The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy holds rich and varied collections of archive material pertaining to the history of the Order, its Sisters and their work, as well as to related areas of social and local history.
The archives reflect the essence of Mercy, documenting lives lived in Christian witness to the poor, sick, and underprivileged. The records promote the legacy of Catherine McAuley and bear witness to the immense work that has been undertaken since the Order first came to England in 1839.
Since 1985 Bermondsey has housed the Archives for the Institute of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and this is still one of the main functions of the house. Almost 100 foundations worldwide can trace their roots to Bermondsey from their initial foundations, including Kenya, Peru, and Ethiopia, and the collections in the archives reflect this. The records relate to the individual convents governed by the Institute and are thus sorted by convent name, primarily dating to the 19th and 20th centuries. The collections are varied in format and feature personal papers, correspondence, diaries, photographs, audio-visual material, and artefacts. The primary function of the Archive service is to preserve the heritage of the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy and to open access for research.
Access: Researchers are welcome and admitted by appointment only. As we are a small team and part of a household of religious women, we ask researchers hoping to consult our records to kindly apply in writing to the Archivist, including a letter of reference.
The Archive is open Monday-Friday 10-16:00. Contact:
Mrs Vida Milovanovic, Archivist
Convent of Mercy
Telephone no: 0207 237 1098