William K. Leahy Vatican II Collection

Link to the Finding Aid 


This is a collection of William K. Leahy's personal papers from his service as a translator at the Vatican II Council. They include Latin speeches from Bishops at the Council, Leahy's personal translation notes, and English news releases. There are also a Latin pamphlets as well as Italian and American newspapers about the council. Lastly, there are Leahy's personal newspaper and periodicals he collected on various social causes, books he had written and a scrapbook compiled in his honor by his sister.

Collection Size (number of document cases and boxes):

14 linear feet; 7 boxes

Collection Description (Ex., administrative notes, diary, printed matter):

This collection contains pamphlets, speeches, shorthand notebooks, petitions, council notes, diaries, bulletins, news coverage, papers, magazines, articles, and books from Leahy’s participation at the Second Vatican Council.  It is the largest and most diverse Vatican II collections at CUA and has information from many of the different commissions.  At the council, he kept track of all the American speeches, and saw the final documents developing step by step. When the American bishops wanted to speak, they would give outlines to Leahy and he would write their speeches in Latin. A day or so later at the council, he would then record speeches that he himself had written, which is why we have so many records from his experience at Vatican II.