Special Collections and Archives


Applications for humanitarian projects, correspondence, photographs, maps, and architectural drawings. Project applications and reports from throughout the world comprise the bulk of the records.

Gift of the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, 2000-[ongoing]. Processed by Mark G. Thiel, C.A. (Certified Archivist), 2003-[ongoing].

Historical Note

Conrad Nicholson Hilton, Sr. (1887-1979), an American hotelier and founder of the worldwide Hilton Hotels, established the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in 1944. It seeks to alleviate the suffering of the world's most disadvantaged, with special emphasis on children and the work of Roman Catholic women religious (nuns). The Hilton Foundation remained relatively small until Hilton’s death, when it received the bulk of his estate. Since then, as separate entities, it established the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters, in 1986, and the annual Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, in 1996. The foundation and its entities have assets of $1.8 billion and have dispersed $250 million in grants since their inception.

The Hilton Fund for Sisters began to award grants in 1988. It operates under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is the principal beneficiary of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Most awards have been under $15,000 for project materials, essential equipment, and operating expenses. The proposals are intended to serve directly the economically disadvantaged or assist congregations of women religious to communicate and collaborate with one another. Health care, education and economic development are priority concerns and each project must have at least one full-time staff member who is a vowed member of a Roman Catholic woman’s religious congregation.

Scope and Content

Series 1, Project Proposals: Processed through 2000. The proposals are arranged alphabetically in English by country and there under by city with alternative names included in parenthesis. Proposals from the United States also included arrangement by state or the District of Columbia as an intermediate level between country and city. Proposals from these autonomous and/or newly independent territories are included as separate countries: American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands of the United States (under United States jurisdiction); Bosnia and Hercegovina and Croatia (Yugoslav republics to 1991); Czech Republic and Slovakia (comprised Czechoslovakia to 1993); England and Northern Ireland (countries within the United Kingdom); Eritrea (an Ethiopian province to 1993); Samoa (independent since 1976 but listed as Western Samoa, which was its name to 1997); and West Bank (a Jordanian territory to 1967). English is the principal language employed by the Conrad N. Hilton Fund and English is required for all project documentation. However, occasional documents are written in other lingua francas (e.g. Spanish). All project names are listed in either English or the local language, according to the preference of the project authors.

Restrictions: Restricted for 25 years from date of creation. Access require permission in writing from the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters.

Series 2, Photography: The photographs are all color prints that were within the project proposal files. For preservation purposes, they were separated but are arranged according to the same scheme as follows. The prints are arranged hierarchically and alphabetically according to the places where the projects were based. The alphabetical arrangement begins with the names of the countries or United States autonomous territories in English. There under the alphabetical arrangement continues with the names of provinces or states and/or cities in English, followed by the project names in English or the language of the given country and dates. Place-names in the language of the country represented appear in parenthesis after the name in English whenever the names differ. Unless regarded as “common knowledge,” abbreviations in titles are written out. Project proposals from the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia are alphabetized independently under the names of the succeeding countries, i.e. Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and proposals from the United States autonomous territories are alphabetized independently under the territorial names, i.e. American Samoa, Puerto Rico, United States Virgin Islands. Although projects may be named in languages other than English, English is the language used in describing all photographs.

Restrictions: Restricted for 25 years from date of creation. Access require permission in writing from the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters.

Series 3, General Correspondence: Unprocessed.

Restrictions: Restricted for 25 years from date of creation. Access require permission in writing from the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters.

Series 4, Publications.

In print and video formats, the publications of the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters describe the vision of Conrad N. Hilton and its implementation. Seeds of Hope: Catholic Sisters in Action around the World (ca. 2009) presents representative case studies of its funded projects worldwide, a summary of which is available from its website.

Series 5, Financial Records: Unprocessed.

Restrictions: Restricted for 25 years from date of creation. Access require permission in writing from the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters.

More Related Resources

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