History

Photograph of a white man wearing a skull cap
In 2018, shortly before the final closure of Heythrop, a Jesuit-run college of the University of London, some very special items arrived at the Jesuits in Britain Archives: a quill, collar, scarlet skullcap and cardinal’s biretta, all of which had belonged to John Henry Newman (1801-1890). It is not known how the items came to be at Heythrop but they had, for some time, been living in a desk drawer in the librarian’s office. With the closure of the college imminent, the Archives were selected...
How bleedeth burning love online exhibition live now text in orange on a dark blue background with faded image of nine men encircling title
On 1 March 2021 the virtual relic exhibition, How bleedeth burning love, launched. This was a very exciting, and by then long anticipated, moment. I’m very pleased with the reception it has had so far. This blog post is a brief reflection on how the exhibition came to be though looking back it seems a blur of frequent meetings and to and froing with outlined texts.Initially, when an exhibition on relics had first been suggested back in 2019, a physical exhibition was planned, which would have...
Photograph of antiquarian books on shelves
A year and three lockdowns into the pandemic and our old way of working has fractured, the ‘new normal’ has become the merely normal.  Working from home means we have had to find new things to do, or new ways of doing old things.  In this blog post I reflect on my experience of writing about rare books using only some rather unprofessional pictures on my phone camera, and a lot of good internet resources.Last month I wrote a blog post about two books in the Jesuit Antiquarian Book...
Veneration of the English and Welsh Martyrs of the Reformation began almost as soon as the persecution of Catholics started. It is with thanks to various individuals: those who witnessed executions and smuggled relics to safety, those who compiled catalogues of those that died for their faith, and those that championed the cause of the Martyrs in the 19th century when the Catholic hierarchy was re-established, that the Catholic men and women, lay and religious, who died for their faith during...
Lockdown and working from home has meant that I have not been able to continue with cataloguing the books in the Jesuit Antiquarian Book Collection.  However, I have been able to take a look in greater detail at some of the books already catalogued, especially those of which I had pictures on my camera roll.  This blog is the result of some of these researches, and focuses on just two of the nearly 1000 pre-1700 volumes in the Jesuit Antiquarian Book Collection.  The...
In today’s ‘From the Archives’ blog post we revisit this post from January 2018 on the 155th anniversary of the Jesuit publication Letters and Notices.One of the Jesuits in Britain Archives’ most frequently consulted sources is a publication called Letters and Notices. It is an internal publication, intended for members of the Society, and is currently produced twice a year. This year is the 155th anniversary of the publication of its first volume in 1863.The first volume...
View of the Archives reading room with empty tables
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is not going to be forgotten any time soon, especially as we are still only just slowly starting to counteract it with vaccinations and our daily lives remain fairly restricted. However, as with every year January provides an opportunity to reflect on what can be learnt from the previous year and utilised in planning the year ahead, though of course the ongoing certainties make concrete future planning tricky. Here we reflect on what lessons the Jesuits in...
2020 was, to say the least, a strange year for everybody, thanks to the global pandemic. For the Jesuits in Britain Archives it meant closing our doors in March with the announcement of the first lockdown, and we are yet to reopen officially to researchers. Staff began cautiously to return to the Archives over the summer, allowing us to keep on top of enquiries and check on conditions in the storage areas, but due to lockdown 2.0 and the tier system, staff time in the Archives once again became...
Christmas 2020 looks set to be a Christmas like no other. Traditionally a time spent with family and friends, thanks to the global pandemic celebrations for many will be limited this year, but no less special. In this blog post, the Jesuits in Britain Archives look back at some of the ways in which the festive season has been celebrated by Jesuits at the start of their careers in the Society.For anybody entering the Society, the first stage is a two-year Noviciate which, between 1860 and 1950...
Collage of three photos showing a young woman measuring a book, another young woman looking at archives on display and a young man photographing a relic. There is text imposed on the images stating Thank you.
As every year the International Day of Volunteers on 5 December provides us with a chance to reflect on not only on what volunteers offer to the work of the Jesuits in Britain Archives, but also a time to consider what we can provide those volunteering in return. By giving their time, energy and skills, volunteers make a valuable contribution to the overall aims of the Jesuits in Britain Archives. Equally volunteer working can also bring benefits to the volunteers themselves by enabling them to...

Pages