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Guide to the Frederic Corss Church Papers ; Church (Frederic Corss) Papers


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Guide to the Frederic Corss Church Papers 1910-1966

Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Overview of the Collection

Title: Papers
Creator: Frederic Corss Church, 1885-1966
Dates: 1910-1966
Quantity: 3 cubic feet
Abstract:Correspondence from study in Europe, war work with the Young Men's Christian Association in Italy, as professor of history, University of Idaho, 1921-1955, and other personal correspondence, diaries, research notes and manuscripts, financial records, and photographs.
Identification: MG083
Language: English
Repository: University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives
Moscow, ID 83844-2351

Arrangement and Description

Since this record group is a reprocessing of an earlier group with the addition of many other items, a series order was imposed during processing.The first series contains the 1979 inventory for the original record group which included the correspondence, genealogical records, military memorabilia and financial records.The correspondence consists of typed copies of outgoing letters written to family members dating from 1910 to 1920 and incoming letters from 1933 to 1966. The outgoing letters are in chronological order and describe Church's travels in Germany and Switzerland, including a visit to the Oberammergau Passion Play, his daily routine and people he met while studying in Zurich, and his trips to Italy and Paris. The cover of the 200 page volume of carbon typescript letters written between 1918 and 1920 states that the originals were loaned to the Pennsylvania War History Commission by Mrs. William F. Church. These letters describe in detail the important work of the Y.M.C.A with soldiers in Italy during this period. Of interest is his frequent reference to the identity problems of the Y. On page 26 (letter 6), he writes, "For instance, Y.M.C.A. is not easy to explain in Italy, where there is liable to be no distinction between 'Christian' and 'Catholic'. The triangle again makes trouble, for it has to be dissociated from Masonry, which is also regarded with disfavor in Italy." The only original letters of Frederic Church in this series are a group of 20 letters written between 1910 and 1912. In the eight which have no typescript copy he tells his family about his appendectomy. The incoming letters are arranged alphabetically with the exception of those of his nephew Carl Engler which are arranged chronologically.The third series contains many of Church's research notes including genealogical and chronological tables of European and Oriental history, transcriptions of Italian manuscripts, drafts of his book The Italian Reformers, and typed copies of several articles. The Obiter Dicta volume contains speeches, short articles and book reviews. The other items are Church's daily diaries in which he recorded his activities, books read, movies seen, and money spent.The financial records include Frederic Church's accounts as well as account books belonging to family members.The fifth series contains family genealogical records, list of books acquired from 1903 to 1958, memorabilia including certificates, medals, Italian money, from his service in Italy during World War I, and financial reports of the 4th army in Belluno. Other items in this series include grades from Cornell and a newspaper clipping about a book Church was writing.The final series contains a large number of photographs, some of the Corss family, a collection of photographs belonging to Mary Church, pictures of Frederic Church dating from about 1900 to 1955, photos of several of Church's students, scenes of Moscow and the University of Idaho Campus, and a large collection of blue prints of landscape views. Also in the landscape views collection are safety film negatives and one glass negative.

Scope and Content

The papers of Frederic Corss Church span the years 1910 to 1966. They include typed copies of his 1910 to 1920 letters, a few original letters from the 1910 to 1912 period, incoming letters, 1933 to 1966, research notes, typescript copies of several books and articles, daily diaries, 1919-1921 and 1935 to 1965, financial records of family members as well as Dr. Church, memorabilia from his service in Italy, and photographs of Church and his relatives, Moscow scenes, and a large collection of blue prints of landscape views.

Administrative/Biographical History

Frederic Corss Church was born on October 3, 1885, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He attended Cornell University from 1905 to 1909, and was granted a fellowship from that institution to continue his studies in Europe from 1909 to 1912. He taught at Pennsylvania State University until the First World War which he spent as Y.M.C.A. secretary in Italy. In this capacity he organized many social events for the Italian troops, including films, musical evenings, holiday parties, and also provided quiet places for the troops to read and write letters--in some cases writing letters for the men who were illiterate. Changes in the administration at Penn State made his return to his former position unlikely, and he applied for other jobs.

In his diary entry for August 6, 1921 he wrote: "Telegram from Idaho offering Hulme's place for $2800. Accepted wondering if I was being taken at a disadvantage, being so far away." He continued teaching in the history department at the University of Idaho until his retirement in 1955. In 1925 a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established at the University of Idaho and Church became its first secretary, a position he held for over 25 years. He was also an honorary member and chapter advisor of Phi Delta Theta in Moscow, frequently hosting their yearly social gathering at his home.

He was a member of the Presbyterian Church where he directed the choir, and for many years served as church secretary.

Church was considered an outstanding authority on the renaissance in Poland, and was a member of the Polish Academy of America. He was also a member of the Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania, History and Geological Society. Among his books, book reviews, and articles is the book The Italian Reformers, 1534-1564, published in 1932.

