Currently, the Archives of the College are divided into two fully catalogued collections notably :
- The Papers of the President’s Office
- The College Archives
The Papers of the President’s Office are the de facto working papers of the President’s Office, thus much of the material here is of a confidential nature. However, all is not closed to those interesting in delving into aspects of the College’s history, as a great deal of the material here, such as the records pertaining to the College property, architects’ drawings, personnel on Foreign Missions, etc., was made available to the Rev. Fearghus Ó Fearghaill for his St. Kieran’s College Kilkenny 1782-1982 and was also mined by Bishop Birch’s for his St. Kieran’s College (1951). Thus a careful reading of these invaluable reference books will answer most questions.
These Papers also include a sub-section entitled ‘Museum and Archives’ which contains rare items such as the fifteenth-century Book of Hours which was written up for the 1986 Old Kilkenny Review, pp.277-82. This prayer book was the gift of Cardinal Moran to the Library of the College on 12 April 1883.
The College Archives proper are generally made up of the registers and account books of the College, particular collections of papers, notably the notebook and papers of the Rev. William, Canon Carrigan, papers from the collection of the Rev. James Graves, one of the founder members of the old Kilkenny Archaeological Society (now the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland), papers from the collection of John O’Donovan, the Dowling Papers and much else besides.
The Carrigan Collection has deservedly attracted, the greatest attention from scholars to-date, as many of the transcripts therein were extracted from documents lost as a result of the destruction of the Four Courts during the disturbances of 1922-3. A full index of this collection has been published in the Irish Genealogist and a copy is available upon request from the College’s Consultant Archivist.
Both of these collections of archives are fully catalogued and housed according to best archival practices.
Requests to use the Archives should be addressed via the College Office. However, it should be noted that an Archivist is in attendance at the College from time-to-time on a sessional basis only, but generally every effort is made to accommodate and deal with all enquiries within a very short space of time.
It is almost impossible to walk onto the college campus and not be aware of the great history of these grounds. Throughout the years St Kieran’s College has proudly been home to many great students and teachers, each of whom helped shape the history of this place.
Whether on the field of play, in a lecture hall or in the class room past students formed many great memories as they passed through these grounds. Thankfully some of these memories have been captured through different media. Recently the family of Ned Costello, a former Irish teacher in the school (1939-1974), shared with us some footage which Ned recorded during his time here in the college. This short clip of that footage shows how many famous and familiar faces populate our wonderful history.