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Avella (Steven M.) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents

  • Contributing Institution: Center for Sacramento History
    Title: Steven M. Avella papers
    creator: Avella, Steven M.
    Identifier/Call Number: MS0075
    Physical Description: 15.83 Linear Feet 16 boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1850-2005
    Abstract: The Steven M. Avella papers contain research material, rough drafts, and notes collected and created by Avella during the process of writing his books on Catholic Sacramento and Sacramento history. Avella gathered material from Diocesan records, memoirs, and correspondence from religious orders; parish histories; contemporaneous newspaper articles; material on ethnic communities; and biographical files on bishops and other Catholic notables. The series largely follow Avella's book, chapter, and subject organization.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Donated by Steven M. Avella in 2010 (accession # 2010/33).

    Processing Information

    Processing and finding aid by the Rev. Anne Slakey, 2013. Finding aid edited by Kim Hayden, 2021.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research use. All materials may be viewed, but student papers and material gathered from other institutions cannot be duplicated. Those citing and using such material for publication should obtain copies from the original institutions and cite them separately.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests to publish or quote from private manuscripts held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted in writing to csh@cityofsacramento.org. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron. No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records. While all material in this collection can be viewed, student papers and material gathered from other institutions cannot be duplicated. Those citing and using such material for publication should obtain copies from the original institutions and cite them separately.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], Steven M. Avella papers, MS0075, Center for Sacramento History.

    Related Materials

    Material related to those in the Steven M. Avella papers can be found in the following collections at CSH: the Sacramento Ethnic Communities Survey, and the Catholic Herald Collection.

    Biographical / Historical

    Steven M. Avella was born in Chicago and grew up in Sacramento. He is an ordained priest, a historian, and a professor of history and former chair of the history department at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He has also lectured at California State University, Sacramento. His professional focus is on 20th century American history, American religious history, and the American West. He has written many books on those topics, including books specific to Sacramento history and the history of the Catholic Church in Sacramento.

    Scope and Contents

    The Steven M. Avella papers contain research materials, rough drafts, and notes created and collected by Avella while he was researching for and writing his books "Sacramento and the Catholic Church: Shaping a Capital City" (2008), "The Diocese of Sacramento: A Journey of Faith" (2006), "The Good Life: Sacramento's Commercial Culture" (2008), and "Sacramento: Indomitable City" (2003). The collection's series and folder titles largely reflect the book, chapter, and subject organization of Avella's research material.
    The material in this collection brings together valuable information about various eras, persons, institutions, and themes, particularly related to Catholic life in Sacramento and Northern California. Especially well-documented is Avella's interest in ethnic history as part of Catholic history, with rich coverage of ethnic groups in downtown parishes, and of the Diocese of Sacramento's ongoing redefinition of Hispanic ministry in the turbulent decades of the 1960s and 1970s.
    Much of the research material in this collection is a result of Avella's extensive study of Catholic newspapers, including several iterations of Sacramento's "Catholic Herald" and its successor paper, the "Catholic Register." Avella also studied newspaper indices at the California State Library and articles from other Sacramento newspapers. He also consulted the archival records of the Diocese of Sacramento; Archdioceses of San Francisco and Los Angeles; Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara; Sisters of Mercy, Auburn; and Franciscan Sisters of Penance and Charity at Stella Niagara, New York, and Redwood City, California. Primary sources include Diocesan records; correspondence and memoirs of religious orders serving the Diocese; parish histories, financial records, and correspondence; biographical material on Bishops and other notable figures; and newspaper articles on most subjects. Secondary sources include copies of articles, theses, dissertations, and some student papers.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Catholic Church--California--Sacramento.
    Catholic Church. Diocese of Sacramento (Calif.)
    City and town life--California--Sacramento
    Ethnic groups
    Manogue, Patrick, Bp., 1831-1895.
    Mexican Americans--California--History
    Sacramento (Calif.)--Church history
    Social life and customs--Sacramento (Calif.)
    Sisters of Mercy. Sacramento, California (Diocese)