The Delany Archive holds four main collections, the official records of the four Archive partners. A brief description of each collection follows. There is a degree of cross-fertilisation between collections. For instance, ecclesiastical students of Carlow College may have become priests in Kildare & Leighlin, and records relating to them might then be found in both collections.
Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin
Papers of the Bishops of the Diocese, 1726-1967. Includes a large collection of correspondence; financial records; sermons; information regarding schools in connection with an 1824 commission of inquiry into the state of Irish education.
The collection dates from circa 1807 onwards and relates to the works of the Brigidine Sisters in Ireland, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. Holdings include writings of Bishop Daniel Delany; correspondence; financial records; community annals (i.e. diaries of significant events); photographs; information regarding members of the congregation; and information relating to schools and other works undertaken by the Sisters.
The collection dates from circa 1808 onwards and includes archives relating to the origins of the congregation and the management of communities in Ireland, India, Australia, USA, Papua New Guinea and Kenya. Also, correspondence; photographs; community annals; financial records; and material relating to schools and other works undertaken by the Brothers.
Founded in 1782, Carlow College educated priests for more than 200 years and now provides third-level humanities and social care courses. The first students entered in 1793 and the collection dates from this time onwards. It includes information regarding ecclesiastical students and staff; financial records; management and administration documentation; photographs; architectural drawings; and College publications. This collection also includes records relating to Carlow Lay College and Knockbeg College.
St Dympna's Hospital, Carlow
The Health Service Executive has donated the archive of St Dympna’s Hospital, Carlow, to the Delany Archive. St Dympna’s, originally known as Carlow District Lunatic Asylum, opened in 1832 and initially cared for mentally ill patients from the counties of Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Wexford, and the city of Kilkenny. A collection level description provides an introduction to the collection and a brief history of the hospital, and a catalogue of items in the collection is available here. The collection is open for research and we welcome queries from members of the public.
We also hold several smaller collections, including the papers of individual priests and members of the Brigidine and Patrician congregations. The most significant of these smaller collections are: papers collected by Fr Peadar MacSuibhne (1896-1982), author and local historian; and a collection of architectural drawings for Oak Park House, Carlow.