St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, has announced the  launch of the Salamanca Papers Catalogue Project. The Salamanca Papers contain the archives of the Irish colleges in Spain from 1592 to the middle of the twentieth century. The are the property of the Irish Episcopal Conference and were deposited in Maynooth in 1951. The archive contains about 50,000 items. Much of the material is administrative in nature but there are also personal papers of college staff and students. A number of documents taken from the archives have been published in Archivium Hibernicum, notably the oaths required of the students on entry to the college. They were edited by D.J. O’Doherty, then Salamanca college rector (Archivium Hibernicum ii (1913), pp 1-36 and iv (1915), pp 1-58). More recently Hugh Fenning OP, the archivist of the Irish Dominican province, published a Salamanca student list (1592-1638) in Archivium Hibernicum lxii (2009), pp 7-36, taken from a fascicule tucked into a register (Salamanca Papers, S.40/2).

The St Patrick’s College archivist, Susan Leyden, is heading the project and aims to have it completed by 2011. The catalogue will be made available on-line and some of the collection’s key documents will be digitised and presented on the web. The document illustrated is taken from the Salamanca Papers (Legajo 29, number 9). It is the royal decree confirming the amalgamation of the Irish College of San Jorge at Alcalá with the Irish college in Salamanca, dated 11 February 1790. At the top left hand corner are the arms of King Carlos IV.