Before contacting the Archives, it may be useful to compile and study a bibliography on the subject in order to learn about existing sources and published research. We recommend the following resources:
Research on individual Jesuits
Is the person being researched really a Jesuit?
Often some religious of other orders, abbots or canons are mistakenly considered to be Jesuits. It is therefore essential to evaluate the source and the bibliographic information available. Is the name of the religious mentioned by more than one source? What kind of source? Oral sources are often inaccurate or incomplete.
Is the Jesuit being researched still alive?
It is not possible to access the personal data of living Jesuits.
Once these two aspects have been clarified, the research proceeds differently depending on whether the Jesuit is deceased or dismissed from the Society from 1814 onwards. For Jesuits who lived between 1540 and 1814 it is necessary to refer to the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI).
The Catalogus Defunctorum of the Society of Jesus provides the following information: name, surname, date and place of birth, date of entry into the Society, date of Last Vows, date and place of death, Province. For the deceased up to 1985 the catalogue can be consulted online:
If the Province of the deceased Jesuit is known, the historical catalogues of the Society of Jesus available on the ARSI website can help retrace the communities to which the Jesuit belonged and his assignments over the years.
For Jesuits who have died since 1985 the are no resources available online. In this case, and also if you would like to know what material is available on Italian, Albanian and Maltese Jesuits, please email the archivist.
The data of the dismissed are not present in the catalogues of the deceased, since they are people who left the Society before their death.
For Jesuits dismissed between 1540 and 1773 please refer to the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI).
For Jesuits dismissed between 1814 and 1945 for whom at least the Province is known, it is possible to consult online the historical catalogues of the Society of Jesus digitised by ARSI. The alphabetical list at the bottom of the catalogue contains the name, surname, date of birth, date of entry into the Society, date of Last Vows and the page where the Jesuit appears in the respective community, with the list of positions held. The date of dismissal is not given in the catalogue, yet it can be assumed since the name of a dismissed Jesuit no longer appears in catalogues of the following years. To know the exact date of dismissal of an Italian Jesuit, please contact our Archives.
It is possible to consult the files of Jesuits dismissed up to 1899 that do not contain internal forum material. The files of Jesuits dismissed from 1900 onwards cannot be consulted.
Research on college alumni
Research on alumni of schools and colleges follows a different path than that for Jesuits. Pupils do not appear in the historical catalogues of the Society, and only in some cases do the archival fonds of the schools contain lists of students. It is therefore necessary for the researcher to already be in possession of as much data as possible on the pupil: name, surname, years or decades in which he attended the institute.
In order to search for a photograph of the former pupil, it is essential to already have a photo of him or her as a child or teenager: group photos in fact never show the names of the pupils and without a photo for comparison it is impossible to determine the identity of each one.
In the case of living alumni, requests are only accepted from the individuals themselves and their relatives.
For research on former pupils of still active schools, requests should be made to the school itself. Our Historical Archive has the school fonds of only some of the closed schools, and of the Massimo Institute until the 1960s.
At present, it is possible to request information on former pupils of the following institutes:
- Massimiliano Massimo Institute, Rome
- San Francesco Saverio College, Livorno
- Collegio dei Nobili of Mondragone, Monte Porzio Catone
- Collegio degli Abruzzi, L’Aquila
Research on residences and colleges
All residences and colleges for which our Archive has documentation are listed on the residences page. In some cases we have the entire fonds, in others archive excerpts or correspondence concerning the institution.
The photographic fonds contain thousands of photographs depicting residences, colleges and churches. For more precise information on the material available and for assistance with research, please contact the archivist.