The Archives houses approximately 775 linear feet of records which, in addition to paper, includes photographs, sound and video recordings and motion picture film. The ongoing oral history program has at present 1,111 audio tapes of interviews with Sisters and lay associates.
The materials are descriptive of religious life of Benedictine women from the 19th century until the present and the many types of services in which the Sisters have been engaged: administration and staffing of parish schools and high schools, hospitals and nursing homes, a college and schools of nursing, American Indian missions and foreign missions. More recent types of service include parish ministry, social justice advocacy and spiritual ministry.
Although the Sisters have ministered in more than 100 places, those for which there are a significant number of records include the following:
Minnesota: Albany, Browerville, Buckman, Cold Spring, Hastings, Long Prairie, Luxemburg, Melrose, Millerville, Minneapolis, Moorhead, New Munich, Pierz, Perham, St. Augusta, St. Cloud, St. Joseph, St. Paul, Sauk Rapids, Sauk Centre, Wadena
North Dakota: Bismarck, Dickinson, Mandan, Wahpeton
Wisconsin: Altoona, Eau Claire
Minnesota: Saint Benedict’s Academy/High School in St. Joseph, Pierz Memorial High School in Pierz, St. Boniface High School in Cold Spring, Cathedral High School in St. Cloud
Wisconsin: St. Mary’s Academy in Altoona
College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn.
St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing, St. Cloud, Minn.
Saint John’s School of Theology (formerly Benedictine Institute of Sacred Theology), Collegeville, Minn.
St. Benedict’s School of Nursing, Ogden, Utah
St. Cloud Hospital, St. Cloud, Minn.
St. Benedict’s Hospital, Ogden, Utah
Queen of Peace, New Prague, Minn.
St. Michael’s Hospital, Richfield, Utah
Nursing Homes (all in Minnesota)
St. Joseph’s Home, St. Cloud
St. Raphael’s Home, St. Cloud
Mother of Mercy Nursing Home, Albany
Mary Rondorf Home, Staples
St. Mary’s Home, Long Prairie
Assumption Nursing Home, Cold Spring
American Indian (Ojibwe) Missions (in Minnesota)
St. Benedict’s Mission, White Earth
St. Mary’s Mission, Redlake
Little Flower Mission, Onamia
China: Peking/Beijing, Kaifeng
Taiwan: Taipei, Tanshui
Japan: Tokyo, Shimizusawa, Muroran, Sapporo
Puerto Rico: Humacao
Bahamas: Bimini, Freeport, Hunter, Nassau
In addition to the above, other subject areas of interest include art needlework, liturgy, Catholic Church, monasticism, agriculture and building construction, concern for the environment and women’s issues.
The manuscript collection of individual Sisters offers another range of topics including anthropology, ethnology, Catholic literature, Minnesota history, Catholic and/or Benedictine education, Christian art and symbolism, Gregorian chant and Church music, monastic spirituality, Father Francis X. Pierz and Joyce Kilmer and family.
Those who have significant collections include Sisters Inez Hilger, Mariella Gable, Grace McDonald, Incarnata Girgen, Justina Knapp, Juana Raasch, Thomas Carey, Jacquelyn Dubay, Cecile Gertken and Michael Kilmer.
Saint Benedict’s Monastery Archives is also the repository for the records of the American Benedictine Academy, an association of Benedictine men and women committed to cultivate, support and transmit the Benedictine heritage within contemporary culture; the Federation of St. Benedict, a pontifical association of autonomous Benedictine monasteries of women in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Utah, Washington, the Bahama Islands, Taiwan, Japan and Puerto Rico for mutual support, to maintain and extend the Benedictine charism and to be the liaison between the Apostolic See and the monasteries; and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) , Region 11, an organization of pontifical right which aims to promote the welfare of women religious and the effectiveness of their ministry.