Irish Jesuit Archives

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Irish Jesuit Archives

Parallel form(s) of name

  • Archives of the Society of Jesus, Ireland
  • Cartlann na nÍosánach Éireannach

Other form(s) of name


Contact area


Damien Burke



Street address

36 Lower Leeson Street



Country name


Postal code






Description area


Moved from St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street to Loyola House, Eglinton Road, in January 1958, some deposited then at Lower Leeson Street. The Irish Jesuit Archives (IJA) lived a fairly private life for many years. Accessions were intermittent: documents were kept in unsatisfactory conditions, with some listing and re-boxing by several dedicated Jesuits. The archives has its origins in the decision in 1995 to renovate the building. By 1997 the strong room was doubled in size; climate control and fire precautions and metal shelves were installed.

Geographical and cultural context

The Irish Jesuit Archives (IJA) contains the records of the Jesuits in Ireland from 1575 onwards. The archives primary role is to preserve the memory of Irish Jesuits. It acts as a bridge between past, present and future. They contain material ‘dating from 1575 to the present, and transcripts going back to 1527, offering a panorama of Jesuit life, work and works in Ireland, Australia, Hong Kong and Zambia across many generations, in times of persecution and exile, and in times of prosperity and growth.’ They exist in a wide variety of formats: paper records (parchment); photographs; microfilm; film; tape recordings; digitally born records. Ephemera such as beads, chalices, clothing, crucifixes, medals, relics, statues and artworks add to the mix.

Mandates/Sources of authority

Fr Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, 'Irish Jesuit Archives', Archivum Hibernicum, XLI, 1986, pp64-66.
Fr Stephen Redmond SJ, 'A Guide to the Irish Jesuit Province Archives' Archivium Hibernicum, L, 1996, pp127-131.
Fr Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, ‘Development of the Irish Jesuit Archives 2001’, Unpublished Notes.
Fr General Peter Hans Kolvenbach, 'Society’s Practical Proposals on Archives', (2003/26).
‘Scriptis tradere et fideliter conseruare: The Archives as “Places of Memory” within the Society of Jesus’, 2003.
Dr. Elizabeth Mullins, ‘Fr. John MacErlean SJ and the development of the Irish Jesuit Archive’ in: Ailsa C. Holland and Kate Manning (eds) Archives and Archivists. Dublin: Four Courts, 2006) pp.166-176.
Fr General Adolfo Nicolas SJ, 'Organization of the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI)', (2010/04).
Markus Friedrich, 'Archives as networks: the geography of record-keeping in the Society of Jesus (1540–1773)', Archival Science (2010), 10:285–298.
Damien Burke, 'Archives in profile: Irish Jesuit Archives', Irish Society for Archives newsletter, March 2011.
Vera Orschel, “'Uniting the Dispersed Members': the ‘Annual Letters’ of the Irish Jesuits.” Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, vol. 103, no. 412, 2014, pp. 402–413.
Vera Moynes (Editor), 'The Jesuit Irish Mission: A Calendar of Correspondence, 1566–1752', XXXVIII+654 p. (Subsidia Series, Volume 16).
Vera Moynes (Editor), 'Irish Jesuit Annual Letters, 1604–1674', 2 volumes, Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission. 2019.

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies



Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Monday-Friday: 10am-1pm; 2pm-4.30pm. By advance appointment only. Further details: [email protected]

Access conditions and requirements

The Irish Jesuit Archives is a private archive. All requests for access to the archives will be considered, but admission is ultimately at the discretion of the Archivist.


No wheelchair access.

Services area

Research services

The Irish Jesuit Archives are unable to undertake detailed research on behalf of enquirers other than in exceptional circumstances. Limited research enquiries can be carried out free of charge.

Reproduction services

No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is at the discretion of the Archivist.

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Clipboard

Primary contact

36 Lower Leeson Street

IE D02CD93