Guide to the John B. Collins Papers, 1913-1976 AIS.1977.17

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
John B. Collins Papers
Creator
Collins, John B.
Collection Number
AIS.1977.17
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1918-1935
Date [inclusive]
1917-1976
Extent
2.5 linear feet (5 boxes)
Abstract
Through the 1920s and 1930s, John B. Collins actively participated in various organizations and activities that supported establishment of an independent republic in Ireland. Additionally, Collins was also active in several organizations affiliated with the Catholic Church in Pittsburgh. The collection contains letters, publications, clippings, organizational records, memorabilia, handbills, pamphlets, posters, and photographs that Collins produced and collected as result of his concern with these subjects.

Preferred Citation

John B. Collins Papers, 1913-1976, AIS.1977.17, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Long time Pittsburgh resident, John B. Collins actively participated in the city's Irish-Catholic community. A strong supporter of the struggle for an independent Irish Republic, Collins became an active member of the Pittsburgh chapters of the American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic (AARIR) and the Friends of Irish Freedom (FOIF) during the 1920s and 1930s. Both American based organizations worked to organize Irish-American support for the fight for Irish independence. A supporter of Eamon de Valera's pro-republican Fianna Fáil Party, Collins helped arrange the leader's 1927 and 1930 visits to Pittsburgh.

A member of Pittsburgh's Catholic community, Collins served as president of local chapters of the Holy Name Society and the Knights of Columbus and joined the Cecilian Society, the Catholic Society for Social Justice, and the Bishop's Club.

A man of strong political and religious conviction, and a prolific letter writer, Collins corresponded with people, organizations, and publications that he believed misrepresented the Irish cause or the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection reflects John B. Collin's participation in the Irish Independence movement and various Catholic organizations in Pittsburgh from 1913 to 1976 and material he collected in relation to these interests.

The collection consists of five series. Series I contains material related to the organizations with which Collins affiliated and about which he collected material. Series II includes material dealing with Eamon de Valera, while Series III contains material regarding the 1935 controversy surrounding the showing of motion pictures on Sunday. Series IV consists of various correspondences and Series V contains miscellaneous material and memorabilia.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, 1977

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

On indefinite loan from the Irish Centre of Pittsburgh, 1977.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Archives Service Center satff in 1977. The collection was reprocessed by Jared Campbell in 2001.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Jared Campbell in 2001. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 3922084

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Abbey Theatre.
  • American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic.
  • Catholic Church. -- Societies, etc.
  • Catholic League for Social Justice.
  • Cecilian Society.
  • Friends of Irish Freedom.
  • Holy Name Society.
  • Irish Independence Club.
  • Knights of Columbus.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Allegheny County (Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Collins, John B.
  • Cosgrave, William Thomas, 1880-1965
  • De Valera, Eamonn, 1882-1975
  • Kountz, Richard, 1896-1950
  • Lynch, John M., 1917-
  • O'Mahoney, Joseph P.
  • Russell, Charles
  • Williams, Christopher H.

Subject(s)

  • Ethnic groups
  • Irish Americans -- Pennsylvania -- History
  • Irish Americans -- Political activity
  • Irish Americans -- Societies and clubs
  • Personal papers

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Previous Citation

John B. Collins Papers, 1913-1976, AIS.1977.17, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Organizations 

Scope and Content Notes

The series contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, constitutions, newsletters, pamphlets, programs, announcements, photographs, memorabilia, and publications pertaining to organizations to which either Collins belonged or about which he gathered material.

  BoxFolder
Abbey Theatre Company, 1931-1934 11-4
  Folder
American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic, 1921-1932 5-11
  Folder
American Committee for Relief in Ireland 12-13
  Folder
American Steel Foundries, 1931 14-15
  Folder
Banban Brotherhood, 1920 16
  Folder
Bishop's Club, 1930-1931 17
  Folder
Catholic League for Social Justice, 1933 19-20
  Folder
Cecilian Society, 1913-1924 21-24
  Folder
Friends of Irish Freedom, 1919-1921, 1928 25-32
  BoxFolder
Holy Name Society, 1926-1932 21-16
  Folder
Irish Independence Club, 1931-1932 17-18
  Folder
Knights of Columbus, 1917-1930 19-23
  BoxFolder
Laymen's Retreat Movement, 1931 31-5
  Folder
Little Sisters of the Poor, 1931 6-9
  Folder
National Council of Catholic Men Confernace, 1932 10-12

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Series  II. Eamon de Valera 

Scope and Content Notes

The series focuses on material created and collected by Collins relating to the Irish Republican leader, Eamon de Valera. The series contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, photographs, contracts, handbills, brochures, checks, invitation lists, and a publication. The bulk of the series concerns the arrangements for de Valera's 1927 and 1930 Pittsburgh visits and a banquet held to celebrate the 1932 election that placed de Valera at the head of the Irish Government as Taoiseach (priminister). Also included in these files are material concerning the development and American financial support of the Irish newspaper The Irish Press, Ltd. and a copy of de Valera's 1923 presidential address.

