing archival collections, which were recently supplemented by the acquisition of the archive of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in addition to other collections that have been in its care for some time.

The CHRC was moved from the previous PAHRC location at the Seminary to provide adequate space for all of the collections and to allow for their proper care and preservation.

CHRC is now housed in a building with a state-of-the art HVAC system to help preserve its collection and allows for expanded space for the archival collections, records, offices, workrooms, and exhibit space.

Auxiliary Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, who oversaw the relocation project, will preside over the blessing and dedication. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. will attend and offer remarks. 

5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
The Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
6740 Roosevelt Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19149 (Northeast Philadelphia)

Background:

The Collections

  • The archives of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia reflects the important records and letters of the Archbishops of Philadelphia; pictures, books and various collections from the faculty and administrators of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary; parish histories and calendars, and records of Church-related institutions and schools. The archives also include the Halvey Collection of 100,000 photographs of Catholic life in Philadelphia from 1935 to 1999.
  • The archives of the American Catholic Historical Society, given to the CHRC in 1932, include papers of its founders, presidents, and several prominent members. Also included is a pamphlet collection of about 6,000 items beginning in 1707, and a collection of 19th Century Catholic newspapers from across the United States that includes several rare early ethnic newspapers.
  • The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament archives includes the papers and letters of Saint Katherine Drexel, artifacts of her life founding schools for American Indian and African American children, school records, records of her canonization, and materials relating to the foundation of the order.

History:

  • The American Catholic Historical Society started in 1884 and donated its archives and library to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary library in 1932.
  • The Seminary, founded in 1832, had collected its own materials from papers and records of faculty. Many were world-renown scholars and world travelers, and consequently, the Seminary collection was rich in its own right.
  • The Archdiocese of Philadelphia since the Archdiocese’s foundation in 1808 collected preserved papers, files and objects. The first Archdiocesan Archivist was Father John B. DeMayo, who later also was appointed Librarian at the Seminary. In 1972, archdiocesan archives were transferred from the old Chancery vault to the Archives room of the Archdiocesan Office Center.
  • In 1989, all the Archdiocesan records were transferred to the Center. While many of the records are archival, others are held for a limited amount of time.

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Editor’s Note: For more information on The Catholic Historical Research Center of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia please visit www.chrc-phila.org/.

Contact:

Stephanie Brophy
Associate Director of Communications
215-587-3747 (office)