Marquette University’s Raynor Library to house James Wright Foley Archives Collection

Feb. 8, 2024

James FoleyMILWAUKEE — Marquette University’s Raynor Library will be home to the James Wright Foley Archives Collection, a collection of his personal writings, reflections and works from his life and career until his murder in 2014.

The Foley Collection has been made accessible to the public in partnership with the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. The foundation was created in 2014 to honor the legacy of James Foley, a Marquette graduate and freelance journalist who was captured by ISIS in 2012, tortured, and then beheaded by the group in Syria in 2014. The foundation is dedicated to securing the freedom of Americans held captive abroad and preventing future hostage-taking.

“This collection will carry on Jim’s legacy in a fitting way by providing an invaluable resource for teaching students about moral courage,” said Rana Altenburg, associate vice president of public affairs at Marquette and a foundation board member. “We are hopeful that Jim’s collection will draw Marquette students and alumni, aspiring and current journalists, and everyone curious about the life and work of Jim Foley, and provide them with a powerful, personal encounter with moral courage. Schools of journalism, in particular, will benefit when instructing aspiring journalists about working safely and effectively in conflict zones.”

The Foley Collection includes his work as a journalist, letters and notes from captivity, personal writings, and other material, as well as much of the material used in the documentary, “Jim: The James Foley Story,” with additional materials forthcoming. Much of the Foley Collection lives as digital files, and select physical materials will be digitized to ensure they are available worldwide to online visitors.

“The Foley family and the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation are deeply humbled and honored that Marquette University is archiving Jim’s work,” said Diane Foley, Foley Foundation president and founder. “We hope that students learn from Jim’s experience of bearing witness to history as a conflict journalist and aspire to be people of moral courage, while making a difference for others in their lives.”

The Foley Collection will be managed by a dedicated professional archivist, who will oversee the collection's organization, preservation, digital infrastructure and public access. An individual from the Foley Foundation will be appointed to act as an archival outreach consultant to consult and advise on the use of the collection in various capacities.

“We are honored to play a part in furthering James Foley’s legacy by establishing, maintaining and making available his personal and professional materials to inspire and educate aspiring journalists around the world,” said Dr. Tara Baillargeon, dean of Raynor Library. “Marquette is uniquely qualified to be the home of the Foley Archives Collection because of our reputation for expert curation of many unique archival collections.”

Foley’s legacy at Marquette continues through the development of the James W. Foley Journalist Safety Curricula as well as scholarship support for students. The safety training and materials for current and aspiring journalists reporting at home and abroad are now being used in 39 colleges and universities across the country.

The James Foley Endowed Scholarship provides tuition support for an economically disadvantaged communication student who demonstrates a commitment to social justice through service and aspires to be a communication professional working for positive change in our world after James’ example. With support from the James P. Ruder Foundation, the Foley Foundation is also offering a one-year fellowship to a current Marquette journalism student.

The Foley Foundation has also worked with Marquette’s Center for Peacemaking in its mission to foster research and action for the promotion of peace, human dignity and justice.

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. Through the formation of hearts and minds, Marquette prepares our 11,100 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional students to lead, excel and serve as agents of positive change. And, we deliver results. Ranked in the top 20% of national universities, Marquette is recognized for its undergraduate teaching, innovation and career preparation as the sixth-best university in the country for job placement. Our focus on student success and immersive, personalized learning experiences encourages students to think critically and engage with the world around them. When students graduate with a Marquette degree, they are truly prepared and called to Be The Difference.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or