Guide to the Peter Masten Dunne, S.J. Papers 5600 DunP

Finding aid prepared by Mary Kenney
California Jesuit Archives
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA, 95053
(408) 554-5432

Title: Peter Masten Dunne, S.J. Papers
Identifier/Call Number: 5600 DunP
Contributing Institution: California Jesuit Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 8.625 Linear feet 20 boxes
Date (bulk): 1930-1950
Date (inclusive): 1889-1957
Abstract: Peter Masten Dunne was a Jesuit priest, educator, and historian, known for his publications on the work of the Jesuits in northern colonial Mexico, from Tarahumara to Lower California and Arizona. A member of the California Province he served as chair of the History Department at the University of San Francisco, 1934-1957.
Language of Materials note: Although English is the predominant language of the collection, Spanish is used extensively, and some Latin.


Peter Masten Dunne (1889-1957) was born in San Jose, California and attended Santa Clara College, 1901-1906, then entering the Society of Jesus. He studied theology at the French seminary at Ore Place in Hastings, England, 1919-1923, where he was ordained in April 1921. After completing his Tertianship in Ohio, he served as Associate Editor of "America" magazine in New York City, 1924-1925. He taught History and English at Santa Clara University and at the Sacred Heart Novitiate, 1925-1930. He began his career as a professor of history at the University of San Francisco in 1931, completing his doctorate in philosophy at the University of California in 1934 under the direction of Herbert E. Bolton. He authored ten books and numerous articles on Jesuit mission activities in colonial Mexico and the New Southwest. He died in San Francisco 15 January 1957.

Scope and Contents note

The collection contains Jesuit Provincial’s curia and personnel files, correspondence, photographs, research notes and secondary material used in research. Personal items created during Dunne’s religious formation include a scrapbook, clippings, devotional writing, sermons, class notes, retreat presentations, teaching materials, and devotional items. Published and unpublished manuscripts of monographs and articles form the largest part of the collection.

Preferred Citation note

California Jesuit Archives, Santa Clara, CA.

Access Terms

Bolton, Herbert Eugene, 1870-1953
Dunne, Peter Masten, 1889-1957
Indians of Mexico -- Missions
Jesuits -- California Province
Jesuit historians
Jesuits -- Mexico
Jesuits -- Southwest, New
Missions -- Mexico -- Baja California
University of San Francisco


Series I. Personnel files, California Province of the Society of Jesus, 1918-1957

General note

This series contain Provincial Curia files, 1927-1957, biographical material, information on earned royalties, academic records, and devotional items.
Box 1

Provincial Curia files, biographical material, 1927-1957

Language of Material: English
Box 1



Series II. Correspondence

Box 2

Personal and professional correspondence, 1920-1957

Language of Materials note: English, Spanish, French, and Latin

General note

This subseries includes publisher's responses, letters dealing with historical research related to Peter Dunne's writing, and news clippings arranged in chronoligical order. Also included is documentation of the estate settlement of Peter and Josephine Dunne, 1936-1952.
Box 3

Correspondence foldered by individual

Individual correspondents

Pierre Bouscaren, S.J., 1924-1925
Gerard Decorme, S.J., archivist of Mexican Province, 1934-1953
Herbert E. Bolton, 1933-1953
Joseph Vraštil, S.J., 1934
Mabel Adelaide Farnum, 1941
Marquis McDonald 1952-1954
Ernest J. Burrus, S.J., 1953-1954
John F. Bannon, S.J., 1957-1958
Box 3

Annotated pamphlets included in correspondence files


Series III. Religious Formation and Devotional Life

Box 3

Devotional writing and notes

Box 4

Course notes and materials

Box 4

Early clipping file with devotional notes (topical)

Box 5

Theologate, Hastings, England, 1919-1923

Box 5

Sermons and exhortations

Box 6

Retreat outlines and talks

Box 6

Teaching materials


Series IV. Personal Items

Box 6

Miscellaneous from 1920s

General note

This subseries contains address books and notebooks, devotional objects, and items used in traveling.
Box 7

Scrapbook, 1916-1921

Box 8-9

Series V. Published monograph manuscripts, 1929-1958

Language of Material: English
Box 9-11

Series VI. Unpublished monograph manuscripts, 1951-1954

Language of Materials note: The series contains, among other manuscripts, translations of other authors' work from French and Latin.
Box 12

Series VII. Archival materials

Language of Materials note: Most of the photostat copies in this series are in Spanish with a few in Latin.

General note

Peter Dunne gathered photostat copies of documents from archives he visited in the United States, Mexico, and South America. Sources include: Codigo de Misiones, 1610-1764; Juan Nentvig letters; and "Establemento y progresos de las Misiones de la Antiga California" among others. These copies represent sources he used in his research.
Box 12-14

Series VIII. Research notes

Language of Materials note: Peter Dunne's notes were made in English. Typescripts and copies from original documents are written mainly in Spanish and some Latin.

General note

Folders in this series represent the original order of Peter Dunne with his hand-written notes and annotations, mostly undated. There are included in the folders transcriptions of documents and some photostat copies. Research resources ennumerated include: Archivo General de Indias (Seville), Archivo Historico de Hacienda, and Archivo General y Público de la Nación (Mexico), among others.
Box 14-16

Series IX. Published articles, 1919-1957

Box 16

Series X. Published book reviews, 1927-1956

Box 17

Series XI. Unpublished articles and book reviews, 1920-1956

General note

This series includes texts of two radio broadcasts by Peter Dunne, 1942 and 1955.
Box 18

Series XII. Other historical resources


South American sabbatical trip, 1943-1944


California History file, 1936-1956


Spain History file, 1937-1950

Box 19-20

Series XIII. Photographs

General note

The subject matter of the photographs are personal, including portraits and Dunne's early years, and photographs related to his historical research. Also include are ordination cards of Peter Dunne and his Jesuit associates, 1906-1947.