Archives

Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890) is a significant figure in the religious history of England. His canonisation on 13 October has prompted the Jesuits in Britain Archives  to delve into the collections to see what material is held there relevant to the occasion.Newman’s association with the Jesuits are numerous: he attended St Ignatius’ chapel in Oxford and received Gerard Manley Hopkins, who would posthumously be celebrated as one of the 19th century’s greatest poets, into the...
In May this year, the Jesuits in Britain Archives took delivery of over 200 architectural plans and drawings of the Holy Name Church in Manchester. The project to conserve and digitise these historically important records was part of a wider project, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to carry out essential repairs on the Grade 1 listed building. In this blog post, we will explain how this came about and what the work entailed.In 2016, a set of architectural plans were discovered in...
World Animal day is celebrated on the 4th October. Its mission is “to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe”. World Animal Day was chosen to be on the 4th October as it is the day of Saint Francis Assisi, the patron saint of animals, merchants and ecology.In addition to serving as a day to raise awareness of animal welfare it also provides us with an excellent opportunity to showcase a few of our furry friends found amongst collections at the Jesuits...
Earlier in the summer, recent graduate Michael Daniel carried out a two-week work experience placement at the Jesuits in Britain Archives. In this week’s blog post, Michael discusses the tasks that he undertook and what he learnt.My name is Michael, and during the first two weeks of July I worked alongside the archives team at the Jesuits in Britain Archives. I initially spoke with Rebecca (Province archivist) regarding work experience in the summer of 2018, and was pleased to be offered this...
Art class in the College ground gardens [early 20th century]
The closing of the 2018/9 academic year marks the end of the 425th Anniversary Year of Stonyhurst College and its predecessors, and the beginning of its 225th year located in England, both are occasions which the Jesuits in Britain Archives wishes to celebrate.This article hopes to delve deeper into the fascinating history of the College by looking at the journey that led the College to be at Stonyhurst and gives us a chance to exhibit a few Stonyhurst-related items held here in the archives.As...
The cataloguing of ‘The Month’ – a monthly publication owned and operated by the British Province of the Society of Jesus from summer 1865 until its closure in 2001 - has recently been completed, offering an opportunity to look more closely at ‘The Month’, its story and history. The completed catalogue ended up becoming five boxes worth of material spanning from the publication’s Jesuit takeover in 1865 until its unfortunate closure in 2001, the date ranges found within the collection really...
Every year, 31 July marks the feast day of St Ignatius of Loyola. As co-founder and first General of the Society, this is a particularly important feast day for Jesuits in Britain and throughout the world to celebrate. In this blog post, we look at some of the items that celebrate St Ignatius and the early years of the Society in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.Íñigo López de Loyola, as St Ignatius was baptised, was born in Loyola in the Basque Country of Spain, 23 October 1491. The youngest...
Black and white photograph of young boys with a few carrying banners showing religious images in two lines either side of 3 altar servers, two of whom are carrying candlesticks and the third a pole which may be the base of a cross
Back in March 2018 Lorraine Finch, a photograph conservator, gave the archive team some valuable training on identifying different photographic processes and how to care for the different types of photographic material. We were aware that among the various photographic formats held in the Jesuits in Britain Archives there was a collection of glass plate negatives.Before cellulose nitrate film was invented in 1903, photographic emulsions were made on glass supports, more typically known as glass...
At the end of May this year the Jesuits in Britain Archives took delivery of a very exciting set of packages. The eight large and somewhat heavy parcels contained just over 200 architectural plans for the Holy Name Church in Manchester, which have been painstakingly conserved and digitised by the National Conservation Service as part of a project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore parts of the Grade 1 listed Victorian church.The plans had been kept in an old vestment chest...
This year 6 July marks the 400th anniversary of the date that the English Mission became a Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus. In this article we look at the early history of the mission up to that point.The possibility of a Jesuit mission to England was first discussed in 1578. The then Father General, Everard Mercurian, was initially reluctant to embark on it, fearing that the Society was already overstretched. The English Jesuit Robert Parsons and William Allen, founder of the English...

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