Samuel R. Lopez Collection

27 Sep

In historical archives, most collections are personal papers, belonging to members of the community that the archive serves. The specificity of some of these collections is what makes them so much fun to examine, and so important to researchers who come to find information!

The Samuel R. Lopez collection contains the personal papers of Samuel Lopez, who grew up in Tucson in the 1920s. While there are no photographs or correspondence, what this collection gives us are documents related to plays put on by the church youth group in the 20s and 30s called “The Little Flower Club.” This club, organized to pay tribute to Saint Therese of Lisieux, was active from 1926 to the mid 1950s, and this collection has scripts, songs, and prayer cards and catechisms with devotionals to Saint Therese.

Every time I process a collection I’m a little stunned by the insight into another person’s life I get. In this case, a portrait of Mr. Lopez was pretty clear: he was obviously a very religious man, who loved to entertain others. But the plays and prayers also give us a clear image of what the Catholic Church was like in the 1920s, and what kinds of prayers were in vogue at the time, and what this club was doing for the community.

The Samuel R. Lopez collection is available to researchers in our Reading Room and is only one of the collections that give a great slice-of-life perspective of Tucson and some of the lesser-known historical niches of this great city. If you have any interest in the history of the church or theater in Tucson, come check it out!

MS 1477, Samuel R. Lopez Collection, Box 1, Folder 1. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

MS 1477, Samuel R. Lopez Collection, Box 1, Folder 1. As always, if you would like to use any of the photos seen here on the blog please contact ahsref@azhs.gov for information on image reproduction.

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