Archives

The Jesuits in Britain Archives is full of letters – personal correspondence, circulars, letters to and from Fr Provincial and Fr General, annual letters in Latin, postcards and Christmas cards. There are letters from Guyana, South Africa, Jamaica, India, Maryland, Rome, from all parts of Britain and, it seems, from all corners of the world. Such a volume of correspondence is perhaps unsurprising for letters are the staple component of many archives. However, the extent of the correspondence...
This year, September 28 will mark the second year of UNESCO’s International Day for the Universal Access to Information (or Access to Information Day). With this in mind, we take a moment to reflect on the work of the Jesuits in Britain Archives, and how we play a small part in Access to Information Day every day, by making our records available.Arguably, there is no point in having an archive – employing the staff to manage it and putting in the financial resources to ensure the material is...
September is the start of the new academic year as children all over the country head back to school. The Society of Jesus is recognised throughout the world for its work in establishing and running schools, colleges and universities. This blog post gives a brief overview of some of the collections of school records held here at the Jesuits in Britain Archives and, in particular, the records of Mount St Mary’s College, which is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its establishment this...
‘It was as lonely an outpost of religion as you could find anywhere.’ So wrote Evelyn Waugh of the Jesuit mission station of St Ignatius in the central Rupununi region of south-west Guyana.In the winter of 1932-1933 Waugh had travelled to the interior of British Guiana (as it was then known) and Brazil. Waugh ostensibly had the travelling bug – in the foreword to Ninety-Two Days, the travelogue Waugh published in 1934 giving an account of this trip, he admits to ‘a fascination in distant and...
It’s the middle of summer.  Children are enjoying their six weeks off school, and many of us take a week or a fortnight’s vacation by the sea or in the countryside.  The Jesuits also enjoy short breaks from their work and the Jesuits in Britain Archive holds material recording holidays taken by Jesuits over the last 160 years. Jesuit students, known as Scholastics, used to take a two week holiday in Barmouth, in Wales.  This tradition started in 1853 when Father James...
St Ignatius’ Day is the 31 July, and historically Jesuit Communities have marked the day with Masses, processions and feasts.  In the archives we have records of these events from the 19th and 20th centuries, showing how Jesuits celebrated St Ignatius’ Day, and how these celebrations changed over the course of the years.The Mount Street Jesuit Community recorded its daily services, meals, and comings and goings of individual Jesuits, as well as larger feasts and other events, in The...
One of the Archives’ most frequently asked about collections unsurprisingly belongs to one of the most high-profile English Jesuits of recent times, Fr Martin D’Arcy SJ. Due to the standard closure period of 40 years after the death of a Jesuit for their personal papers, Fr D’Arcy’s papers have finally been fully catalogued and made available to the public.Martin Cyril D'Arcy was born in Bath on 15 June 1888, the fourth and youngest son of a barrister, Martin Valentine D'Arcy and Madoline Mary...
Image of rare books in the Jesuits in Britain Archives
This week's From the Archives post has been guest-written by work experience student, Natasha Wilkinson.Hello! My name is Natasha Wilkinson, I am 16 years old, and for the past week I have been doing work experience with the Archives of the Jesuits in Britain. I wanted to do my work experience here because I am very interested in history and hope to pursue a career that is related to history in some way in the future. To begin with, I was unsure of what to expect from working in the archives,...
Friday 9th June 2017 is International Archives Day. This is the 10th such day designated by the International Council on Archives to celebrate both the richness and diversity of archives, and to promote awareness of the work of archivists and recordkeepers. Archive services around the world participate in the day by organising events, activities and exhibitions and by sharing ideas, photographs and projects on social media: in short, anything to raise the profile of archives and archivists.I...
On Tuesday 30 May, the BBC will air the first episode of its new drama Broken. Set in a Catholic community in the north of England, it tells the moving stories of its priest, played by Sean Bean, and parishioners. Much of the series was filmed in the Jesuit Church of St Francis Xavier in Liverpool, known locally as SFX, and Parish Priest Fr Denis Blackledge SJ was on hand throughout the filming to act as a religious advisor.In honour of the show’s debut airing, we explore the SFX...

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