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Summer School in Archives 2018



Sr Rosarie Lordan, pbvm giving her workshop

Over forty participants attended the Summer School which got off to a wonderful start on the morning of 7 June, with a workshop entitled ‘Archives and Principles: Practical Care for our Future’. This workshop was given by Sr Rosarie Lordan, pbvm, who is the Congregational Archivist at the Presentation Sisters Congregational Archives (PSCA) which is located at Nano Nagle Place.

Sr Anne Coffey, pbvm, and her group at St Finbarr’s cemetery,
Cork City

In the afternoon, Sr Anne Coffey, pbvm, led a moving and informative reflection at St Finbarr’s cemetery in the city, where 20 ladies of Miss Nagle’s Asylum are interred. Dr Danielle O’Donovan, of Nano Nagle Place, gave a hands-on workshop on the topic ‘Lives at South Pres School: Bringing Our School Registers to Life’. She then led a guided walk in the nearby locality, stopping at the homes of a number of the former pupils. She invited participants to share on what they had learned about the pupils from their research into the school registers and 1911 census.

Dr Danielle O’Donovan with her group
in Cork City

On 8 June, after the official Launch of the Nano Nagle Digital Project and online Tercentenary Exhibition, Professor Deirdre Raftery and Deirdre Bennett, a PhD Researcher in UCD, spoke to the gathered participants and guests on ‘the Significance of the Digitization of the Letters of Nano Nagle’. This was followed by Orna Roche, a Metedata Librarian in UCD and Dr John Howard, University Librarian and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Informatics at UCD, who both spoke on the story of the digitization process. 

The first workshop on 9 June was given by Dr Elizabeth Mullins, Lecturer/Assistant Professor at UCD, on ‘The Significance of the Archives of Religious Congregations – some Historical Perspectives’. Professor Deirdre Raftery gave an hour long workshop on ‘Presentation Archives and Research Today’, and the afternoon held 2 parallel workshops. Sr Marie Therese King, pbvm gave a most informative workshop on ‘Insights into the Missionary Zeal of the Presentation Sisters’ while Margaret Lantry, a Freelance Information Professional, gave her workshop on ‘The Early Ursuline Foundation in Cork’. 

Margaret Lantry, Sr Anne Harte Barry, OSU, Sr Anne
Coffey, pbvm and Sr Anne-Marie Dixon, OSU

Sr Catherine O’ Sullivan, who attended the Summer School for all three days wrote the following account of her experience:

“It is at least ten years since Sr Sheila Kelly, former Congregational Archivst, asked me if I keep Annals of my life here in The Glen – and to my shame, I had to admit that I didn’t! After we continued to talk for a while, I had my first insight into the importance of our archives. So, when the notice came last February about the Summer School, I booked and I am glad I did so. It was a wonderful few days, not only because it gave us an opportunity to be with Presentation Sisters from so many places, but with our Ursuline Sisters also, in our beautiful Nano Nagle Place. We got such clear, practical guidelines from Rosarie Lordan, on what to keep, not to keep and how to recognise every ‘scrap of enduring value’.

The problem for me was how to choose which workshop to attend! All four were so interesting and appealing…but choices had to be made and for me, Anne Coffey’s ‘Women from Nano’s Almshouse’ and Margaret Lantry’s early Ursuline Sisters won out! Our prayer service in St Finbarr’s Cemetery, where we each adopted one of the ladies buried there, will stay with me forever, as we remembered our own beloved dead also.

Having the opportunity to be present for the special historic event of ‘The Gifting of Seven Letters of Nano Nagle’ was a privilege and another lasting memory from these wonderful days. My ‘post Summer School’ resolve is to be faithful to the initial insight of the personal responsibility we each have, to keep these ‘scraps of enduring value’, so they can be collected and added to our rich and valuable archive.”

L-R: Tom Lonergan, Rosarie Lordan, Danielle O’Donovan, 
Anne Coffey, Anna Sheehy, Donal Leader, Anne O’Leary
and Aisling Moran

Our gratitude to all who made it such a rich and varied few days, in particular the Planning Group: Sr Anne O’Leary, pbvm, Sr Rosarie Lordan, pbvm, Sr Anne Coffey, pbvm, Danielle O’Donovan, Tom Lonergan and Aisling Moran and the Communications Team: Br Donal Leader, CFC and Sr Anna Sheehy, pbvm. 


Submitted by: The Congregational Leadership Team