The archival collections reflect the institutional history of the Sisters of Presentation and their various individual ministries since the time of their foundation in San Francisco, California in 1854 up to present day. The unique historical materials reflect the sisters’ viewpoint of participation in these ministries and that of their relationship to those served through these ministries.
Collections spanning the years since 1854 document the sisters’ lives and their ministries in California, New Mexico and Washington; and on sisters’ ministries in response to Vatican II, including mission work in Mexico and Guatemala, and their involvement in social justice issues. Administrative records include minutes of general councils, chapter assemblies and various committees, including national and international groups. Additional collections include artifacts such as objects from convent life; photographs; scrapbooks; and Audio/Visual materials.Early historical materials dating from the mid-late 19th century to 1906 are sparse because of the devastation caused by the earthquake and fire disaster that year when the sisters lost both of their San Francisco convents. Among the surviving records are the constitutions, Rules and Customs of the Presentation Sisters beginning from 1809; and financial and property records between 1860 and 1875. Chronicles and annals from this era include the memoir of Mother Teresa Comerford published in 1882; first-person accounts of the 1906 earthquake and fire, and the sisters’ relief work conducted in the aftermath; a published history based on reconstituted annals by Mother Mary Josephine Hagarty, 1854-1906; a sister’s historical account of the events and descriptions of life at Sacred Heart Presentation Convent (1868-1906); correspondence on the issue of school ownership with Archbishop Patrick William Riordan (1906), and letter books containing copy-correspondence on official matters with Archbishop Sadoc Alemany, O.P. (1855-1882).
Contemporary historical records document the changes that occurred in community life and ministry during and after the changes brought on by Vatican II. Examples of this activity include the sisters’ process of Renewal in 1965; their establishment of missions in Latin America in the 1960s; individual ministries started in the 1970s in response to the poor and marginalized; and their involvement with the Sanctuary Movement in San Francisco during the 1980s.
Terms of Access
Presentation Archives makes every effort to provide access to its collections while observing institutional policies regarding copyright, records retention policies, and privacy and confidentiality. The use of certain records and unpublished materials may be restricted by statute, office, origin, or by request of the donor.
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