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Special Collections- Vatican Film Library : Jesuit Historical Archives

Selected information on the holdings and organization of the VFL library


The VFL holds approximately 13,000 manuscripts-on-microfilm from a variety of libraries and archives relating to missionary activities of the Jesuit Order in North, Central, and South America, as well as the Philippines.

Arranged in the following collections:

Provincial Archives


1) For materials transcribed by Pablo Pastells, S.J., during the last decade of the nineteenth and the first thirty years of the twentieth century, documenting the history of the Jesuit Order and its work in the Americas and Philippines.

2) For materials from the archives of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith relating to missionary activities in Latin America.

3) For materials collected by Aurelio Espinosa Polit, S.J., documenting the history of Jesuit activities in Ecuador in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

4) For select materials from the Missouri Province, the Maryland Province, and the French Canadian Province going back to the earliest arrival of the Jesuits to America.

Jesuit Teaching (XVI-XIX centuries)




For materials from the archives of the Collegium Romanum or Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, comprising some 430 manuscripts written between the sixteenth and the middle of the nineteenth centuries representing the teaching and lecturing of the Jesuit professors at that university during those centuries, see JESUIT HISTORICAL MANUSCRIPTS-ON-MICROFILM on the VFL website.

Central Archives


1) For select records of official business and correspondence of the Jesuit generalate housed in the central archives of the Jesuit Order in Rome – Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI) – pertaining to activities in North and South America and the Philippines down to about 1850.

See also finding guide.

2) For a subdivision of the Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu (ARSI) containing records from the office of the Jesuit Procurator General (chief liaison officer to various papal departments).

Jesuitica in other collections