Collection of the Irish College in Paris

‘The Irish College was an academic and ecclesiastical institution that welcomed Irish seminarists training for the priesthood who could not pursue their vocation in Ireland, due to the spread of Protestantism and the subsequent persecution of Catholics. It also accepted secular students. Founded in 1578 by the Reverend John Lee, it was both a place of residence and a place of study since classes were taught there.’ The Irish College was ‘the last active Irish college in France. After having housed Polish seminarists from 1947 until the end of the 1990s, the college closed for renovation and reopened as the Centre Culturel Irlandais in 2002.’

The Collection of the Irish College in Paris contains documents from the period 1316-1999. These include:

  • The College archives
  • Related documents from prior to the foundation of the Irish College, such as documents concerning the Collège des Lombards, which were sent to the Irish community when that came to occupy the buildings formerly held by this Collège
  • Documents from grant foundations that funded Irish students who came to study in Paris
  • Documents concerning institutions in other French cities
  • Information on the administrations of Irish, Scottish, and English institutions
  • Documents on the Church and the religious community
  • A collection of works, reviews, articles and press cuttings, brochures, prospectes, and photographs
  • Private archives, particularly those of Antonio de Arauz y Bexaxano
  • Objects such as medals, keys, boxes, cloth bags with tokens, inkpots, and frames

Digitization is still in progress. So far, the following documents have been digitized:

  • ‘Oldest, rare and precious documents
  • Documents containing lists of students, teachers or names of other persons related to the Irish College
  • Documents relating to the administration of the Irish College Paris, the Arcueil country house, and the various Irish Colleges in France (Nantes, Bordeaux, Douai…)
  • Illustrations (photographs, drawings, maps, plans)
  • Documents relating to the bursaries which were granted to the Irish students coming to Paris’

The collection can be explored according to theme (‘Collège’, ‘Fondations de bourses et de messes’, ‘Autres établissements’, ‘Eglise’, ‘Documentation’, and ‘Autres documents’), or can be searched. Advanced search options include description, date, names of people/students, names of places, call numers, and type of item. By ticking ‘illustrated references’ only documents are shown that are digitized and viewable online.

This project is financially supported by the Irish Governement and French National Library.

Last update

Monday, 11 November 2013 - 4:56pm
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