Frederic Church spent his first night in Moscow as a roomer in the house built by Governor William J. McConnell located at 110 South Adams, and remained there, eventually as its owner, the rest of his life. While he owned the house he rented rooms to students. In his will he left the house to Latah County to be used by the Latah County Pioneer Association, the Moscow Historical Society, and other cultural organizations. It now houses the Latah County Historical Society which has restored the house to its turn of the century splendor, adding period furniture and replicas of the original carpeting and draperies.

Church died in Moscow at the age of 81 on October 14, 1966, and is buried in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Colleges and Universities

Church, Frederick C., 1885-1966--Archives.

University of Idaho -- Faculty

Historians -- Idaho -- Moscow -- Correspondence
World War, 1914-1918 -- War work -- Young Men's Christian associations -- Italy

Administrative Information


The correspondence and financial papers of Frederic Corss Church were received by the University of Idaho Library prior to his death in 1966; this material was processed in 1979. In recent years family photographs were given to the library by the Latah County Historical Society, the manuscript materials were removed from the Day-NW collection in the Special Collections Library, and other photographic material was found. It was decided to bring all of this material together

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I. Original Inventory 1979
1/11/1Descriptive Inventory of the papers of Frederic Corss Church in the University of Idaho Library 1979 1 item
Series II. Correspondence 1910-1966
1/2-51/2-5Travels and Studies in Europe 1910-1912 43 items
1/61/6Original Letters 1910-1912 20 items
1/71/7Letters from Italy 1918-1920 1 item
1/81/8Incoming Correspondence 1933-1951 4 items
1/91/9Correspondence from Carl H. Engler 1965-1966 23 items
1/101/10Incoming Correspondence 1963-1966 15 items
Series III. Research, Writing, and Diaries 1915-1965
os/11os/11Chronological Tables for Oriental History ca. 2800 B.C.-1912 A.D. 1915-1916 18 items
1/121/12Notes on Egyptian History undated 4 items
1/131/13Notes Cards: Manuscripts about Egyptian Archaeology undated 200 items
os/14os/14European History: Genealogical Tables of Rulers ca. 900-1950, undated 18 items
1/15-171/15-17European History: Genealogical Tables of Important Families ca. 820-1947, undated 135 items
1/181/18Transcriptions of Italian Manuscripts, Notes on Italian History undated 3 items
1/191/19Chronology of Polish History, 966-1944 undated 1 item
1/201/20Typescript: "Boniface Amerbach and His Circle" undated 1 item
1/211/21Draft: The Italian Reformers, 1534-1564 1931 1 item
1/221/22Proof Copy: The Italian Reformers, 1534-1564, with author's corrections 1932 1 item
1/231/23Obiter Dicta of F.C. Church 1921-1961 1 item
1/241/24Typescript: "An Onlooker of the Reformation: Giovanni Bernardino Bonifacio, Marquis of Oria" undated 1 item
1/251/25Research Notes for "Politics & Persecution in the Time of Calvin" ca. 1920 24 items
1/261/26Typescript: "Politics and Persecution in the Time of Calvin (1536-1564) as reflected in the lives of the Italian Reformers" ca. 1920 1 item
1/271/27Typescript: "Socinus and Rationalism" undated 1 item
2/28-662/28-66Diaries 1919-1921; 1935-1965 39 items
Series IV Financial Records 1891-1965
3/673/67Account Book of Nancy Corss 1897-1935 1 item
3/683/68Stocks owned by Mary L. Church 1930-1931 1 item
3/693/69Clothing Expenditures of F.C. Church 1921-1965 2 items
3/703/70Account Books of F.C. Church 1921-1965 2 items
3/71-753/71-75Check Registers (not F.C. Church's) 1928-1936 5 items
Series V. Other Papers 1905-1966
3/763/76Hatch, Berry, and Church Genealogical Information undated 4 items
3/773/77Books Acquired, Chronological List 1903-1957 1 item
3/783/78Books Acquired, Alphabetical List Compiled Every Five Years 1913-1958ff 11 items
3/793/79Y.M.C.A. Service Certificates, Medals, and Other Memorabilia 1918-1919 14 items
3/803/80Financial Reports of the 4th Army, Belluno 1919 7 items
3/813/81Other Items 1905-1966 4 items
Series VI. Photographs ca. 1865-ca. 1959
3/823/82Corss Family ca. 1865-1900 26 items
3/833/83Photographs Belonging to Mary Church ca. 1880-1890 21 items
3/843/84Church Family undated 2 items
3/85-903/85-90Frederic Corss Church ca. 1900-1955 80 items
3/913/91Kenneth Hensley, James Hawkins, Paris Martin, Donald Spaugy ca. 1932 4 items
3/92-943/92-94Moscow Scenes, Including the Campus, Presbyterian Church, and Church's home ca. 1940s 103 items
3/953/95Landscape Views, Photographs 1928-1932 12 items
3/96-973/96-97Landscape Views, Blue Prints undated 115 items
3/983/98Landscape Views, Negatives undated 17 items
3/993/99Moscow High School Football Team, and Unidentified Group ca. 1950s 3 items

Profile Description

Creation: Encoded by ArchProteus2003
Language: Finding aid is in English

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