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Collections

Find out about our collections, how to search the catalogue, and how to deposit material.

About the Collections

The Archives primarily holds records relating to the Jesuits in Britain. The collection contains papers relating to the administration of the British Province by the Provincial Curia as well as personal papers and correspondence of dead members of the Province. It includes records of Jesuit communities, of Province works, and material relating to the overseas missionary work of the Province including South Africa and Guyana.

It also has a few deposited collections such as The Cause of the English and Welsh Martyrs; records relating to the Jesuit Chaplains at New Hall, Chelmsford donated by the Canonesses of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Plater College (formerly Catholic Workers' College) archives.

The Archive includes a collection of antiquarian books consisting of works by members of the Province and those defined as being important for the post-Reformation history of Catholicism in Britain and/or the history and spirituality of the Society.

In some cases small collections are held locally by Jesuit parishes and communities while further, significant collections are held at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire and at Campion Hall, Oxford

Using the Catalogue

Historically the Archives have been catalogued using a card index system and this is still the main finding aid. Currently the Archives is working to catalogue its collection digitally and more fully. If you are unable to find what you're looking for, please contact us.

 

The Archives is part of the Network of Archives & Libraries of the Catholic Church and as material is catalogued it will be made available online through the Catholic Heritage project. 

The best way to search the online catalogue is to click the ‘Advanced Search’ button at the top of the Catholic Heritage CalmView page and then select ‘Jesuits in Britain Archives’ in the drop down repository list. You can either simply click ‘Search’ at this stage or refine your search by using the search fields. Once you have results displayed, you can see the catalogue hierarchy by clicking in the ‘Ref no’ field. If you have any difficulties using the online catalogue or would like assistance accessing uncatalogued material, please get in touch. Further instructions for using the catalogue can be found in the video below.

Hands at an open drawer with lots of small white cards

Antiquarian Book Collection

The Archives holds a collection of c. 3,000 antiquarian books, divided into pre- and post-1700. The collection includes historical series, bibles, works of theology and philosophy, Jesuit annual letters, and works by Jesuits including St Ignatius Loyola, St Francis Xavier, St Edmund Campion, and Robert Persons. There are also works on recusant subjects written by non-Jesuits, which form part of the polemical, religious debates of the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The books offer a glimpse of former Jesuit Libraries, and many carry marks of former owners, either individual Jesuits, or from residences, colleges, schools and other Jesuit institutions, as well as non-Jesuit communities. Many of the books are first or very early editions.

Our Antiquarian Book Provenance Project is underway and is coming up with a lot of history about the past history of individual books in the collection, and of the migration of books from one library to another.  We share our findings as we come across them in a separate website, Jesuit Books.   Click on the link to find out more.

Cataloguing of this collection is ongoing. If you would like to find out more, please contact us.

Antiquarian Books
Row of different sized books in various bindings

Subject Guides

We plan to create themed guides on a variety of subjects to help navigate our collections. As they are created they will be made available here.

 

Guide to early material 1500-1800

Guide to resources 1939-1945

Deposit Material

We are always pleased to discuss and accept new deposits of records which fall within the remit covered by our Acquisition Policy.

Records can come in many formats and can be both analogue and digital. They do not have to be ‘old’ and can relate to the recent past.

Our core collections consist of:

  • Official and non-official records reflecting the management and government of the Province, and important events in its history.

  • Personal papers of dead members of the Province.

  • Records displaying the historical significance of the British Jesuits.

  • Records relating to communities and ministries of the Jesuits in Britain, past or present.

 

If you have records which you would like to donate to the Archives we will be happy to discuss this with you.

If you are sending any material to the Archives then please attach a completed Gift Agreement Form.

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