Armand William Forstall, S.J. Papers

Arrangement and Description

Armand William Forstall, S.J. Papers

Scope and Content

   The papers of Father Armand William Forstall, S.J. contain only a small amount of personal information about his family, childhood, and friends. Instead, the materials in this collection largely concern his academic life as both a student and as a teacher. There is also information about the assaying work he did in Colorado, and the correspondence he received from seismographic stations around the world detailing their measurements. There is correspondence about a patent to handle fabric, and the equations he supplied the Keuffel and Esser Company which enabled them to manufacture a log slide rule in 1908. The collection includes many of his academic notebooks which he created during his schooling, as well as those he created while teaching mathematics, chemistry, and physics.

   Some of his notebooks, photographs, letters, and memorabilia refer to his life in Europe and the early days of teaching in New Mexico, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. The bulk of the collection, however, comes from 1904 –1948 when he lived in Denver, CO. These notebooks are written in English, as are the newspaper clippings about his work, and the scientific articles on engineering devices that Fr. Forstall collected.


Series Listing and Description

Series 1–Correspondence

   There is not extensive correspondence between Fr.Forstall and members of his family. A few letters document his instructions connected with Jesuit assignments. The folder of general correspondence includes letters connected with various mining, assaying, and scientific projects he undertook. The greatest number of letters concern his successful efforts to obtain a patent for a device to handle fabric. The patent itself is included.

   Three letters discuss payment for the equations he submitted to the Keuffel & Esser Company enabling them to manufacture a log log slide rule.[Fr.Forstall’s slide rule is saved in a folder in Carton 3.] The series conclude with letters containing seismographic measurements from around the world.

Series 2-Notebooks,loose notes, scrapbooks

   The notebooks in carton 2 are identified by Fr. Forstall by place and sometimes a date. This does not apply to loose pages of notes. The scrapbooks contain clippings he kept on subjects of interest.

Series 3 –Manuscripts

   One manuscript is by Fr. Forstall on the History and Theory of the slide rule. It is accompanied by his note stating that it was never published. The other manuscript is by Conrad Bilgery, S.J. who taught at Regis University. Originally from Germany, he became a U.S. citizen in 1939.

Series 4 -Pamphlets and unbound reference materials

   This series contains pamphlets from the early 1900s describing scientific apparatus and topics that Fr. Forstall collected. The unbound reference materials are biographical, either directly linked to Fr. Forstall or his family, such as death notices, genealogies ,citations printed in Who’s Who in Science, and clippings. There is also memorabilia of some personal items belonging to Fr. Forstall, such as awards, drafts of speeches, and his address in 1938 while celebrating his 60th anniversary with the Society of Jesus.

Series 5 -Photographic Images

Photographic images are divided into 4 groups: 1) prints of Fr. Forstall, 2) prints of family, friends and places that are identified, 3) prints of people and places that are not identified ,and 4) digitized images from a series of glass negatives and lantern slides. The digitized glass negatives include scenes of Regis University in the 1890s, its early campus, its classes, its sports teams, the Jesuits, the students, and various church ceremonies. The digitized lantern slides were teaching aids and focus on people collecting specimens at geological sites. There is a folder in carton 3 that contains an inventory of the scanned glass negatives and lantern slides, and, thumbnail prints of these scanned images.

Series 6 –Clippings

   Armond William Forstall, S.J. Papers Newspaper clippings [and correspondence] are the main source of information about Fr. Forstall’s early background and of his later professional life working with the seismograph, with geology, and his application for patents.

Series 7 - Early undated notebooks

   Unlike the few notebooks in carton 2, the notebooks in this carton are not usually identified by location. Because they are written in either French or Latin, it is assumed they are connected with his early schooling or teaching. Books have been identified by the original labels written on their spine.

Series 8 -Denver notebooks

   Most of these notebooks are identified by Fr. Forstall as belonging to his life in Denver, CO. Some are not identified, but they have been included with this group because they are in English and therefore seem later.

Series 9 -Oversize [OV]

   These are the certificates Fr. Forstall earned in the Jesuit order. Of special note is an award [framed] given to him in 1936 by the Ministere de L’Education Nationale for his work in seismology.

Related Collections

While teaching in Denver, CO at The College of the Sacred Heart , [which became Regis College in 1920 and Regis University after 1992,] Fr. Forstall collected a large display of rock samples. This geological collection was given to the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, in 2009.


Other related collections stored within the Regis University Archives and Special Collections include;