  Folder
Copy of Presidential Message, 1923 13
  Folder
Minutes of Joint Meeting of Erskine childers and Padraic Pearse Councils 14
  Folder
Pittsburgh Visit, 1927 15-16
  Folder
Pittsburgh Visit, 1930 17-22
  Folder
Irish Free Press, Ltd. 1929-1931 23-25
  Folder
Irish Presidential Election Results, 1932 26
  Folder
Pittsburgh Banquet Celebrating de Valera's Election, 1932 27-29
  Folder
Miscellaneous 30

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Series  III. Sunday Movie Controversy 

Scope and Content Notes

The series contains five files concerning a 1935 attempt to change a Pennsylvania state law that forbade the showing of motion pictures on Sunday. The series reflects Collins' and the Church's attempts to encourage Pittsburgh's Catholic community to vote against a bill that would change the law.

  Folder
Sunday Movie Controversy, 1935 31-35

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Series  IV. Correspondence 

Scope and Content Notes

The series contains the correspondence of Collins on a wide range of topics. Additionally, material remains in the files that provide contextual information to the letters themselves. A large portion of the series consists of letters written by Collins to publications regarding the popular reference to William T. Cosgrave as the first president of the Irish Free State. Collins, like many other supporters of de Valera, believed that the treaty signed in 1921 forming the Irish Free State under the dominion of the English Crown was an unacceptable resolution of the struggle for Irish independence. Collins wrote letters regarding this subject to the Associated Press, several newspapers, and individuals. Other letters concern Collin's beliefs regarding contraception, Irish land annuities, the purchase of a car for Pittsburgh priest Father James Delaney, and various other issues. The files are arranged alphabetically.

  Folder
America, Letters to the Editor, 1932 36
  Folder
Ave Maria, Letters to the Editor, 1931-1932 37
  Folder
Berchfield, Chris, letters from, 1922-1931 38
  BoxFolder
Contraception, letter to the Pittsburgh Press and Related Clippings, 1931 41-2
  Folder
Cosgrave, William T., letters, related clippings, and pamphlets, 1931 3-5
  Folder
Delaney, Father James M., letters and clippings 6-8
  Folder
Irish Land Annuities, 1932 9-11
  Folder
Irish Situation, correspondence with Associated Press re: dispatcher that appeared in the Pittsburgh Press, 1932 12
  Folder
Kuntz, Richard, 1923-1932 13
  Folder
O'Mahoney, Joseph, Editor of The Indiana Catholic Reporter, letters and clippings, 1932 14-15
  Folder
Russell, Charles Edward, 1932-1933 16
  Folder
St. Endas Church 17-22
  Folder
St. Mary's Church 23-25
  Folder
Williams, Christopher H., letters and article "Propoganda", 1923-1928 26-27
  Folder
Miscellaneous Correspondence, A-G, 1923-1927 28
  Folder
Miscellaneous Correspondence, H-O, 1923-1927 29
  Folder
Miscellaneous Correspondence, P-Z 1923-1927 30

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Series  V. Miscellaneous 

Scope and Content Notes

The series contains miscellaneous material collected by Collins. The material includes periodicals, pamphlets, essays and notes, broadsides, photographs, a map of the Irish Republic, press releases, and memorabilia. Most of the material is the product of publicizing the various Irish cultural events around Pittsburgh during the 1920's and 1930's.

  BoxFolder
Brian Boru Club, 1920 51
  Folder
Catholic Theater Bulletins, 1924, 1926 2
  Folder
Irish Centre of Pittsburgh, 1966, 1976 3
  Folder
Irish Faire 4
  Folder
Irish Freedom Fund 5
  Folder
Irish Martyrs 6
  Folder
Lynch, John, press release and transcripts of speech, 1970-1971 7-8
  Folder
Map of Irish Republic 9
  Folder
Meta Machine Company, annual report 10
  Folder
Saint Patrick's Day Charicatures 1928-1931 11
  Folder
Sheet Music 12
  Folder
Statue of Westminster, Photograph 13
  Folder
Theater Programs 14-19
  Folder
Theater Programs 20
  Folder
Ulster Delegation, copy of transcript 1920 21
  Folder
Sinn Feiner, eight issues 1921 22
  Folder
Miscellaneous Periodicals 23
  Folder
Pamphlets 24
  Folder
Essays 25
  Folder
Broadsides 26
  Folder
Unidentified Photograph 27
  Folder
Misc. Memorabilia 28

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