Society of the Sacred Heart, Harcourt Street – Leeson

Repository: Society of the Sacred Heart Provincial Archives

Identity Statement

TitleSociety of the Sacred Heart, Harcourt Street - Leeson
Archive ReferenceIE SSHI-S/HLS
Web Link to this Entry
Creation Dates1875-1964
Extent Medium7 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. On 1 April 1875, Mother Mary Anne Therese Gordon, Superior of Mount Anville, took possession of two houses at 87 and 88 Harcourt Street with a view to opening a city convent. Mother Susan West founded the new community, which included a convent, a free school, a day school and a meeting place for the Children of Mary. The schools were very successful with over three hundred and fifty enrolled in the free school by the end of 1875. In 1879, the free school became a state-funded National School. At this point the community moved to Leeson Street and in 1887 the Harcourt Street premises became the Children’s Hospital. Mother Annie Butler, who had been Superior in Roscrea for ten years, was sent to found the new convent. The Society bought 18 Lower Leeson Street from Sir Arthur Guinness. It was an idea location on four acres of land to hold the convent, day school, junior school, Montessori school and night school. The night school was founded in 1889 where RE, reading, writing, needlework and handcrafts were taught. By 1960 educational needs had changed, the night school was closed and the building was taken over by the secondary school. In 1967 the community and pupils transferred to Mount Anville.
  • 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. Material deposited from Society of the Sacred Heart, Harcourt Street-Leeson Street, Dublin, Ireland.
  • 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 at Harcourt Street – Leeson Street from 1875 to 1964. Included are financial and administrative records, school journals, student registers and records of sodalities. There are also photographs, property records and records relating to the night school and the closure of the school.
    The collection contains a wealth of information regarding religious sisters, Catholic education, women’s history and local history.

  • Appraisal Destruction ↴

    All items retained permanently
  • Accruals ↴

  • Arrangement ↴

    The collection is arranged as follows:
    A. Material relating to financial matters, 1875-1940
    B. Material relating to schools
    I. Students, 1875-1964
    II. Staffing, 1915-62
    III. Miscellaneous, 1925-check final date
    IV. Competitions, 1930-32
    V. Ecclesiastical authorities, 1951-54
    VI. Department of Education, 1952-64
    VII. Past pupils, 1959-64
    VIII. Closure of night school, 1958-check dates
    IX. Lending library for ladies, c. 20th century
    C. Material relating to the Society of the Sacred Heart
    I. Memorials of regular visits, 1875-1964
    II. Attempts to elect Roman Catholic poor law guardians, 1890
    III. Closure of religious houses in France, c. 1904-09
    IV. Attestation of relics, 1909
    V. Community and religious life, c. 1926-c. 20th century
    VI. Aquinas Study Circle, 1932
    VII. Charitable work, 1949
    VIII. Conversions to Roman Catholicism, 1954-64
    IX. Writing of Elizabeth Ann Hogan, rscj, 1965
    D. Material relating to sodalities and confraternities, 1884-1964
    E. Material relating to property and history of property, 1886-1964
    F. Photographs, c. 19th-20th centuries

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 Dates1875-1964
Extent Medium7 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; Aberdeen, Armagh, Craiglockhart, Kilgraston, Monkstown, Mount Anville, Roscrea

Descriptive Control Area

Archivist NoteEibhlis Connaughton,1994
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