This collection consists of private papers, papers relating to bishops, clergy, government departments, educational bodies and parishes within the Archdiocese of Armagh. The papers associated with successive Archbishops and Cardinals include those of Archbishop Richard O'Reilly who served from 1787-1818, Archbishop Patrick Curtis, 1819-1832, Archbishop Thomas Kelly, 1828-1835, Archbishop William Crolly, 1835-1849, Archbishop Paul Cullen, 1849-1852, Archbishop Joseph Dixon, 1852-1866, Archbishop Michael Kieran, 1866-1869, Archbishop Daniel McGettigan, 1870-1887, Cardinal Michael Logue, 1887-1924, Cardinal Patrick O'Donnell, 1924-1927, Cardinal Joseph Mac Rory, 1928-1945 (this includes the archive of the Down & Connor Episcopate from 1915-1928) and the papers of Cardinal John D'Alton, 1946-1963. These vary in significance relative to the participation of each minister in the social and political controversies of their respective eras, but provide an important, complementary perspective to events in Ireland for the dates covered. <br><br>A valuable part of the collection are the Conwell letters. These comprise the correspondence from Archbishop O'Reilly to his Vicar General, Henry Conwell, 1793-1819. These give an interesting insight into the state of the Armagh Diocese during these turbulent times. Also included in the archive are a collection of photographs, and a small number of documents originating from each parish in the Diocese e.g. Parish Schedules, correspondence, etc. The Archdiocese of Armagh is composed of parishes in Counties Armagh, Tyrone, Louth and some parts of Counties Derry and Meath. As seat of the Primate of All-Ireland, the collection includes many materials relating to national affairs.
This is an important collection, especially the Conwell letters, given the paucity of archives relating to the Catholic Church in Ireland particularly during the period 1500-1800. With regard to more recent times, this collection provides a complementary perspective to events in Ireland as perceived by one of the most powerful institutions, the Catholic Church.
Approx. 100,000 documents
A calendar detailing the contents of this collection is available for consultation at the O'Fiaich Library.