The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael annals consist primarily of annals written by an appointed annalist to document and log
historical records related to the sisters’ ministerial endeavors at the locations in which they take place. These include
the Dominican Convent and Dominican College in San Rafael, CA, St. Mary’s Hospital in Reno, NV, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Stockton,
CA and various other convents and schools where the sisters taught, lived, and carried out the mission of St. Dominic. In
addition to annals, included here are photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, programs and other ephemera related
to the sisters, their lives, and their ministry’s activities.
The congregation of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael was founded in Monterey, California in 1851. The sisters moved to
Benicia in 1854, and eventually settled in San Rafael in 1889, where they founded the Dominican College of San Rafael. With
a focus on education and health care, the sisters founded and taught at numerous parochial schools throughout California and
Nevada, including Saint Rose Academy in San Francisco, and founded and administered two hospitals, Saint Joseph’s in Stockton,
and Saint Mary’s in Reno.
An individual sister or group of sisters was appointed as house annalist(s) for each place of ministry. These sisters were
tasked with creating a written record of the goings on within the convent, school, hospital, novitiate house, and/or retreat.
Following specific congregational instructions each annalist tended to forge her own path as a documentarian and recorder
of the Congregation’s history. As is elaborated upon in the Scope and Content note below, annalists varied in their thoroughness,
style of prose, and propensity for collecting photographs, newspaper clippings, and ephemera.
The archives of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael began in the 1920s in an effort to learn more about the foundress of the
congregation but it was not until the 1970s that two Dominican Sisters - Justin and Martin Barry - began to arrange the annals
and use them as primary sources for the purpose of narrative histories of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. Where possible,
their original order has been maintained in this collection.
53 manuscript boxes, 22.1 linear feet
Property rights reside with the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael Archives. For permissions to publish, please contact the Archivist.
Collection is open for research