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Dahlgren Chapel

This guide highlights primary and secondary sources available in the Georgetown University Archives for research on Dahlgren Chapel.

Archival Resources: Overview


Printed menu from the consecration of Dahlgren Chapel

Menu from the consecration of Dahlgren Chapel, 1893

The archival materials listed here are intended as a starting point for research. They are available for use in the Booth Family Center for Special Collections on the 5th floor of Lauinger Library; use the Aeon request system to request materials and to schedule a research appointment to examine them. 

Researchers are also encouraged to explore the descriptions of other records in the University Archives through the Georgetown Archival Resources site. Use the search box or the search icon in the gray row at the top of the screen to begin exploring. Additional search words can be added to the results screen using the Filter Results box to the right. 

As with any archival research project, please note that not all material in the University Archives relevant to research on Dahlgren Chapel is described on Georgetown Archival Resources site; Archives staff are happy to discuss research projects and to direct researchers to additional resources.

  • Society of Alumni: Proceedings, GTA.000217. 1892 proceedings include the text of an address by Georgetown President J. Havens Richards, S.J. referencing Dahlgren Chapel: "Mrs. Elizabeth Drexel Dahlgren, wife of our well-deserving alumnus, John Vinton Dahlgren, has made to the College a donation of $30,000 for the erection of a student's chapel. This generous gift will supply a need which has been very deeply felt, and will enable us to carry out the services of religion in a dignified and impressive manner."
  • Old Archives: Buildings, GTA.000321. Box 1 contains records relating to Dahlgren Chapel from 1891-1971. Click on the Dahlgren Chapel (Box 1) link and its sub links  in blue in the Collection organization pane on the left of the screen to see more detailed descriptions of the content.
  • Presidents’ Correspondence and Other Materials (Richards, Whitney, Daugherty), 1888-1904. GTA-000010.  Donations book listing major donations to Georgetown University during this period [50.6], 1891-1898 includes multiple entries relating to gifts from John and Elizabeth Dalhgren towards the Chapel. Letterpress copy books in this collection include letters from Georgetown President J. Havens Richards to  John and Elizabeth Dahlgren about donations and the construction of the Chapel

  • Diary of Junior Division of Georgetown College, 1888-1900, GTA-000143-DS. The laying of the cornerstone of the new (Dahlgren) Chapel is noted in the entry of 05/19/1892. Dedication of Dahlgren Memorial Chapel is noted in the entry of 04/16/1893 and its consecration service in the entry of 06/09/1893.

  • Old Archives: Alumni Association, GTA.GTA-000317.  Box 2 (1889-1920) 1891-1894 includes the text of a speech by President J. Havens Richards, S.J., with reference to the completion of Dahlgren Chapel.

  • Mass of the Holy Ghost / Mass of the Holy Spirit, GTA-000231-DS. 0.25 linear feet. 1890-1970, 2003. Contains invitations, correspondence, clippings, and other material re the Solemn Votive Mass of the Holy Ghost for the opening of all schools of Georgetown University. Early masses were held in Dahlgren Chapel; from the 1950s on the event took place on the White-Gravenor esplanade (or McDonough Gym in the case of inclement weather). Post-1960 material references Mass of the Holy Spirit rather than Mass of the Holy Ghost.

  • Chapel Announcements, GTA-000819. 0.5 linear feet.  Includes announcements for Dahlgren Chapel, 1898-1913.

  • Campus Ministry, GTA-990124-GAMMS277. 7.5 linear feet. 1971-1992. Includes scrapbooks with photographs, printed materials, news clippings and other materials about or generated by Campus Ministry.

  • Campus Ministry Publications, GTA-000509. 0.5 linear feet.  1973-2001. Contains serial and non-serial publications. Includes brochures, flyers, schedules for religious services, and other printed matter. Also: brochure on Dahlgren Chapel and program from re-opening of Dahlgren Chapel, January 31, 1976 and invitation and order of service from Interfaith Service to Commemorate the Victims of the Holocaust at which the University Sermon was delivered by Jan Karski, April 14, 1983.

  • Campus Ministry, GTA-130708. 0.25 linear feet.  1987-2006.  Contains publications and printed matter. Includes:

    –Dahlgren Chapel history/description 1993.

    –Translation of Latin tablet on the floor at the entrance to Dahlgren Chapel: "Whosoever you are who draws here to pray, pour out your earnest prayers for Elizabeth Drexel Dahlgren . . ."

    –Notes for Chapel Docents (typed). With sections on Sanctuary, furnishings, North Transept, Stations of the Cross (by Frederick Shrady), South Transept, confessional, Bedient Organ, windows, Crypt Chapel - with appendices: booklet - Dahlgren Chapel, Georgetown University, compiled by Jill Leff in conjunction with the January 1976 dedication of the renovated Chapel; description of Dahlgren Chapel iron cross; program from the dedication of the Landegger Organ in Dahlgren Chapel, 11/11/1989; Our Stained Glass Windows, 2 October 1898, Journal Article [typed transcription].


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