Research Resources

Boston College conference plenaryPatricia Wittberg, S.C., speaks at Boston College during the July 2018 conference Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives.

The CHWR maintains connections to peer organizations, research centers and initiatives, relevant archives and digital collections. 

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Scholarly Organizations for the Study of Women Religious


  • UCD ConventCollections
    • established in 2015 to bring together historians, archivists, digital technologists and designers, to develop innovative new projects
    • supports digization of congregational archival materials; online exhibitions; oral histories of women religious; doctoral and post-doctoral research; and publications (congregational histories; biographical studies; research papers)

Research Centers, Archival Collections, and Digitized Sources


University and other general archives (United States and Canada)

Note: Individual collections listed here do not include all resources to be found in any given archive. Please consult the archives’ websites and archivists for other potentially relevant collections.

Major Congregational Archives (United States and Canada)

Note: this list does not include the archives of individual local communities; if you are interested in these, please contact the congregation directly. Decentralized orders—including the Benedictines, Franciscans, and Ursulines—often have smaller individual archives held at various locations. Researchers interested in American sisters may find it useful to consult this list of congregations represented by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious or this list of member communities of the Council of Major Superiors of Women. Additionally, many American communities are or were international in scope; records relating to the communities may be held at their orders’ archives in Europe.

Digital Resources