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History of Immigration in NYS

Immigrants have come to New York State for many reasons: to escape persecution, to improve their economic outlook, and to build new lives. Arrival of European immigrants into New York, like today, was also cause for discussion, disruption and practical challenges. For a state and nation built by immigrants, new arrivals were not always welcomed. Despite those challenges and injustices, immigrants’ experiences, knowledge, and cultures have enriched our state and shaped our history, Immigrants continue to build a vibrant, diverse, and modern New York State. At Canisius. an institution founded in part with the ideal of helping to acclimate and educate new immigrants, we continue that tradition into the 21st century.

Andrew L. Bouwhuis, S.J. Library is hosting a panel exhibit that focuses on European immigration to New York State from 1650 to 1950.The exhibit, created with content from New York State Digital Collections https://nyheritage.org/ is designed as a resource to enrich engagement and discussion. The exhibit begins begins with the arrival of Dutch settlers and continues through the end of the World Wars. The exhibit is located on the main floor of the Bouwhuis Library, and available for viewing during library hours.

Immigration in New York State, 1650-1950 is designed and sponsored by the Empire State Library Network, Western New York Library Resource Council, New York State Historic Newspapers, and New York State Library and Archives.

Submitted by: Kathleen DeLaney, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

Banned Book Week

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The Canisius University Archives Speaker Series continues its tradition of hosting a lecture during October in commemoration of American Archives Month, and Banned Book Week. This year’s theme, Let Freedom Read, addresses choice, tolerance and education as librarians and archivists confront a growing worldwide effort to challenge, censor or ban books and historic collections from their institutions.

Professor Emeritus Larry Eugene Jones, PhD, Department of History, will deliver his lecture John LaFarge, SJ, and the Secret Encyclical on Racism and Antisemitism, 1938-39, on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. in the Andrew L. Bowhuis Library, 1st floor. LaFarge, comfortably raised in Rhode Island among an artistic family, entered the Jesuit seminary in Innsbruck, Austria in 1901. He studied theology after a successful completion of classical studies in Greek and Latin at Harvard. Upon ordination, he returned to the U.S. and in 1907 earned his first teaching post in philosophy at Canisius.

The Jesuits transferred him to Loyola University Maryland, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Woodstock College. There, his life was transformed. Ill health redirected him from academics to pastoral work. Over 15 years, Father LaFarge worked and ministered in the St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where desperately impoverished populations of Black and immigrant communities endured extreme socioeconomic discrimination.

LaFarge found the appalling conditions and treatment of the people “sinful” and regularly spoke out about these inhumanities. He wrote articles and encouraged social activism throughout his life, especially in his 30-year career as the editor of AMERICA magazine, a Jesuit publication.

After his enlightenment in Maryland, LaFarge transferred to the Vatican where he regularly interfaced with the curia. His gifted scholarship led to a challenging assignment that placed him directly with Pope Pius Xl. That assignment—developing and writing an encyclical on social justice– would haunt him. This document, and the controversy over its mysterious disappearance, is the focus of Dr. Jones lecture.

The event is free and open to the public.

Submitted by: Kathleen DeLaney, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

2023 Archives Speaker Series Lecture

The Archives Speaker Series, presented by Archives and Special Collections, continues its tradition of hosting a lecture during October in commemoration of American Archives Month and Banned Book Week. This year’s theme, Let Freedom Read, addresses choice, tolerance and education as librarians and archivists confront a growing worldwide effort to challenge, censor or ban books and historic collections from their institutions.

Professor emeritus, Larry Eugene Jones, PhD, department of History, will deliver his lecture John LaFarge, S.J., and the Secret Encyclical on Racism and Antisemitism, 1938-39, on Tuesday, October 3, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. in the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library.

LaFarge, comfortably raised in Rhode Island among an artistic family, entered the Jesuit seminary in Innsbruck, Austria in 1901. He studied theology after a successful completion of classical studies in Greek and Latin at Harvard. Upon ordination, he returned to the U.S., and in 1907 earned his first teaching post in philosophy at Canisius.

Jesuits transferred him to Loyola University Maryland, where he earned a master’s degree in philosophy at Woodstock College. There, his life transformed when his health redirected him from academics to pastoral work. Over fifteen years, Father LaFarge worked and ministered in the St. Mary’s County, Maryland, where desperately impoverished populations of black and immigrant communities endured extreme socioeconomic discrimination. LaFarge found the appalling conditions and treatment of the people “sinful” and regularly spoke out about these inhumanities. He wrote articles and encouraged social activism throughout his life, especially in his 30-year career as the editor of AMERICA magazine, a Jesuit publication.

After his enlightenment in Maryland, LaFarge transferred to the Vatican where he regularly interfaced with the curia. His gifted scholarship led to a challenging assignment that placed him directly with Pope Pius XI. That assignment–developing and writing an encyclical on social justice– would haunt him. This document, and the controversy over its mysterious disappearance, is the focus of Dr. Jones’ lecture.

Submitted by: Kathleen Delaney, archivist and special collections librarian

Bouwhuis Library Hosts Explore Buffalo Tour

The Bouwhuis Library welcomed an enthusiastic group of 28 cultural heritage tourists to Canisius on Saturday, September 9, 2023. Through collaboration with Explore Buffalo, the Polish Arts Club of Buffalo and Buffalo Architecture & History, we were featured in a city-wide tour of the murals of Józef Sławiński (1905-1983). Canisius’ mural was donated by James Lawicki ’88 and installed on the library’s main floor during fall 2021.

Sławiński, a Polish immigrant to Buffalo, created large murals using a technique known as sgriffito. He used multiple layers of concrete alternating those with layers of different colored paint. Then, he scratched through to lower surfaces to reveal colors that he formed into shapes or images.

Robert J. Fronckowiak, First VP. and Board Member of the American Council for Polish Culture spoke about Sławiński’s work and legacy sharing the cultural heritage of Poland, and how the Canisius’ mural, created in Buffalo, informed his passion. The artwork depicts Polish individuals whose contributions to the arts and sciences are widely celebrated throughout the world: Frederic Chopin, Nicholas Copernicus, Marie Skłodowska Curie, and Adam Mickiewicz. Those figures center on an image of the University of Krakow, or Jagiellonian University, established in 1364.

Canisius’ Archives and Special Collections prepared an exhibit of newspaper clippings from the Collection of the Permanent Chair of Polish Culture. One article illustrated and described Sławiński at work; another, with photo, described a 1977 donation to Canisius of a rare edition, Polish-language family bible.

University archivist and special collections librarian, Kathleen DeLaney ’73 showcased the Bible, noted its history, and explained how use by the family gave clues to its current condition. The Bible, originally printed in 1599, was reprinted only twice from the original Latin Vulgate. Our edition, published in 1911, is from the second reprinting.

Explore Buffalo volunteer tour guide, Chuck LaChiusa ’63, assisted with the development of the Sławiński program. His website Buffalo Architecture and History is a well-researched guide to the historic built environment in Buffalo and Western New York. Visit him at BufffaloAH.com.

Submitted by: Kathleen DeLaney, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian