Vatican Council II Print and Photo Collection

Link to the Finding Aid

Abstract: This is a collection of printed materials and a few photographs from the Vatican Council. This includes booklets that were printed by the council, as well as leaflets and correspondence. There are also newspaper clippings and magazines from the period of the council. There are also full newspaper from the time period in English and Italian. Lastly, there are two books of English translations of selected Vatican II documents.

The Second Vatican Council was held in Rome from October 11, 1962 through December 8, 1965. The Council was called by Pope John XXIII in response for the calls for reform within the Church. The main goals of the Council were to unite Catholics, to clearly define the role between the bishops and the pope, to renew the Church, and lastly reach out to the modern world. The Council dealt with reaffirming Church doctrine and to make an importance of scripture again. There was also a deep focus on reaching out and involving the laity within the Church. In particular there was a greater focus on the mass and revising the liturgy to emphasize the use of the "mother tongue". This meant that the liturgy would be translated into the native language of the laity. Overall, the Council consisted of 2625 members and had representatives from around the world, including the new independent nations of Africa and Asia. The Council was closed by Pope Paul VI on December 8, 1965. The outcome of the Council remains a matter of debate for scholars.

Collection Size (number of document cases and boxes):

2 linear feet; 2 boxes

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

This is our most visual collection and contains a variety of photos and images from Vatican II.  This includes the personal files of Bishop Daly of Des Moines, which includes photographs from his participation in the Council.  The collection also includes two published books of the conciliar and post-conciliar documents from Vatican II.  The majority of Life magazines featuring covers and articles concerning Vatican II are also included, as well as issues of the New York Times, the Tablet, Time magazine, the Daily News, and some Italian magazines/newspaper containing reports from Vatican II.