Found in the Archives: The Notebooks of Msgr. James B. Roberts

Today’s blog looks at notebooks kept by Msgr. James Roberts from 1959 to 1981. These spiral notebooks act as both diaries and scrapbooks, which chronicle Msgr. Roberts’ time as a pastor at St. Theresa’s in Briarcliff Manor and Old St. Peter’s in Manhattan.  Msgr. Roberts’ was the pastor of St. Theresa’s from 1959 to 1965, and during this time he wrote in his notebooks almost daily. In seven volumes he writes about events that are happening in the church or in the Church’s mission, Our Lady of the Wayside in Millwood. He also documents any repairs done to the church as well as the building of the new school at St. Theresa’s. He includes photographs, mass bulletins, and newspaper clippings to help narrate his account. Additionally he annotates his own notes, adding things as he writes.

His notes slow down during his tenure at St. Peter’s on Barclay Street in Manhattan. He writes five volumes from 1965 till his retirement in 1981. He continues to document his life, with the hope that future readers will find it both useful and entertaining.  His notebooks are a great source of information and can be useful for any researchers interested in the parishes of St. Theresa’s and St. Peter’s.

Below are a few examples of the pages of his notebooks:

A page

A page from St. Theresa’s, Volume II

Roberts Chronicle StTheresa002

A page from St. Theresa’s, Volume II

Roberts Chronicle StTheresa003

A page from St. Theresa’s, Volume II

Roberts St Peter Book001

A page from St. Peter’s, Volume I

Roberts st Peters book002

A page from St. Peter’s, Book I

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