Researcher Info


The Daughters 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, by promoting the life  and work of the founders (St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton), by promoting the Community’s works, past and present, and by making our collections available for research.


The Provincial Archives is open to researchers over age 16.  It contains the business records of the four formerly separate provinces of the Daughters of Charity from Emmitsburg, Evansville, Albany, and St. Louis in the United States, as well as Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph’s.  This includes collections related to the ministries and sponsored works of the Daughters and Sisters, including hospitals, schools, orphan asylums, and special works. 

The current provincial archive contains the records of the Province of St. Louise, active in states east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada.

The archive is a valuable resource for those researching their family histories, alumni and associates of the sisters, and those researching such topics as Mother Seton, American education and healthcare, the Civil War, immigrant communities, and Catholic social justice in the United States.

The collection contains manuscripts, born-digital records, photographs, videos, cassette tapes, film reels, artifacts, and artwork.  Archives staff may ask that surrogates be used in place of some material formats, while others may only be available with advance notice provided by the researcher.

How to contact us:
Daughters of Charity Province of St. Louise Archives
341 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Online Catalog:

Conducting Research Remotely

You may begin your search with our Online Catalog. We are available for contact for any other planning or reference assistance.

Many requests, particularly those asking for very specific records or small amounts of materials can be completed remotely.  A small amount of materials are available at any time to researchers online.  We recommend emailing or calling the Archives with your request to see if it can be completed remotely.  We accept reference questions via paper mail, fax, electronic mail and telephone.

Conducting Research On-Site

The Provincial Archives maintains a reading room with study tables, a reference library, WiFi Internet access, and personal reference assistance for our researchers.

Effective June 8, 2015, reading room hours are 8:00 AM to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday.  Collections will be paged until 3:30 P.M.

Please note that the public hours for the Provincial Archives are different than those of the National Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton. The Provincial Archives is not open evenings or weekends.

Researchers visiting for the first time will be asked to register with a staff member. The staff member will go over basic policies, including our reading room rules and rules for photocopying and digital camera use. Staff will work with you to determine the materials you need and page them from our repository. Our collections do not circulate, and the repository is not open to the public.

Lockers for storing coats, suitcases, and other items are located in the lobby opposite the information desk. There is no charge for using the lockers. Lockers should be emptied and locker keys returned at the end of each day.

Directions and Parking

Baltimore/Washington International is the closest airport. Please note that Emmitsburg is in a rural area. There is no public transportation that goes to Emmitsburg. We cannot provide transportation for visitors. 

From U.S. Routh 15, turn onto South Seton Avenue.  The Archives is the second entrance to campus when travelling from the north, and the first entrance to campus when travelling from the south.  Follow signs for “Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives.”  Parking is available in designated spaces for visitors and on-site researchers.

Accommodations for persons with disabilities

  • Designated parking
  • Accessible entrance
  • Archives offices, reading room, and exhibit galleries are barrier-free
  • Accessible restrooms and drinking fountains nearby

We are committed to making our collections, services, and public programs accessible to persons with disabilities. Researchers who require assistance in using our collections should contact the Archives at 301-447-6067 or in advance of their visit. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can.

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