Irish Capuchin Provincial Archives

Irish Capuchin Provincial ArchivesThe aim of the Irish Capuchin Provincial Archives is to collect, preserve and make available the documents created by the Irish Capuchin Franciscans in order to preserve their identity and memory, and to provide evidence of their ministries for the future. 

Collections held

The archives contain the records of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin in Ireland from 1615 to circa 1980, with the bulk of the papers relating to individual Capuchin Franciscans, Capuchin administration in the Irish Province, sermon and retreat notes, and various sodalities and tertiaries. The entire collection is currently being processed. The collection is divided into two general sections – historical (pre-provincial) and contemporary (dating to post-1885 and the re-establishment of the Irish Capuchin Province).

Principal collections include:

  • Records relating to Capuchin houses in the dioceses of Dublin, Cork, Ossory and Raphoe and to overseas missions undertaken by Irish Capuchins in New Zealand (Wellington and Auckland), Australia (New South Wales) and the United States (thirteen houses in California and one house in Oregon), and in Africa (fourteen houses in Zambia and one house in South Africa).
  • Correspondence between the Minister General of the Order, congregations of the Roman Curia, the Holy See and the Irish Province.
  • Provincial and General Chapter meetings.
  • Novitiate registers and papers.
  • Material on studies and formation.
  • Records of sodalities, tertiaries and total abstinence associations.
  • Personal papers and polemical writings of Fr. Arthur O’Leary OFM Cap. and Fr. Theobald Mathew OFM Cap., the ‘Apostle of Temperance’.
  • Correspondence and papers of Fr. Albert Bibby OFM Cap., Fr. Augustine Hayden OFM Cap., and other Capuchin Friars involved in ministering to insurgent leaders following the Easter Rising. This collection includes contemporary republican pamphlets, newspapers, handbills, photographs, correspondence and other documents relating to the War of Independence, the Treaty and the Civil War.
  • Rare books (including incunabula) written by Capuchins or of interest to the Order, reference works, books by members of the Irish Province and publications by the Order in Ireland (including full series of The Father Mathew Record and The Capuchin Annual).
  • Works of art (including original works by Richard King).
  • Artefacts (including a large collection of printing blocks, framed historical banners and chalices).
  • Maps and plans of properties held by the Capuchin Order in Ireland from the seventeenth century onwards.
  • Photographic collections (loose, mounted and in albums).

Collecting policy

The collecting policy is guided by the following objectives:

  1. To document, in so far as possible, the activities of the Irish Province of the Capuchin Franciscans in order to acknowledge its contribution to Irish heritage and society.
  2. To document, in so far as possible, the watershed events and decisions of the Order for posterity.
  3. To restore, preserve and catalogue the permanent (archival) documents of the Order for posterity.
  4. To assist in the use of archival records for genealogical research, educational programmes, commemorative events, legal-decision making, and other activities deemed appropriate by the Irish Province of the Capuchin Franciscans.


Monday-Friday 10.00-13.00, 14.00-17.00, by advance appointment only

Contact details

Enquiries to: Provincial Archivist
Address: Capuchin Friary, Church Street, Dublin 7 Ireland
Telephone: +00353 (0)1 8730599 (ext. 25)