Convent of the Sacred Heart, Aberdeen

Repository: Society of the Sacred Heart Provincial Archives

Identity Statement

TitleConvent of the Sacred Heart, Aberdeen
Archive ReferenceIE SSHI-S/ABR
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1895-1964
Extent Medium30 boxes


Creator(s): Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province

  • Administrative History ↴

    The Society of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic religious congregation founded in France in 1800 by St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, in response to the extreme violence of Revolutionary France. In such a broken society Sophie Barat hoped the Society of the Sacred Heart would make present the love of God revealed in the Heart of Christ and help the restoration of Christian life in France. Its major work was the education of young women of the rich and the poor classes. The Society of the Sacred Heart quickly expanded within Europe and beyond, and came to Ireland in 1842. Members use the suffix "RSCJ" which stands for Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, or Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It currently has a presence in forty-one countries. In 1840 a request was made to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat by the Catholics in Scotland to set up a girls’ school. However, it was not until 1895 when Mother Anne Walsh founded the first house of the Society in Scotland at Queen’s Cross, Aberdeen Cross. The primary school opened in 1896 in the form of a free school with one pupil and two years later was recognised by the government. This later became St Joseph’s Primary school. In 1899 St. Andrew’s Boarding School was opened with six pupils. In 1904, Our Lady’s Day School and St. Andrew’s amalgamated to form Queen’s Cross Convent School. Recognition of the secondary school by the government was received in 1921 and a few years later a new dormitory and classrooms were ready for use. Up to 1971 a boarding and day secondary school existed on the site. The primary school continued to flourish and when enclosure was lifted after Vatican II the religious helped in the city parishes and further afield in Brora and Orkney during the summer months. They were also active, teaching religion in the three comprehensive non-denominational schools in the city. From 1907 to 1932, a Teacher Training Centre operated until this responsibility passed to Craiglockhart Training College in Edinburgh. Currently, St. Joseph’s RC Primary is situated in the West-End of Aberdeen and is the largest of three Catholic Schools in the City.
  • Archival History ↴

    The collection forms part of the Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province archival collection. It was deposited to the Provincial Archives Office, Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province in 1994 from Society of the Sacred Heart, Queen’s Cross, Aberdeen, Scotland.
  • Immediate Source Acquisition ↴

    Official Transfer

Content & Structure

  • Scope & Content: Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province ↴

    The papers provide an insight to the RSCJ community and convent in Aberdeen from 1895 to its closure in 1964. Included are financial and administrative records, school journals and student registers. There are also documents relating to the Catholic Education Committee and Scotch Education Department. The property records include architectural drawings and a large amount of photographs.
    The collection contains a wealth of information regarding religious sisters, Catholic education in Scotland, women’s history and local history.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    Permanent Retention
  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    A. RSCJ, community and convent records, 1895-1964
    B. Apostolates
    1. Education, 1896-1964
    2. Spiritual and religious apostolates, [c. 1897]-1964
    C. Property, c. 19th-1964
    D. Photographs, c. 19th-1964

Conditions of Access & Use

Access Conditions The Provincial Archives Office, Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province, Mount Anville Road, Dublin 14 is open to bona fide researchers. Hours: Thursday & Friday, 10am until 4pm. Please contact the Provincial Archivist by email for an appointment at
Conditions Governing ReproductionNo material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Provincial Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is not permitted.
Creation Dates1895-1964
Extent Medium30 boxes
Material Language ScriptEnglish
Characteristics Tech ReqBound volumes, photographs, loose documents. Careful handling is required
Finding Aids Descriptive lists can be consulted in the Provincial Archives Office, Society of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Province Archive Web Link →

Allied Materials

Related MaterialSociety of the Sacred Heart, Irish-Scottish Provincial Archives; Armagh, Craiglockhart, Harcourt Street-Lesson Street, Kilgraston, Monkstown, Mount Anville, Roscrea

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteEibhlis Connaughton
Rules/ConventionsISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description. 2nd ed. Ottawa: International Council on Archives, 2000. National Council on Archives: Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names. Chippenham: National Council on Archives, 1997.
Date of Descriptions42036