In Memoriam: Father Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, PHD, Villanova University’s First Archivist
The Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, PhD, the University’s first archivist and member of the Augustinian Priesthood for 55 years, passed away Nov. 22, at the age of 85.
Father Gallagher graduated from Villanova with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy in 1960 and a Master of Science degree in Library Science in 1965. In addition to his work as a priest, professor, and librarian, he was appointed as the University’s first full-time archivist in 1985 where his expertise in Villanova’s history helped preserve and organize documents and treasured items for future generations.
“Father Gallagher was a dedicated priest and a man of integrity, who cared very deeply for Villanova University,” says Darren G. Poley, Associate Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, Librarian for theology and religious studies, humanities and classical studies, and honors.
Father Gallagher often remarked that the work of the University Archives was to act as the institutional memory of Villanova. In this regard, he was a fitting and adept keeper of those memories.
A viewing and funeral Mass were held the morning of Nov. 30 in St. Thomas of Villanova Church. Burial services were conducted at Calvary Cemetery in Conshohocken, Pa.
More about Father Gallagher:
- Father Gallagher’s entry on the Augustinian Province of St. Thomas of Villanova website.
- Read a celebration of his work upon his “golden anniversary” as an Augustinian Priest (written by Alice Bampton.)
- View an online version of the exhibit he created upon Villanova’s Sesquicentennial Celebration (1992-1993).
- Read the book Ever Ancient, Ever New: Villanova University (1842-1992) in Falvey Memorial Library’s collection.
Click here to visit the University Archives.
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Thanks for publishing this story. Father Gallagher devoted many years of service to Falvey. Early on, years before becoming the University Archivist, he worked in Falvey. And, as Archivist, he was extremely knowledgeable about the history of Villanova and often helped researchers, answering their request for information promptly and thoroughly.