The Heritage Centre conserves:
The archives of the generalate contains the historical documents of the generalate, the general government of the Sisters of Charity JM. This central government resided from 1805 till 1968 in the convent of Terhagen in Ghent. In 1968, the generalate moved to Brussel where it is still located until the present day.
Presently, there is an inventory of the archives of the Generalate until 1966. The 11 departments of the inventory can be viewed here:
1. Foundation and history of the Congregation
2. Constitutions and rules
5. Spirituality and religious affairs
6. Training and formation
7. Activities of the Congregation
9. Houses and communities
10. Extern contacts
The well-stocked archives contain a wealth of information about the founding of the Sisters of Charity JM, their rule and constitutions, spirituality and convent life, their financial policy, their strategic decisions in the area of education, health care, and their pioneering role in the missionary field.
Interesting are also the personal documents of individual sisters we keep in Section 4 (Members). Indispensable for a biography or to learn more about your ‘auntie nun’ for genealogical research.
In 1968, the government of the Congregation was decentralized. Besides the Generalate there were 8 geographical provinces with their own independent administration arising: Belgium North (East- and West-Flanders), Belgium Central (Antwerp, Limburg and Brabant), Belgium South (French-speaking part of Brussels and Wallonia), Congo, England-Ireland, India, Nederland and Sri Lanka (then still called Ceylon). Pakistan was at first a vice-province of Sri Lanka and became an autonomous province in 1987.
In the Heritage Centre we conserve the archives of the Belgium Central province (abolished in 2014) and part of the archives of the French-speaking province of Belgium South (transferred in 2016). Soon you will find the placement lists of both funds here online.
The other provinces still manage their archives themselves. Nevertheless, they can still appeal to the Heritage Centre for advice.
Archives of local houses
Very interesting for the study of social history and local historical research are the archives of dozens of local convents which were locally responsible for the education and health care provided by the sisters. Sometimes these funds also contain archives of the institutions. This is also the case for eg the Psychiatric Centre Caritas at Melle and the MPI Sint-Benedictus in Lokeren.
Check out the list of all the local funds that we conserve today at the Heritage Centre. They can all be consulted. So please, do not hesitate to contact us.
Our elaborate plan collection includes all houses and institutions of the Congregation, also overseas, and is very interested from an art historical and architectural point of view. In the archives you can find additional correspondence and invoices from building architects or artists who took care of the decoration and furnishing of the buildings.