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Boland family papers

Identifier: CSC-022

Scope and Contents

Series 1 consists of Father Boland's original papers. The first folder contains letters that Father Boland wrote to his brother Jim and his sister-in-law Blanche. The second folder contains some of Father Boland's incoming correspondence. The third folder contains telegraphs related to Boland's illness and death, including ones he sent to his brother, ones sent from his brother to his wife, and ones received from priests at Notre Dame. This folder contains both the received copies of telegraphs, and of the original telegraph orders. The next folder contains notes Jim Boland made during his travels to New Mexico, including train schedules and expenses. The final two folders in this series contain Father Boland's train tickets, postcards of St. Edward's College, and memorial cards honoring Father Boland.

Series 2 contains reproductions of Father Boland's correspondence that is held in other archives. These reproductions were made by Mary Blanche Boland for her research project, and include copies of papers that are found in the Provincial Archives of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Notre Dame, Indiana, the University of Notre Dame Archvies, and the archives at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. Many of the reproductions have notes from Mary Blanche Boland written on them.

Series 3 contains papers relating directly to Mary Blanche Boland. The first three folders consist of her incoming correspondence, with some copies of outgoing correspondence. Folder 2 largely consists of correspondence regarding the Boland family's efforts to donate a portrait of Father Boland to St. Edward's University. The correspondence in folder 3 is largely concerned with her research into Father Boland's life and involvement in the Holy Cross History Conference. Folder 4 contains her research notes, and folder 5 contains what she labeled as her "working copy" of her biography. Folder 6 contains "The Greening of the Memory of John T. Boland, C.S.C.," the paper she presented at the 1986 Holy Cross History Conference. Folder 7 contains materials from the 1984 and 1988 Holy Cross History Conferences, which were both held in South Bend, Indiana. The last folder contains copies of other unpublished papers that Mary Blanche consulted during her research, including ones presented at past Holy Cross History Conferences, drafts of chapters from forthcoming books, and student papers.


  • Creation: 1906-1988


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open and available to the public for research in the U.S. Catholic Special Collections reading room. The materials are non-circulating.

Copyright Notice

The materials in this collection may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The materials are available for personal, educational, and scholarly use. It is the responsibility of the researcher to locate and obtain permission from the copyright owner or his or her heirs for any other use, such as reproduction and publication.

Biography of Father John T. Boland, C.S.C. and Mary Blanche Boland

John T. Boland was born on June 13, 1867 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the oldest of five children. His parents, James Joseph Boland and Catherine Frawley Boland, immigrated to Cincinnati from Limerick, Ireland, and married in 1866. John Boland began studying for the priesthood at the University of Notre Dame in 1884. He was ordained on July 31, 1892, and said his first mass at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati.

Father Boland remained at Notre Dame following his ordination, and served as a Prefect of Discipline (hall rector). In 1899 he was sent to take over the administration of St. Edward's College (now known as St. Edward's University) in Austin, Texas. In 1907, he resigned as president of St. Edward's, citing health concerns, and was transferred to Holy Cross College in New Orleans, Louisiana. His ill health continued, and Father Boland was advised by doctors to move to a cooler climate. In 1909 he briefly served as the pastor of St. Bernard's Church in Watertown, Wisconsin, before returning to St. Edward's College to resume the presidency from 1909 to 1914. From 1914 to 1919, he served as the president of the University of Portland (a college run by the Holy Cross in Portland, Oregon); his health problems continued during this period.

Father Boland returned to Notre Dame upon leaving Portland, and he served as the secretary of the Univeristy for the next five years. In August of 1924, his health forced him to travel to a Holy Cross sanatorium in Deming, New Mexico. The journey took its toll on his fragile health, and he passed away less than a month later, on September 28, 1924. He was buried on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Father Boland's niece, Mary Blanche Boland, was born April 8, 1916 in Cairo, Illinois, the daughter of James Boland and his wife Blanche (Barrett) Boland. She graduated from the College of St. Francis (now known as the University of St. Francis) in Joliet, Illinois, in 1937, and received a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1942. Mary Blanche never married, and was employed as a public school librarian in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was greatly interested in family history, and wrote a biographical study of her uncle, Father John Boland. Mary Blanche Boland spent several years performing archival research at the Provincial Archives of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Notre Dame, Indiana, and at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She attended several conferences of the Holy Cross History Association, and presented her research on Father Boland at the 1986 conference in Austin, Texas. She passed away in Cincinnati on June 21, 2009.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection of papers relating to Father John T. Boland, C.S.C., a Holy Cross priest who served in the administrations of the University of Notre Dame, University of Portland, and St. Edward's University, and Mary Blanche Boland, his niece and biographer. The collection includes original correspondence of Father Boland's, reproductions of his correspondence held in other archives, and Mary Blanche's research notes and biographical sketch.

Statement of Arrangement

All materials in Series 1 and Series 3 have been arranged chronologically within each folder. Reproduced papers in Series 2 retain the organization of Mary Blanche Boland, who had some arranged chronologically and some by author/recipient.


U.S. Catholic Special Collections, 302 Roesch Library, University of Dayton

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mary Blanche Boland.

Existence and Location of Originals

Items in Series 2 are reproductions of items held at the Provincial Archives of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Notre Dame, Indiana, the University of Notre Dame Archives, and the archives at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.

Guide to the Boland family papers, 1906-1988
Colleen Mahoney
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Libraries Repository

300 College Park Dr.
Dayton Ohio 45469-1360