Archive Holdings

The archives has preserved the official records of the Society of the Divine Word in the United States beginning in 1895, including the records of the former Northern and Eastern Provinces . The first Divine Word Missionary landed on American shores in 1895. In 1913, the region became an official province of the Society of the Divine Word.

The archives also houses journals, periodicals and books published by the Society of the Divine Word from its beginnings in Steyl, Holland in 1875; personal papers and memoirs of Divine Word Missionaries; photographs; audio tapes; and memorabilia. This material includes contributions from Divine Word Missionaries from around the world and, in particular, those who serve underserved populations in the United States, the Caribbean and Canada.

The Chicago Province’s interactive timeline contains several photographs from the archives. For example, the entry for 1875-1895 shows the portrait of Father Arnold Janssen; the missionaries whom Father Janssen first sent to the United States are pictured in the entry for 1896-1899; and the first wing of the building that became known as Techny Towers is shown in the panel for 1900.

SVD Resource Center

The SVD Resource Center houses more than 900 books and articles written or published by the Society of the Divine Word from 1975 to the present. In addition, it has more than 1,500 scholarly reference books and books about missiology, Catholicism, vocations and the countries in which Divine Word Missionaries serve. The resource center holds journals, newsletters, and magazines published by the Society of the Divine Word around the world and scholarly journals on religion and missions.

For more information about the timeline, contact the Office of Public and Media Relations at For general questions about the archives holdings, call (847) 753-7431 or write to