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Ruddick Collection

Collection of Fr. James J. Ruddick, S.J., 1924-2007

James Ruddick with seismograph


Welcome to the Collection of Rev. James J. Ruddick, S.J. chronicling the history of the Canisius College Seismograph Station and seismology at the College.

This Collection is made accessible, in part, through a grant from the American Institute of Physics.  

About Rev. James J. Ruddick, S.J., and the Collection

The Reverend James J. Ruddick, S.J. was a Jesuit priest, professor of physics and director of the Braun Seismograph Station at Canisius College, Buffalo, New York from 1974 until his death in March 2007. This collection comprises an early history of seismology and the records of the Jesuit Seismological Association.  It includes records of a seismograph station with the distinction of continuous operation in the exact facility and location in which it was originally installed in 1911, on the Onondaga limestone.

The Ruddick Collection documents:

  • The priest’s correspondence
  • Teaching and lecture files
  • Committee records
  • Research files,seismology log books, intensity surveys, photographs, and maps
  • Historic records of the Jesuit Seismological Association, the primary reporting group in the United States for earthquakes in the 1930s, 40s and early 50s
  • The research and working papers of Austin C. McTigue, Ph. D. who served as director of the seismograph station from 1940-1970. Included is his work related to nuclear fission and astrophysics

Artifacts include: Historic seismographs, and records of the Cansius College Seismograph Station, one of the earliest seismograph stations in the United States, and one of only four remaining of the original 16 North American Jesuit-run stations.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The Ruddick Collection consists of 32 manuscript boxes and 12 flat files including:

  • Correspondence, journals and field notes
  • Experiments, lecture notes, manuscripts
  • Preliminary determination of epicenter (PDE) report cards
  • Stormograph readings
  • Minutes of meetings
  • Periodicals, souvenirs, photographs, maps
  • Awards and ephemera

Click the following link for a complete inventory and box list (PDF)

Collection Arrangement

The Ruddick Collection comprises three subgroups:

1. Papers of Rev. James J. Ruddick, S.J.- including the papers of Austin C. McTigue, Ph.D.  - 15 Boxes (PDFs)

2. Records of the Jesuit Seismological Association - 7 Boxes

3. Records of the Canisius College Seismograph Station  After 1987, the station was known as the Braun Seismograph Station. In 2009, it became the Braun-Ruddick Seismograph Station - 10 Boxes