our legacy

Daughters of Charity Archives

Preserving our heritage

Our Mission
The Daughter of Charity Constitutions and Statutes states: “The Archives establish a link with the past and contribute to maintaining the continuity of the spirit of the Company. Their preservation is to be assured at all levels: local, Provincial, and General.” The Archives of the Province of St. Louise contributes to this mission by preserving records of enduring value, promoting the lives and work of the founders—Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton—and safekeeping the Community’s works, past and present.

About Us

The Provincial Archives combines the collections of four former U.S. Daughters of Charity Provinces: Albany, New York; Emmitsburg, Maryland; Evansville, Indiana; and St. Louis, Missouri. In January 2013, the Provincial Archives opened to the public in a new facility located at historic St. Joseph House in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The facility includes a state-of-the art repository to house the collections, two exhibit galleries which host an ongoing exhibits program, and a reading room for researchers.

The collections contain information about members of the Community, records of the sponsored works and missions of the Daughters dating back to 1809, and the largest available collection of the records, writings, and correspondence of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

The Province of St. Louise is comprised of two-thirds of the United States, and Montreal.  Prominent missions in our archives include major hospitals such as Carney in Boston, Providence in Washington, D.C., and St. Joseph’s in Chicago; orphanages across the country with intake records available for research from St. Mary’s Orphanage and Guardian Angel Settlement in St. Louis and St. Vincent’s Asylum in Philadelphia; and Catholic elementary and high schools throughout the country.

The Daughters have also engaged in special services as nurses during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and both World Wars; served as nurses during pandemics throughout the 19th and 20th centuries; and advocated for refugees during crises of the late 20th and 21st centuries.

The crown jewel of the collection is the correspondence and writings of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American-born saint, and the establishment of the Sisters of Charity and the Vincentian rule in the early United States.

Follow this link to visit our searchable catalog and contact form.  We will continue to make collections, photographs, finding aids, and records available and searchable online over time.

We invite you to visit our social media sites and our blog to learn more about the Archives’ collections, services, and public programs.

We are available by email and by phone for additional research and reference assistance.

Image above, Satterlee Military Hospital, Philadelphia, Civil War era.

All Images on this page used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives. They are not to be further reproduced without permission of the Provincial Archives.