The Irish Jesuit Archives (IJA) is a private repository, whose primary role is to preserve and protect the memory of the Irish Jesuits. It acts as a bridge between past, present and future; it records the challenges, aspirations and experiences of Jesuits and documents their successes and failures.
The archives contain the records of the Jesuits in Ireland from 1575 to 1980, with the bulk of papers relating to individual Jesuits, Jesuit administration, sermon and retreat notes and sodalities. The MacErlean Transcripts, which cover the years from 1527 to 1774, include documents relating to ministries in Ireland and abroad.
Deposited at Leeson Street since 1958, the Archives lived a fairly private life for many years. Accessions were intermittent: documents were kept in unsatisfactory conditions, with some listing and re-boxing by several dedicated Jesuits. The Archives of 2010 has its origins in the decision in 1995 to renovate the building. By 1997 the strong room was doubled in size; climate control and fire precautions and metal shelves were installed. Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, Province Archivist, then addressed the major challenge of 408 boxes of unlisted material. The ongoing commitment by the Jesuits to the IJA is illustrated by the employment of Assistant Archivists which has transformed the IJA into one the foremost religious archives in Ireland.
'God has blessed the Society with an incomparable fund of documents which allow us to contemplate clearly our origins, our fundamental charism.' - Pedro Arrupe, former Superior General