Ann Stull Papers

Dates: 1942-1971
Collection Number: 1999/04
Provenance: Donation of Ann Stull, June 21, 1999
Size: 4 linear feet (4 archival boxes, including one oversize case)
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, 9525 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60628
Access: No restrictions
Citation: When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Ann Stull Papers [Box #, Folder #], Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, Woodson Regional Library, Chicago Public Library
Processed by: Michael Flug, Senior Archivist, Harsh Archival Processing Project


Shirley Ann Stull (Petta)

Ann Stull, as she was known most of her life, was a lay Catholic activist for racial and social justice. She was born Shirley Ann Stull in St. Louis, Missouri on December 3, 1926. Her parents were Wilfred and Irene (Taylor) Stull. She graduated from Webster College, then a Catholic women’s school in a St. Louis suburb. She became active in Catholic interracial activities and moved to Chicago to work at Friendship House, an organization dedicated to improving race relations.

Friendship House was a Catholic interracial missionary organization founded in the early 1930s by Catholic social justice activist Catherine de Hueck Doherty. Though its original Toronto center was forced to close, it was soon adopted by Catholic Interracial Council and set up operations in New York City’s Harlem in 1938. Friendship House established its second center in Chicago in 1942, located at 4233 South Indiana Avenue in Bronzeville.

Ann Stull served as director of Chicago Friendship House from 1951 through 1955. In the years that followed, Chicago’s Friendship House became a volunteer organization. and Stull continued to be active in its work. She was especially involved in the fight against housing segregation. While volunteering at Friendship House, she became an English teacher at Kelly High School, where she taught for some thirty years.

From 1980 through 2000 it also operated a day shelter for the homeless. Friendship House closed its doors in 2000. For much of her life she lived in the Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood of Chicago. In 2002 she married Frank Petta, and moved to Elgin, Illinois.

In 1999 she donated her collection of periodicals, pamphlets and clippings on race relations to the Chicago Public Library’s Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Ann Stull (Petta) died on March 8, 2009.


  • Obituary, Shirley Ann Petta, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Illinois), March 11, 2009
  • Hawkins, J. Russell and Phillip Sintiere, Christians and the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013
  • Schorsch III, Albert, "Uncommon Women and Others: Memoirs and Lessons from Radical Catholics at Friendship House,” U.S. Catholic Historian 9(4): 371-386, Fall 1990.
  • Stull, Ann, “Housing Speculators,” Community 17, no. 11, July 1958


Series 1: Serials

Ann Stull’s collection of serials is largely focused on race relations in the United States and the role of the Catholic Church in helping to eliminate racism. This series reflects her 1960s work on housing and education issues in Chicago, and ongoing support for the civil rights movement in the South. The serials are arranged alphabetically in Box 1 by the title of the serial. Oversize serials are mostly “keepsake” special issues. They have been placed in Boxes 2 and 3, and are also arranged alphabetically by the title of the serial.

Series 2: Pamphlets and Clipping Files

Among the most important documents in this series is an unedited copy of the Advisory Panel on Integration of the Public Schools report, completed in March 1964. The Chicago Board of Education accepted receipt of the report, but sharply divided over its conclusions. The collection of newspaper articles written in the week following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. offers a window into what Chicagoans were thinking during and shortly after the riot. This series is arranged by alphabetically by author.

Series 3: Phonograph Records

This small group of LP music albums reflects Anne Stull’s deep appreciation African American vocal music in general and for Paul Robeson’s music especially. We were not able to determine the publication date of some of the Robeson records.


Related materials in the Chicago Public Library include:

Related collections at other institutions include:

  • Friendship House Records and the John Kearny Papers at the Chicago History Museum
  • Ann Harrigan Makletzoff Papers at University of Notre Dame Archives.


