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Irish Eyes Are Smiling at the Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's

I am a SSHRCC postdoctoral fellow with the Department of History at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. John's (ARCASJ) has been of tremendous benefit to me in carrying out both my doctoral and postdoctoral research. My studies have focused on Irish populations in Newfoundland and, in particular, the understandings of ethnicity and gender that developed within Irish-Newfoundland communities in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Given the increasingly significant role that formal religion and the institution of the Irish Catholic church played in the lives of Irish Newfoundlanders, and the degree to which the church influenced understandings of Catholic womanhood and social and political relations between its congregation and English Protestants in Newfoundland, the early church documents held at the ARCASJ, especially the correspondence of early bishops and priests on the island, have helped to deepen my understanding of the issues of ethnicity and gender substantially.

I would also like to add that the manuscript collections at the ARCASJ are impeccably maintained and a joy to work with. Every leaf of paper has been carefully conserved. Handwritten items have been typed for the convenience of the researcher. The archivist, Larry Dohey, has always been extremely welcoming and generous with his expertise. In short, I feel that the collections at the ARCASJ are very accessible to the researcher and the repository is an invaluable community resource for both academics and members of the general public who are interested in the social and political history of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Willeen G. Keough
Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of History
Memorial University of Newfoundland


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