Uncovering Animals in the Archives – A Snapshot into the Institute Collection
Since the formation of the Institute 10 years ago the Institute archivists have worked tirelessly to bring together all collections from the former congregations to be housed under one roof, where the team can manage the collections in a cohesive way as well as carry out preservation and appraisal activities. Whilst executing these tasks, archivists have begun to recognise a cast of characters across the collections. These characters or animals of the archives appear as representations on various objects, subjects of artworks, or emerge through photographs or textiles. At times, we are unable to determine if these animals were a part of the Sisters of Mercy family or merely sources of entertainment. What we can determine is that these animals were a real presence in the lives of the sisters; they were a part of their every day, even if it was just as a source of transport or as a feature in an artwork that hung on a wall in one of the many convents. These animals are now part of a historical record, evidence of human animal relationships, and an archival catalogue description.
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December 7 2021