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Pontifical Irish College, Rome (Archives)

Pontifical Irish College, Rome (Archives)

The institutional archives of the only Irish Roman Catholic seminary on the continent; some non-institutional collections.

The Archive is currently closed: Please contact the vice-rector for current details. Some finding aids are available from the website.

The Irish College

The Irish College, Rome was founded by Luke Wadding in 1628 and was part of a network of seminaries and religious colleges that were created in Belgium, France, Spain and Rome to educate priests during the period of the Penal Laws in Ireland. One of the early students of the College was St. Oliver Plunkett. The College was closed for a brief period during the French Occupation of Rome but was newly established in 1826 through the efforts of Rev. Michael Blake.

The College is administered by the Rector. During the 19th and early 20th century, rectors doubled as official agents for the Irish hierarchy, personally liaising on their behalf with the Pope or Vatican officials. Certain rectors undertook similar agency work on behalf of Irish missionaries in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA and India. They also undertook commissions for members of the Irish clergy and religious orders, Irish politicians and laypersons. Rector Cullen, for example, was subsequently extremely influential in Ireland as Archbishop of Dublin becoming Ireland's first ever Cardinal. Rector Kirby (1804-1895) received frequent letters from Cardinal Cullen, Archbishop Croke of Cashel, Archbishop Walsh of Dublin, Cardinal Moran of Sydney and many more throughout his long-life.

Main Collections

17th/18th-c. Administrative Papers, Rectors' Papers (particularly from 1820s onwards), registers of students, Manuscript Journals(students' annuals), photographs by students and staff, staff diaries.

Non-institutional Collections

Manuscript fragments used for padding printed books, transcripts of Roman archives regarding Ireland, literary texts in Irish, compilations made for beatification and canonisation causes.

Address: Via Santi Quattro 1, 00184, Rome
Telephone: +39 06 77263320
Fax: +39 06 77263323
E-Mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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