The purpose of the IBVM (Loreto), Institute and Irish Province Archives is ‘to identify, collect, protect, preserve and make available those records of enduring value created by or otherwise, relating to the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto) Generalate and Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary Irish Province’.

Our archives consist of two separate collections. The IBVM (Loreto) Institute Archives holds records of the administrative history of this branch of Mary Ward’s Institute such as the papers of the Generalate, Superiors General, the General Council, and minutes of General Chapters known now as General Congregations.

The Loreto Irish Province Archives holds records relating to the Loreto Sisters in Ireland, with papers of successive Irish Provincials, the Irish Provincial Council, individual Loreto Communities and Irish Province ministries, including a very limited amount of school records.

The Archive includes a reference library on Mary Ward and Loreto history. These collections preserve the memories of all our Sisters, their dedication to their mission and ministries, which provide inspiration and confidence to face the future with freedom, courage and hope.  ‘Explore our Collections – Online Catalogue’ through the Irish Archives Resource simply by searching for Loreto on the website.

 Location of Archives:

55 St. Stephen’s Green (beside Loreto College)

Dublin 2

Tel: +353 1 6620158


Visiting the Archives:

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 9.30 am to 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm to 4.45 pm.

The Loreto Archives is a private archive.  Researchers are always welcome, by prior appointment only.  All access is at the discretion of the archivist.  Please email for a copy of our Access Policy, Reading Room Policy and Readers Application Form.

Our Archivists

The IBVM Loreto Archives identify, collect, protect, preserve and make available records of enduring value created by or relating to the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto) and communicate the heritage and philosophy of the Institute through the use of these collections. We are committed to preserving, managing and making accessible these unique collections which capture the histories and stories of Loreto Sisters and their work since 1821.

Archives are the direct & authentic records of the past. They are the evidence of decisions made, actions taken and the thoughts and ideas of individuals, organisations and institutions. They are unique and irreplaceable. Archivists are entrusted with the selection, care, preservation and promotion of these records.

I have been an archivist since 2008, when I completed an MA in Archives & Records Management with UCD. I was the first lay archivist employed by the Institute & Irish Province Archives in 2010, and was appointed Institute & Irish Province Archivist in July 2012.

The work is inspiring and rewarding, and I love the opportunity it brings to connect with the wider Loreto community. As Institute Archivist, I am responsible for providing guidance and support to my colleagues in the Province and Regional Archives, and enjoy the challenge this presents in developing policies and networks to support our global archival collections, now and into the future. Opening the Archives, sharing and encouraging others to explore Loreto’s rich and inspiring history, and the unswerving dedication of so many inspirational women to their ministries, is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work.

In 2006 I was appointed as Institute and Irish Province Archivist. I had just retired from Primary School teaching and administration and could hardly believe that I was being asked to take on a task that held such interest for me.

University College Dublin offered a part-time course for those working in Archives in 2009. The lecturers were excellent. Every assignment took me through the essential elements of Archival and Record Management. The vital skills and standards of archival management were taught. I was convinced of the necessity of having a full time qualified Archivist to work in our Central and Irish Province archives. The appointment of Aine McHugh as Institute Archivist made this a reality.

Aine and I work closely together to preserve and promote the treasures in our archives. We hold a wide variety of records of historical and human interest. In working through collections we experience an unfolding of a reality that can never be grasped in looking at a few aspects of any story.

In the lives of all who have gone before us and the recording of our Sisters today we recognise and give thanks for the underlying faith and giftedness of each individual person.

Working in our Archives is a privilege.