Volume 4: Outside United States
Austria: AT-2

Catholic Church. Archdiocese of Vienna. Archives
Erdziözese Wien, Archiv
A-1010 Wollzeile
2 Wien, Oesterreich

Phone: 43 1 51552


Hours: See website

Access: Some restrictions apply

Copying facilities: Yes


History: The Diocese of Vienna was erected, 1469, and elevated to an archdiocese, 1722. In response to a call for missionaries, its Catholics founded the “Leopoldine Society” to support Native American missions in the United States, 1829.


Bishop Edward D. Fenwick, O.P. [Dominicans] sent Rev. John Fréderic Résé (later first Bishop of Detroit) to Europe seeking financial assistance and German-speaking priests for the Cincinnati Diocese (then included Michigan and Wisconsin); his recruits included Rev. Samuel Mazzuchelli (1806-1864), O.P.


In response, Catholics in Vienna founded the Leopoldinen Stetiftung (Leopoldine Society) to support Catholic missions in North America, some of which served Native Americans. Named in memory of the Emperor’s daughter and based at the Augustinian Monastery, it solicited funds and German-speaking priests by following the strategies of the French Society for the Propagation of the Faith.


The Leopoldine Society donated about $680,500 (3,402,000 kronen) to U.S. dioceses; those receiving notable funding for Native American missions were Boise (e.g. Coeur d’Alene), Cincinnati, Detroit (e.g. Ottawa), Grand Rapids, Green Bay (e.g. Menominee, Ho Chunk), Lead (Rapid City) (e.g. Dakota, Lakota), Marquette (e.g. Ojibwa), Nesqually (Seattle), Oregon (Portland in Oregon), and Tucson (e.g. Tohono O’odham)

Before 1850

Because of the efforts of the Leopoldine Society, several priests served Ojibwa and Ottawa Indians in Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin, including Rev. Frederic I Baraga, Rev. Joseph F. Buh, Rev. Ignatius Mrak, Rev. Francis Pierz, and Rev. Otto Skolla, O.F.M. [Franciscans]


The Leopoldine Society ceased


Holdings of Catholic records about Native Americans:

Inclusive dates: 1829-1917

Volume: Less than 10% of 9 cubic feet

Description: The records of the Leopoldinenstetiftung (Leopoldine Society) are found in two sub-groups of the Vienna Archdiocesan Archives. Prior to their current arrangement, the records were microfilmed at least twice and then described as noted in the entries for the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana) and the Bishop Baraga Association (Marquette, Michigan).


/1 Archive Sub-group T 7, Leopoldinenstetiftung

Inclusive dates: 1832-1914

Volume: Less than 1 cubic foot pertains directly to support of Native American evangelization.

Description: Central files.


/2 Archive Sub-group, Religious Societies, Leopoldinenstetiftung Central Files

Inclusive dates: 1829-1917

Volume: Less than 1 cubic foot pertains directly to support of Native American evangelization.


A. Volume 1-4: Registers, 1829-1854

B. Volume 5-10: Accounts, 1829-1868

C. Administrative Records, 1829-1917, 12 boxes, approximately 5 cubic feet

D. Correspondence with dioceses and missionaries in the United States, 1829-1917, 3 boxes, approximately 1.5 cubic feet, diocesan folders arranged alphabetically by diocese; the following pertain to dioceses with missions among Native Americans (diocesan totals are comprehensive and include letters not pertaining to Native evangelization):

Box 13, Bundle 6: Diocese of Boise. Idaho, 1885-1904, 19 letters

Box 13, Bundle 12: Diocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, 1831-1885, 101 letters

Box 14, Bundle 5: Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, 1910, 3 letters

Box 14, Bundle 1: Diocese of Detroit, Michigan, 1829-1852, 1881, 1884, 284 Letters; notable correspondents include Rev. Frederic Baraga, 1834-1849, 53 letters; and Rev. Francis Pierz, 1835-1849, 55 letters

Box 14, Bundle 5: Diocese of Fargo, North Dakota, 1889-1908, 20 letters

Box 14, Bundle 8: Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1841, 1883-1891, 22 letters

Box 14, Bundle 9: Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, 1877-1911, 97 letters

Box 14, Bundle 14: Diocese of Lead (Rapid City), South Dakota, 1903-1909, 7 letters

Box 14, Bundle 19: Diocese of Marquette, Michigan, 1881-1898, 14 letters

Box 15, Bundle 1: Diocese of Nesqually (Seattle), Washington, 1847-1856, 1885-1903, 70 letters

Box 15, Bundle 7: Diocese of Oregon (Portland), Oregon, 1848, 1884-1914, 120 letters

Box 15, Bundle 12: Diocese of Sacramento, California, 1883-1889, 7 letters

Box 15, Bundle 15: Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, 1867, 1877, 1882-1895, 29 letters

Box 15, Bundle 16: Diocese of St. Louis, Missouri, 1830-1853, 1858, 1865-1868, 1881, 1896, 1912, 119 letters

Box 15, Bundle 17: Diocese of St. Paul, Minnesota, 1852, 1880-1888, 21 letters

Box 15, Bundle 18: Diocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1893, 1911-1912, 9 letters

Box 15, Bundle 20: Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 1895-1897, 29 letters

Box 15, Bundle 21: Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin, 1907-1909, 9 letters

Box 15, Bundle 22: Diocese of Tucson, Arizona, 1908-1914, 12 letters


Unless otherwise noted, the repository on this page holds (or held) the records described here and they are not held at the Marquette University Archives.