Libraries & Archives

Guide to the Antonine O'Brien Papers

Correspondence and other records of Sister Antonine O’Brien, the fourth president of the College of St. Catherine, relating mainly to her role as President of the College.


Creator: O'Brien, Antonine, 1895 - 1987
Title: Antonine O'Brien Papers
Dates: 1916-1987
Quantity: 0.8 Linear feet (2 boxes)

Language: English
Repository: Archives and Special Collections, St. Catherine University Library

Preferred Citation: [Item Description or Folder Title], Antonine O’Brien Papers. St. Catherine University Archives and Special Collections, St. Paul, MN 55105.


About Antonine O’Brien

Sister Antonine O’Brien, CSJ was the fourth President of the College of St. Catherine from 1949 to 1955. O’Brien earned her bachelor’s degree in 1926 from St. Catherine and went on to study at the University of Minnesota. Afterwards, she traveled with Sr. Maris Stella to England and studied at Oxford University. Upon returning from Oxford in 1929 she began teaching at St. Catherine as an assistant professor of English. By 1933 she had earned her Masters of English. O’Brien took the position of Dean of the college in 1937, which she held until becoming President.

During O’Brien’s term in office, the debate over the liberal arts verses professional fields was starting to change the nature of higher education. She saw the development of liberal Catholic degree and an increased focus on education studies. O’Brien also saw the college programs expand through technological developments and enter the information age. As part of these changes, she opened the first language lab on campus and oversaw the construction of St. Joseph Hall in 1955. O’Brien was a great supporter for cooperative ventures, helping to establish programs such as Area Studies (Russia, Middle East, Africa), interlibrary cooperation, and inter-campus class attendance with St. Thomas.

After her term as president, O’Brien served as director of juniorates (recently professed Sisters) for the Sisters of St. Joseph from 1955 to 1958. Following that position, she was the province director from 1958 to 1964 and the religious superior of the CSJs from 1964 to 1970. Finally she founded and operated a province archives from 1970 to 1978.

Sister Antonine O’Brien retired in 1978 and died October 24, 1987.


Contents

The collection is predominantly correspondence, including letters from alumnae, students, employees, and other Catholic and educational organizations. These materials are mainly from O’Brien’s presidency, but some materials date after her term as president was ended. Of note, there are letters with signatures from Senator Eugene McCarthy and President Hubert Humphrey.

Other items in the collection include publications and speeches, newspaper clippings, and conference materials. There is also a single set of minutes from the Vietnamese Catholic Student Association and a single photograph of O’Brien.


Organization

The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Correspondence
Series 2: Subject Files


Administration

Publication Information

Archives and Special Collections
2004 Randolph Ave
St. Paul, MN, 55105
651.690.6553
archives@stkate.edu

Revision Description

February 2014

Processing Information

This collection was processed and the finding aid written by MLIS graduate student Veronica Olson, April 2013.


Additional letters to O'Brien from later St. Catherine presidents (1958-1964) may be found in the Board of Trustees records (box 592). A history of the CSJs and St. Catherine as told by O'Brien is in tape box 63.

Additional information on Sister Antonine O'Brien is in the archives of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Paul Province.

Separated Materials

Correspondence and other documents from Sister Antonine's time as Dean (1937-1949) were removed from this collection and placed with the Academic Dean's records.


Selected Search Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • President, Office of the.

Subject(s)

  • President, Office of the

Detailed Description

Correspondence

1 1/2 boxes

Contents:
The correspondence series includes letters from alumnae, students, employees, and other Catholic and educational organizations. These materials date predominantly from O'Brien's presidency. Additionally, there are letters written while studying at Oxford and some from after her term as president had ended.

Organization:
Arranged with O'Brien's correspondence as president first, followed by all other correspondence.

Correspondence from Antonine O'Brien's time as dean can be found in the Deans' Papers, Box 610.

Box

Presidential: General : 1949-1958
View documents

1

Presidential: Alumnae : 1949-1951

1

Presidential: Convocation : 1949-1951
View documents
Convocation correspondence from Antonine O'Brien's time as dean can be found in the Academic Deans' Records, Box 610.

1

Presidential: Employees : 1950-1954 RESTRICTED

1

Presidential: Leach, Henry G. : 1950-1951
View documents

1

Presidential: National Catholic Education Association : 1949-1955 : 2 folders
View documents: 1949-1951, 1952-1955

1

Presidential: National Catholic Welfare Conference : 1953-1955
View documents

1

Presidential: National Commission on Accrediting : 1950-1955
View documents

1

Presidential: National Federation of Catholic College Students : 1951
View documents

1

Other: Alumnae : 1932-1944

2

Other: Dayton Company : 1942

2

Other: Guthrie, Sister Ste. Helene : 1927-1929

2

Other: McHugh, Sister Antonia : 1927-1929

1

Other: Personal : 1929-1968

2

Other: Sisters Traveling in Europe : 1953-1954

2

Subject Files

1/2 box

Contents:
The subject files consist of all non-correspondence files related to Sister Antonine O'Brien. It includes addresses, publications, news clippings, and other personal artifacts.

Organization:
Alphabetically

Box

Association of College Unions: Fourth National Conference : 1951

2

Clippings : 1985-1987

2

Co-Recreation and Social Adjustment in the Catholic College : 1933
Rough draft and published article. Published in the November, 1933 Journal of Religious instruction, Vol. IV, No. 3.

2

Guidance Conference : 1965

2

Heritage of Christian Learning (Manuscript) : 1936
Article written by O'Brien about the history of the CSJs. This article was also bound and published as a small book and distributed to many different libraries and organizations.

2

Phi Beta Kappa Address : 1963

2
Bin

Phi Beta Kappa Key : 1945

G-10
Box

Photograph : 1979

2

Publications : 1934-1957
Includes copy of "Objectives of a Catholic Guidance Program", a speech to be given at the ninth Educational Conference, and a copy of "Whitby 106", published in the May 1934 To Dragama, Vol. XXIX, No. 4.

2

Religion Teaching to Non-Catholics : 1916-1917, 1936

2

The Secondary School and the College (Manuscript) : 1953

2

Summer Commencement Address : 1960

2

Questions?

Contact Archives

St. Paul Library
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
651.690.6553
archives@stkate.edu