Biographical Note

Born in Milwaukee in August 1914, Nina Polcyn graduated from Marquette University’s College of Journalism in 1935. During her senior year
she persuaded the dean to invite Dorothy Day to speak on campus. This was the beginning of a lifelong close friendship with Day. Upon
graduation, Polcyn spent a month at the Catholic Worker in New York City. In 1937 she joined with Journalism College classmates and others
to found Holy Family House, the first CW affiliate in Milwaukee. When the house closed in 1942, she moved to Chicago to work at the Sheil
School of Social Studies, an adult education project of Bishop Bernard Sheil’s Catholic Youth Organization. The next year she took over as
manager of St. Benet’s Book Shop, which the CYO had just acquired. Polcyn purchased the shop in 1957 and owned it until her marriage to
Thomas Eugene Moore, a college classmate, in 1973. Afterwards Nina Polcyn Moore remained active in lay Catholic affairs, serving as
benefactor and mentor to a new generation of Catholic Workers, including Barbara Blaine. She died on February 10, 2007.

Scope and Content

The Nina Polcyn Moore Papers document her involvement in the Catholic Worker movement and her friendship with Dorothy Day. Included are
letters from Day and diaries she kept while at Holy Family House. Other collections of her papers, relating largely to her years in Chicago as
manager and later owner of St. Benet's Book Shop, are held by the Chicago History Museum and the University of Notre Dame Archives.


Series W-17

Series Box Folder Folder Title
W-17 1 - Correspondence, Private
W-17 1 1-2
Day, Dorothy, 1936-1980
W-17 1 3-7
General Correspondence, 1936-1942, 1976-2005, undated
W-17 2 1 Diaries, 1935, 1937-1938, 1941-1942
W-17 2 2 Magazine and Newspaper Articles by Nina Polcyn Moore, 1953-1981
W-17 2 3 Magazine and Newspaper articles on Nina Polcyn Moore, 1964, 1978, 1981
W-17 2 4 Manuscript: "A Month at the Catholic Worker in 1935," 1980
W-17 2 5 Manuscripts, Articles and Speeches, 1954, undated
W-17 2 6 Miscellaneous Records, 1935, 1973, 1978-1980, undated
W-17 2 - Subject Files
W-17 2 7
Activities, 1937-1980, undated
W-17 2 8
Chicago Conference of Laity, 1966-1972
W-17 2 9
Commission on Human Relations and Ecumenism, Archdiocese of Chicago, 1966-1969
W-17 2 10
Holy Family House, Milwaukee, 1937-1942
W-17 2 11
St. Benet Book Shop, Chicago, 1943-1973, 1979