The Director of Heritage and Spirituality, assisted by a part-time professional archivist provides oversight for MIA artefacts and archives currently held at Mercy International Centre, Baggot Street, and the Catherine McAuley Centre, Herbert Street, Dublin.
A number of subgroups (commissions) are in place to further the purposes of the worldwide association: one such grouping is the Archives Committee.
Mercy International Centre holds a precious collection of artefacts associated with Catherine McAuley. These include a large collection of her letters, many items of personal memorabilia, and a number of gifts received by her from supportive friends and benefactors as well as furniture and other goods which she brought with her to Baggot Street in 1827.
A number of very special items are on permanent loan to the Mercy International Centre, including Catherine’s Profession Ring and her cincture.
Mercy International Centre also holds a collection of the art and calligraphy work of Sr. Clare Augustine, contemporary of Catherine McAuley as well as the drawings of Sr. Clare Agnew, who produced vivid depictions of the early works of Mercy.
The International Room of the centre has a collection of craft from many of the cultures with which Mercy inter-relates today.
The display boards of the heritage centre tell the stories of how the mercy mission spread throughout the world through daring women willing to bring the founding spirit of Catherine to all parts of the world to address whatever the most significant needs might be.
A Library is currently being fitted out in order to house a book collection held by MIA. The Library has three main sections:
It is hoped that this library will be a resource that nurtures and promotes interest and research on Mercy topics.
The development of the International Mercy Register is ongoing. This register is intended to hold the name and some information about every Mercy sister from Catherine McAuley to the present day. This entails enormous work and gratitude is due to all the Mercy archivists throughout the world who are working on this painstaking task.The Register holds close to 55,000 names.
This computerized inventory aims at assembling all Primary Source Materials in Mercy Archives world wide. The first section of the inventory focusses on primary source materials generated by Catherine McAuley, her autograph letters, poems etc. The collection and logging of materials for this part of the inventory is complete.
The second section of the inventory, which refers to original writings of a sister who entered a Mercy Convent before or during 1850, in her own handwriting is in progress. Once again great gratitude is due to our Mercy archivists who are engaged in the gathering and registering of all these numerous writings, since this too requires extensive and painstaking work.
To ensure that documentation of the Mercy story is protected, preserved and used in such a way that it is an inspiration for contemporary and future Mercy mission, MIA is keen to promote networking among Mercy archivists on a worldwide basis and to identify the character and location of the current archival holdings of the Members.
Conservationist work for this valuable Mercy International Archive as well as the work of identifying, labelling and filing it is carried on by a professional archivist who is engaged by MIA on a part-time basis. A catalogue of the MIA archive collection has been compiled and apolicy governing access to the collection is in place.