- Conference on the History of Women Religious (CHWR)
- For all historians and archivists of women religious from the early church to the present day
- Subscribe to the mailing list for updates two or three times a year
- News and Notes, 1988-2011, is available online at the University of Notre Dame Archives
- Subsequent issues are embedded in the American Catholic Studies Newsletter, available online at the Cushwa Center site
- The CHWR’s archives are held at the University of Notre Dame; a detailed finding aid is available online.
- History of Women Religious of Britain and Ireland
- for all 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)
- American Catholic Historical Association
- for all U.S.-based historians of Catholicism
- two annual conferences; travel and research grants; awards
- Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and they will assist you.
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.
- 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 Canadian Religious Conference/Conférence religieuse canadienne is in the process of moving and reorganizing its archives, which as a result may be difficult to consult in the near future [note made October 2015]
- The Provincial Archives of Alberta holds the records of five religious orders: Les Oblats de Marie Immaculée, 1842 to 1986; Les Soeurs de L’Assomption de la Sainte Vierge, 1868 to 1987; The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, 1849 to 1990; The Sisters of Providence, 1886 to 1978; and the Soeurs Grises/Grey Nuns, 1877 to 1967.
- 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)