Patricia 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.
Browse a list of resources below, and stay updated on CHWR news by subscribing to the Cushwa Center's mailing lists.
Suggest additions to this directory by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholarly Organizations for the Study of Women Religious
American Catholic Historical Association (ACHA)
- for all U.S.-based historians of Catholicism
- two annual conferences; travel and research grants; awards
Archival Resources for Catholic Collections (ARCC)
- established following Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives, a conference hosted in July 2018 at Boston College
- dedicated to ensuring the survival of Catholic archives for future generations
Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR)
- primarily for archivists of religious orders to share information about the special problems of religious orders’ archives; also open to historians
- If you are a researcher interested in contacting a particular congregation or archive, you can write to the ACWR at email@example.com and they will assist you.
- for historians focusing on British and Irish women religious, including missionaries and overseas foundations
- annual conference, book reviews, active online presence
excellent bibliography (including works on non-British sisters)
- established in 2015 to brings 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.
“Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives” (Proceedings, videos, and updates from the 2018 Boston College conference)
Catholic Research Resources Alliance and the “Catholic Portal”
University of Notre Dame Archives
- National Assembly of Religious Women (U.S.) Records
- Leadership Conference of Women Religious Records
- Association of Contemplative Sisters Records
- Papers and records of individual congregations include: Our Mother of Perpetual Help Monastery (Redemptoristines); Indianapolis Carmelites; Carmel of Reno; Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, KY; Sisters of Loretto.
- Papers of individual sisters include: Elizabeth A. Johnson; Mary Margaret Funk; Patricia Marie Mulpeters; Mary Benet; Rose Eileen Masterman; Marie Augusta Neal; Lilliana Owens; Ursula Stepsis.
- Catholic University of America Archives
- Marquette University Special Collections and University Archives
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.
- Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise, Emmitsburg, MD
- Mercy Heritage Center, Belmont, NC
Martha Smith, CSJ, Ph.D., Archives and Research Center, Avila University
- contains both the CSJ Heritage Center Archives and a “repository for out-of-print and contemporary books, manuscripts, pamphlets, photographs, ephemera and other materials by, for and about American sisters” known as the Women Religious Special Collections.
- Sr. Mary Nona McGreal Center for Dominican Historical Studies, River Forest, IL
- Oblate Sisters of Providence, Baltimore, MD
- Maryknoll Missions Archives, Ossining, NY
- Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament & National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel, Bensalem, PA
- Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (RSCJs), U.S.-Canada Province, St. Louis, MO
- The Provincial Archives of Alberta holds the records of five religious orders: Les Oblats de Marie Immaculée, 1842–1986; Les Soeurs de L’Assomption de la Sainte Vierge, 1868–1987; The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, 1849–1990; The Sisters of Providence, 1886–1978; and the Soeurs Grises/Grey Nuns, 1877–1967.
- A Guide to Local Community Records of Women Religious in the Archdiocese of Seattle
- Who Were the Nuns? (database and analysis of English convents in exile, 1600–1800)
- Catholic Hospitals Digital History Books Collection (Canada)
- Catholic Sisters International (photos of dolls dressed in miniature habits; Pauline A. Money Collection, University of Dayton)