Archives

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...
Since 2015, the Jesuits in Britain Archives have held an annual open day in November for the Jesuit community and staff to coincide with the Explore Your Archive launch week. Explore Your Archive is an Archives and Records Association tool for public and private organisations across the UK and Ireland to showcase hidden gems stored in their collections. Over the years we have put on displays focussing on various themes, such as ArchI’ve Explored, which aimed to introduce the wide range of...
A blue sheet of paper with black typewriter print
November marks 40 years since Pedro Arrupe SJ, the then Superior General of the Jesuits, set up the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in response to the plight of Vietnamese refugees fleeing their war-ravaged homeland. JRS is an international Catholic organisation aiming to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. There are now programmes in over 50 countries.With the anniversary approaching, JRS UK contacted the Jesuits in Britain Archives to...
This year, Sunday 25 October marked the 50th anniversary of the canonisation of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. The Martyrs represent Catholic lay and religious men and women executed for their faith between 1534 and 1680. The Jesuits in Britain Archives are privileged to look after the Martyrs’ Cause archives, a considerable body of work created by the Vice-Postulators of the Cause, which spans over 100 years from the introduction of the Cause in the 19th century to the final...
 This year, 20 October marks World Statistics Day, a day to highlight the importance of data for informed decision-making. The United Nations event is celebrated every 5 years. Archives are repositories of data, and at the Jesuits in Britain Archives, our core activity is the processing of the data that we hold by way of cataloguing, in order to make it accessible to users. To celebrate, we have put together some fun statistics about the Archives. If you are interested in the work...
(Originally published September 2015)The 1715 Jacobite rising saw an attempt to regain the English throne for the Stuarts, who had fled into exile in France following the 1688 Revolution. The Earl of Mar, John Erskine, sailed to Scotland in the summer of 1715 and on 6 September the Stuart standard was raised at Braemar and a military force was mobilised. The Old Pretender, James Stuart, landed in Aberdeenshire in December but the initiative was lost by that time and further military operations...
Book provenance is an area of research which delves into the history of individual books and of libraries.  It focuses on who owned which books, and what other books they kept in their libraries, and how they organised them.  Knowing the contents of a person’s or institution’s library gives an insight into their life and thinking. It allows us to see what interested people in former ages (even if they did not read...

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