It’s an eclectic collection that includes a book signed by J. Edgar Hoover, another on teaching calisthenics to girls, and several volumes for spiritual edification.

Recently, Tim Martin, master’s level intern, completed the project of electronically cataloguing this collection held by the SCL archives. For years, the books stood stored in an antique cabinet from the former St. Mary’s Academy. Now, they are shelved alphabetically by author and annotated in a database maintained by the archives.

Tonya Crawford, SCL archivist, explains that the books – not all of which are antique or old – generally fall into three categories:

  • Books on spirituality either purchased by or given to the SCLs. Some belonged to individual Sisters; others came from the library of St. Mary College.
  • Books used at St. Mary’s Academy to assist with teaching; instructors read these books to learn lessons, such as calisthenics.
  • Books signed by authors and given to the Sisters.

Edgar Hoover’s Masters of Deceit bears his inscription to Sister Mary Seraphine Sheehan. The collection includes a signed, two-volume set of memories of President Harry Truman dating to a time he spoke at St. Mary College. Connie Mack’s Baseball Book is on the shelves. Sister Mary Concetta Mock’s First Communion prayer book is among the books as are several copies of Maryknoll missals and conferences of St. Vincent, and an edition of Butler’s Lives of the Saints.

A total of 265 of books are in this collection. The archives maintains books authored by SCLs in another section. For more information, contact Tonya at 913-758-6588 or tcrawford@scls.org.

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