Archives

Mothering Sunday falls on 22nd March this year. Historically Mothering Sunday has been celebrated on the fourth Sunday of Lent, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, since the 16th century. Once observed as a day on which people would return to their home, or ‘mother’, church loaded with gifts to honour the Virgin Mary, it has today become an occasion to celebrate and give thanks to all mothers.Children and young people who had left their families to find domestic work, such as household servants...
World Book Day falls on 5 March this year, and this blog post will look at some of the antiquarian books in the Jesuit Archives which I have been cataloguing recently.I have been struck by how many of the books which retain their older bindings – that is, those which were not re-bound in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries -- contain re-used materials.  ‘Reduce Reuse Recycle’ is a current concept, and one which we should all try to put into practice, but it is not a new idea. ...
The Jesuits in Britain Archives holds a substantial collection of oversize plans and documents. These include architectural plans and drawings of Jesuit churches, schools, and community buildings. There are also large prints, photographs, maps and Photostats. Their storage, an open-fronted wooden shelf unit, was proving insufficient and in some cases was damaging to the material, particularly the large items which protruded from the unit. It was therefore decided to have the collection surveyed...
On Friday 25 January 2020 the staff and pupils of St Ignatius College, Enfield attended a service at Westminster Cathedral to mark the 125th anniversary of the school, which fell on 10 September 2019 (click here for pictures).  St Ignatius College is a comprehensive school providing a Jesuit education for boys, and in the sixth form, for girls as well.  It is housed in modern buildings in Enfield, with sports hall, swimming pool, theatre, playground and playing field.  It is an...
The wintry months of December and January are synonymous with one sport in particular: ice-skating. Though our mild winters generally no longer allow us to enjoy gliding over frozen ponds, canals and lakes, our predecessors certainly could, and took full advantage. These days you will struggle to make it through the winter months without encountering an ice rink, and you may even look forward to slipping and sliding across the ice!The earliest form of ice-skating first developed roughly three...
Following public health advice, the Jesuits in Britain Archives will remain closed until 12 May or until further notice.The purpose of the Jesuit in Britain Archives is to collect, preserve and make available records concerning the Jesuits in Britain.  The Archive (Archivum Britannicum Societatis Iesu: ABSI) primarily holds records relating to the Jesuits in Britain. It is not, however, the only archive of the British Province. As well as small scale local collections, there are also...
2020 marks the 80th anniversary of the first full year of the Second World War. One event that took place early in this year was the start of rationing, on 8 January 1940. At first bacon, butter and sugar were rationed, but by 1942 many other foodstuffs, including meat, milk, cheese and eggs were also limited. Not all food was rationed, such as fruit and vegetables, but they were often in short supply, especially those shipped in from overseas. In this blog post, the Jesuits in Britain Archives...
It is that joyful time of year once again, and here at the Jesuits in Britain Archives we are feeling particularly festive. We have decided to usher in the Christmas season by showing off a few of our festive favourites, found within the archives.For the first item on our list we turn once more to the Blandyke Papers created by philosophy students, who each year produced a special Christmas edition. In particular, we have chosen a Christmas poem written by Fr Henry Meyer SJ in 1889, which...
On the 26th of November, the Jesuits in Britain Archives once again took part in the annual Explore your Archive campaign by holding an exhibition for members and staff of the Province that celebrated particularly interesting or unusual items in the collection. Explore Your Archive is an Archives and Records Association tool for public and private organisations across the UK and Ireland to showcase the hidden gems stored in their collections. Each year a list of themes is released for archives...
The feast day of St Stanislaus Kostka SJ, patron saint of Jesuit novices, is 13 November.  St Stanislaus was born in 1550, and faced great opposition from his family to his wish to become a Jesuit novice.  He ran away from the family home in Vienna and walked to Rome, via Dilingen in Germany, despite being frail and prone to illness.   Once in Rome he became a Jesuit novice and impressed all with his great holiness and devotion, but lived only 10 months more, dying on 15...

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