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News and Events - July 2008
posted on 08 September 2008
Catholic Diocese of Westminster
Diocese of Westminster

Welcome to Westminster Diocesan Archives News & Events. News & Events updates you on life at the Archives, highlighting work currently in progress and providing a brief snapshot of the work of Westminster Diocesan Archives. We aim to update News & Events every 4 months so please check back to keep up to date.

Archives Assistant

The Archives are pleased to announce the arrival of a new member of staff. The new Archives Assistant started at the beginning of this month and is to assist the Project Archivist in listing the hitherto unknown contents of the Archive, as well as in rationalizing existing collections. The Archives Assistant role is designed for somebody seeking work experience prior to embarking upon a degree course in Archives and Records Management and, ultimately, a career within the Archives profession. The Diocesan Archives is glad to be able to provide such an opportunity and believes that the Assistant will benefit as much as the Diocese.

Current Projects

The Archives is currently blessed to benefit from the services of three volunteers.

Since Januarys edition of News & Events the volunteers have completed an electronic index to the Acta of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, and a complete inventory of the Archives journal holdings.

Currently the volunteers are working on sorting, listing and arranging the previously untouched collection of Cardinal Manning papers, the continued listing of the papers of the Westminster Catholic Federation, and a thorough inventory of our sacramental registers.

The next stage of the sacramental registers project is due to get underway shortly. This will involve using a digital camera to capture an image of every page of every register held in the Archives. This project is quite an undertaking and could take a number of years but at least a start will have been made on the preservation of these valuable resources.

The Archive is currently looking for new volunteers. If you feel that this is something you may be interested in please do get in touch with the Project Archivist, Tamara Thornhill, on 0207 938 3580 or email her on

New Accessions


2008 has so far been quiet for new accessions. We have taken delivery of the remainder of the archive of the Augustinian Canonesses, formerly of




and Ealing. This community dated back to the 1630s, and the archive contains a treasure trove of documents, photo albums and several artifacts (including the discipline used in choir!). We have been lucky to receive from the parish of St Hugh of


, Letchworth, a wonderful manuscript organ book compiled by the Rev Adrian Fortescue.

We do anticipate the arrival of at least 1 new accession in the coming months however so watch this space!




Latest Discoveries


The records uncovered in 2008 have so far been primarily administrative in their nature. We have, however, uncovered some interesting material both by and concerning Bishop Challoner, and some as yet unidentified prophecies concerning Popes. If anybody out there considers themselves particularly knowledgeable about prophecies concerning Popes then we would be glad to hear from you as we continue to try and discover further information about this mysterious document!

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