COVID has kept researchers from archives of late, but archivists have been busy engaging with their holdings. Over the coming weeks, we will share Hidden Catholic Collections that archivists and those interested in the history of Catholicism want to know more about!
First up is the Knights of Lithuania records, held by U.S. Catholic Special Collections at the University of Dayton. The Knights of Lithuania is a fraternal organization for Catholic Lithuanian-American women and men, preserving heritage through community, education, outreach, and religion. With 62 linear feet of records, photographs, scrapbooks, AV materials, and monthly journal Vytis held at the Roesch Library, there is much to find in the collections of this organization founded in 1913.
Early on, the organization included a basketball league, theatre troupe, and year-round events for younger generations of Lithuanian-Americans as this immigrant community gradually integrated into American culture. The organization advocated for the freedom of Lithuania during much of the 20th century when it was Soviet territory. And of course, the Knights of Lithuania are still active today!
Historians of the Catholic Experience: with so many great resources for the history of community, devotion, immigration, nationalism, and sport, what might you do with this collection? Let us know on Twitter @achahistory!
U.S. Catholic Special Collections
University of Dayton
300 College Park Dr.
Dayton, Ohio 45469-1360