Series 1 -- Serials

Box 1 Folder 1 Associated Block Club News, Chicago, Illinois, 1969
Box 1 Folder 2 Atlanta Voice, Atlanta, Georgia, 1970
Box 1 Folder 3 Black Panther [partial issue], Black Panther Party, Berkeley, California, May, 1969
Box 1 Folder 4 Black Truth, Lawndale Peoples Planning and Action Conference, Chicago, Illinois, January 1970
Box 1 Folder 5 Changing Education, special issue on “The Negro and American Education,” Detroit, Michigan, Fall 1966
Box 1 Folder 6 Commonweal, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 1965
Box 1 Folder 7 Human Relations News, Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Chicago, Illinois, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1970
Box 1 Folder 8 Integrated Education, Teachers for Integrated Schools, Chicago, Illinois, 1963, 1964
Box 1 Folder 9 Interracial Books for Children, New York, New York, 1969
Box 1 Folder 10 Interracial Review: A Journal of Christian Democracy, Catholic Interracial Council of New York, 1964
Box 1 Folder 11 Jubilee, special issue on “Catholicism and the Negro,” 1955
Box 1 Folder 12 Negro Digest, special issue, “Focus on Detroit,” Chicago, Illinois, 1967
Box 1 Folder 13 New South, Southern Regional Council, Atlanta, Georgia, 1964-1965
Box 1 Folder 14 New South Student, Southern Student Organizing Committee, Nashville, Tennessee, 1966
Box 1 Folder 15 Renewal, Chicago City Missionary Society, Chicago, Illinois, 1964
Box 1 Folder 16 Saint Louis University Magazine, special issue on “Why Black Studies?,” St. Louis, Missouri, 1970
Box 1 Folder 17 Scholastic Scope, special issue on “The Life and Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” New York, New York, 1968
Box 1 Folder 18 SCLC Newsletter, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 1964
Box 1 Folder 19 Social Order, National Jesuit Social Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri, 1961
Box 1 Folder 20 South Today, Southern Regional Council, Atlanta, Georgia, 1969-1970
Box 1 Folder 21 Southern Education Report, Southern Education Reporting Service, Nashville, Tennessee, 1966, 1969
Box 1 Folder 22 Southern Patriot, Southern Conference Educational Fund, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1963-1965, 1969
Box 1 Folder 23 Southern School News, Southern Education Reporting Service, Nashville, Tennessee, 1964-1965
Box 1 Folder 24 Survey Graphic, special issue on “Color: Unfinished Business of Democracy,” New York, New York, November 1942
Box 1 Folder 25 Today, Claretian Fathers, special issue on “Race in America,” Chicago, Illinois, 1968
Box 1 Folder 26 V.E.P. News, Voter Education Project of Southern Regional Council, Atlanta, Georgia, 1969
Box 1 Folder 27 West Side Torch, West Side Organization, Chicago, Illinois, 1969
  Oversize Serials
Box 2 Folder 1 Ebony, special issue on “100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation,” September 1963
Box 2 Folder 2 Ebony, with article on “Negroes who fought at Bunker Hill,” February 1964
Box 2 Folder 3 Ebony, with article, “50,000 march on Montgomery, May 1965
Box 2 Folder 4 Ebony, special issue on “The Negro Woman,” August 1966
Box 2 Folder 5 Ebony, with article on “The Birth of Black America,” June 1969
Box 2 Folder 6 Ebony, with article on “Dr. Charles G. Hurst: The Mastermind of Malcolm X College,” March 1970
Box 2 Folder 7 Ebony, special issue on “The South Today,” August 1971
Box 3 Folder 1 Life [magazine], on Civil Rights face-off at Selma, March 1965
Box 3 Folder 2 Life, on “Arson and Street War” in Los Angeles, August 1965
Box 3 Folder 3 Life, beginning of new series on Negro History, “The Search for a Black Past,” November 1968
Box 3 Folder 4 Life Educational Reprints, 7 issues from a series on Negro History, c. 1968-1971
Box 3 Folder 5 New York Times, special supplement prepared by the National Urban League, “America, His Hope, His Future…”, January 1960
Box 3 Folder 6 Tuesday Magazine, supplement to the Chicago Sunday Sun-Times, with article on Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, July 1969

Series 2—Pamphlets and Clipping Files

Box 4 Folder 1 Chicago Commission on Human Relations, “The Growing Negro Middle Class in Chicago,” Human Relations News, October 1962
Box 4 Folder 2 Marciniak, Ed, “Breaking the Housing Barrier,” Commonweal, March 1963
Box 4 Folder 3 Advisory Panel on Integration of the Public Schools, “Report to the Board of Education of the City of Chicago,” March 1964. Unedited copy given to Anne Stull by Ed Marciniak
Box 4 Folder 4 Silberman, Charles, “Beware The Day They Change Their Minds,” Fortune, November 1965
Box 4 Folder 5 Elsila, Dave, “Moving Mississippi Forward with Freedom Schools,” American Teacher, September 1966
Box 4 Folder 6 File of clippings from the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Daily News, Time magazine, and the National Catholic Reporter, on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and its aftermath, including the Chicago riots, April 5- April 12, 1968

Series 3—Phonograph Records

Box 5 Folder 1 Rev. Frederick Douglass Kirkpatrick, Pete Seeger, and Jeanne Humphries, “Ballads of Black America,” Folkways Records, 1972
 Box 5 Folder 2 “Paul Robeson at Carnegie Hall,” Vanguard, recorded 1958
 Box 5 Folder 3 Paul Robeson, “Songs of Free Men,” recorded 1942 and “Spirituals,” recorded 1945, Columbia, 1968 (?)
 Box 5 Folder 4 Paul Robeson, “Favorite Songs,” Monitor, unknown date
 Box 5 Folder 5 Paul Robeson, “A Man and His Beliefs,” Everest, unknown date
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