Volume 5: Help Pages
Search and Search Tips

Search: Go to -- Search the Collections.

The search box includes the Native Guide and all descriptive inventories to the special collections and archives. Not included are the Marquette Archives' digital collections and archived websites, which use outside utilities.


Search tips for best results:

Catholic and Native group names and terms found in the Help Pages: These Catholic and Native groups are fully discoverable in the Native Guide, but are likely less discoverable in the descriptive inventories to Marquette's special collections, e.g. Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records. Because in many instances, ethnographic/ tribal names have not been used comprehensively and historic alternative names have been used instead in many instances.

Consider the location and era of the search subject: Search strategies should consider the location and era of the subject, e.g. Catholic organizations, Native American tribes, as noted in the Native Guide repository entries.

Entries: The entries represent current archival repositories only, which are arranged alphabetically by state, territory, country, or province, and thereunder by city or town. Entries contain current contact information and a summary description of their holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans in the United States. If the repository is a Catholic mission, parish, school, diocese, or religious institute or order, a history is also included to illuminate the record holdings and identify all Catholic and Native American groups represented. With few exceptions, the Marquette University Archives and Special Collections does not hold copies of the records described in the Native Guide.

Records from defunct repositories and Catholic institutions/places without repositories: Defunct repositories (e.g. missions, parishes, schools) and institutions and places with Catholic activities that never maintained records (e.g. missions, stations) do not have entries. To find records pertaining to these places, search the histories in the entries of parishes and diocesan archives in nearby cities. If necessary, especially for pre-20th century records, also search the histories in the entries of diocesan archives in nearby states. Pertinent repositories of record holdings from religious insitutes or orders may be held in regional or national repositories located in distant states. Again, search the histories.

Why the Native Guide? Throughout the United States, Native American Catholics often comprise an obscure and overlooked group within the Catholic Church and American society as a whole, for which the Native Guide serves as an invaluable tool for finding Native Catholic historical records. Scholars, historians, and genealogists have recognized Marquette's Guide to Catholic Records about Native Americans in the United States as innovative and indispensable in locating crucial and obscure records for documenting U.S. citizenship, Native American ancestry for tribal enrollment, personal and family history, and claims by Native American, government and/or church groups. Furthermore, the Native Guide illuminates many Catholic and Native American groups represented in the records of the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missionsand other Marquette special collections, that otherwise, are not identified.

How to use the Native Guide for searching and navigating the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records and other Marquette Special Collections:

1. Go to the search box within "Search the Collections." Use keywords that correspond to Library of Congress subject headings and include the state, if pertinent. Sample search exercises:

Apache Indian prisioners-of-war at Fort Marion, Florida, 19th century = "Florida Apache"

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration teachers at St. Mary School, Bad River (Ojibwa) Reservation, Odanah, Wisconsin, 19th and 20th centuries = "Wisconsin Franciscan Sisters Perpetual Adoration"

Father John S. Hascall (Ojibwa), O.F.M. Cap., Michigan pastor and Tekakwitha Conference president, 20th and 21st centuries = "John Hascall Capuchins"

2. Review the chronologies of the Native Guide entries that most closely allign with your subject. Compile the specific dates and names of the localities, Catholic institutions, and affiliated Native American and Catholic groups and dioceses. Be aware that from past to present, dramatic name changes may occur in one or more of these terms.

3. In most instances, the names of Native American and Catholic groups, dioceses and proper names are not included in the collection folder headings of documents. Therefore, after the first round of searching, refine your keywords and conduct a second search using the search box. To continue with the sample search exercises from above, use these refined keywords:

"Florida St. Augustine"

"Wisconsin Bad River Reservation," "Wisconsin Bad River Reservation St. Mary School," "Wisconsin Diocese La Crosse, "Wisconsin Diocese Superior"

"Michigan John Hascall Capuchins"

4. Since it is possible that some pertinent historical keywords might have been missed, consider manually browsing the folder headings of the following in the Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions.

Record Group 1 (Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions): Series 1-1 Correspondence, Series 2-1 to 2-4 Reports, Series 4-1 The Indian Sentinel (online and keyword searchable under digital collections), Series 9-1 and 9-3 Photography, Series 14-1 Collected Publications, and Series 16 (all sub-series) Government Documents.

Record Group 2 (Commission for Catholic Missions among Colored People and Indians): Series 1-2 Correspondence, Series 5-1 Diocesan Funding Applications and Reports, Series 7-1 Publications.

5. Check Marqcat, the online catalog of the Marquette University Raynor Memorial Libraries, which contains bibliographic records for many related monographic and serial titles. In many instances, these materials have been removed from the collections and are held independently by Special Collections and University Archives.

6. For further assistance, Ask an Archivist.