Archives

With the Jubilee year for the 450th anniversary of the birth of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga coming to a close on March 9, 2019 we decided to highlight the work done by Fr Cyril Martindale SJ, the man in charge of organising the English Province’s celebrations for the bicentenary of the canonisation of the young Saint in 1926.The Father Provincial selected Martindale, to his delight, as the right person for the task to organise the dual-celebrations of the canonisations of the two young Saints...
This year, World Book day will be celebrated in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Thursday 7 March. It might seem surprising, but the Jesuits in Britain Archives hold various documents, particularly correspondence, penned by some of the most well-known writers and literary figures of the 20th century. In honour of World Book Day, we delve into the collections for just such pieces.Perhaps the most obvious place to start is the archives of The Month. This monthly review, which was founded and...
This year, 5 February marked the 28th anniversary of the death of the Society’s 28th Superior General, Fr Pedro Arrupe. The anniversary is made particularly important since it also marked the official opening of the cause for his beatification and canonisation in Rome.Fr Arrupe was born in Spain in 1907. After school he attended the Medical School of the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and, after several years of medical training, joined the Society of Jesus in 1927. Unable to pursue his...
In this blog post, volunteer Lucy tells us about the fascinating process of cataloguing our historically important antiquarian book collection.The Jesuits in Britain Archive holds an important collection of sixteenth and seventeenth century theological books, together with bibles, prayer books, and historical works, and for the past three months I have spent one day a week working on them, examining each in turn and preparing a list of them for the Archivist.  Books are not, strictly...
This year marks the 110th anniversary of the beginning of the Rupununi Mission in what was then British Guiana by Fr Cuthbert Cary-Elwes SJ. In January 1969, in the Diamond Jubilee year of the foundation of the Mission, political events lead to unrest that would affect the English Jesuits that were still living and working there. Using sources in the Jesuits in Britain Archives, we take a look at the events of 50 and 110 years ago.The story of the Jesuits in Guyana began in 1857 when Fr James...
As 2018 draws to a close, we reflect on some of the anniversaries that the Jesuits in Britain Archives have researched this year. A universally commemorated event was the centenary of the declaration of peace signifying the end of the First World War. It has been interesting and at times touching to discover more about the Jesuits who served as Chaplains over these past years and learn about their personal experiences as told in their own ‘voice’ in letters, diaries and even artwork.It was also...
With only a few days to go until Christmas the festive season is officially in full swing. Gifts have been bought and wrapped (we all wish, anyway!) and cards filled with Christmas wishes from family and friends have begun arriving through letterboxes. I decided to take a look through the Christmas cards we possess in the archive to see if and how this friendly festive tradition has changed over the years.  The first modern commercially produced Christmas cards as we would recognise them...
The 29 November was World Digital Preservation Day, which has as its aim raising awareness of digital preservation. To mark the occasion of World Digital Preservation Day here is a short blog highlighting issues relating to preserving digital records. In the Jesuits in Britain Archives we have been conscious for some years now of the need to manage the digital collections already in our care as well as to establish guidance and policies to ensure that all digital material of relevance to...
In October, the Archives team was joined for a week by Sophie, a recent graduate with an interest in a career in Archives. As well as the usual tasks of calendaring, indexing, and transcribing, Sophie was able to explore the Archives by helping to prepare and select pieces for our annual exhibition, which coincides with the national Explore Your Archives campaign. Read Sophie’s blog post to find out about her experience:As I’m interested in pursuing a career in archives, volunteering at the...
Over the last four years, the Jesuits in Britain Archives have published several blog posts to commemorate events of the First World War, the centenary of which will be reaching its conclusion this November. The War touched all aspects of the Province, from the Jesuit chaplains who were sent to fulfil the spiritual needs of the troops, to the former Jesuit pupils who died during the conflict, to those who witnessed Zeppelin raids at home. Throughout the centenary, sources such as Chaplains’...

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