Carysfort College Registers, 1883-1922 - UCD Digital Library

Carysfort College Registers, 1883-1922

Abstract The three volumes in this collection contain hand written entries recording the details of students registered with Our Lady of Mercy Training College Baggot Street and Carysfort training college from 1883 to 1922. The large double ledger volumes record student details, such as: home address, age, diocese and parish, position in school, and examination results. These registers will be of interest to those interested in genealogy and social history, as well as the history of education and teacher training in Ireland.

In collection UCD Convent Collections

Additional finding aid:

Registers (Lists)
3 volumes
Type of resource
Location of original
The original volumes are held in the Mercy Congregational Archives, who hold the Archives of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy.
Mercy Congregational Archives
Repository reference
Biographical/historical information
Our Lady of Mercy Training College Baggot Street 1883-1903 and Carysfort 1903-1988: In 1827 schoolwork commenced in a house in Lower Baggot Street, Dublin built by a wealthy heiress, Catherine McAuley, who had resolved to devote her life and resources to those in need. In 1831 the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy was formally established by McAuley at Baggot Street. In 1834 she applied to the National Board of Education for formal affiliation of the Baggot Street school and was approved in 1839.
There was a basic form of teacher training in Baggot Street from c.1836, where young girls were trained as monitresses and went on to be employed as governesses or teachers. By 1864, a Training Department was operational with 40 residential students and a similar number of externs. A new training school, known as Sedes Sapientiae, was built in 1877 to accommodate an increasing number of students. It was recognised as training centre for female students in 1883 under the title of Our Lady of Mercy College and was licensed to accommodate 100 Queen’s scholars. Baggot Street National School became the practising school for the college. The college was licensed to increase its numbers to 150 in 1884 and a new wing was opened in 1887.
In 1891 the Sisters of Mercy purchased Carysfort House and lands, the estate of Baron Rickard Deasy. A branch convent of Baggot Street was opened and national schools built. The training college in Baggot Street continued to flourish, though greatly in need of larger grounds. In 1901 a foundation stone was laid in Carysfort for a new facility to replace the existing training college. The college transferred from Baggot Street in 1903 and Carysfort primary school was recognised as its practising school. An intermediate school was erected in the grounds of Carysfort in 1906 and prepared candidates for entrance examination to college until 1947. Girls were also prepared for Intermediate examination.
In 1910, oral and written exams in Irish were introduced for students who wished to teach in bilingual schools. Irish was the normal language of the college and medium of instruction from 1921. University graduates were admitted for one-year training course from 1929. In 1931 the number of students for which the college was licensed increased to 240 and a new library and two classrooms were added. A hostel for religious sisters opened in 1932 and a new training facility for religious sisters in 1937. Between 1903 and 1953, 7,500 religious and lay teachers were trained.
At the request of Department of Education, a teachers’ centre opened in 1971 to provide courses for teachers on the new primary school curriculum. Three-year programme, leading to B.Ed. degree, was introduced in 1974. A three month student strike in 1973-1974 led to student and staff representation on a new college board and recognition of an autonomous students union. Carysfort was accepted by the National University of Ireland as a recognised college in 1975. Male students were admitted to the college in October 1975. Major extensions built to provide for increased student numbers with an enrolment of 710 undergraduates and 40 post graduates in its centenary year, 1977. The college staff was considerably increased, academic departments were organised, library holdings and services were expanded. Minister for Education announced decision to close the training college in 1986. Last college students conferred in 1988, the year of closure.
Scope and content
This collection comprises three volumes of student registers for Our Lady of Mercy Training College Baggot Street (1883-1903) and Carysfort (1903-1988). The registers list the names and personal details of students across columns with the following printed headings: register number, college number, entry date, two year course, name of candidate, address, age, married or not, name of school, roll number, district number, diocese of birth and residence, parish of birth and residence, position in school, if monitress when appointed, if teacher when appointed, class and division and when obtained, name and address of manager, first and final year examination results, date of leaving, results in particular subjects, first deposit, second deposit, deposit returned, remarks.
Processing actions
The physical volumes were larger than the capacity of the image capture equipment, and were scanned in segments. The segments were then merged and the layers flattened. Automated merging was not successful for some images, and so were merged manually.
The digitisation of this collection was funded by the Royal Irish Academy's Nowlan Digitisation Grants. The principal investigator for the project was Deirdre Raftery, School of Education, University College Dublin.
Funder: Royal Irish Academy ; funding stream: Nowlan Digitisation Grants.
Other finding aid
A separate index of names contained in the registers is available. This index was created by the Carysfort College Registers, 1883-1922 research team, led by principal investigator Deirdre Raftery, School of Education, University College Dublin. The index transcribes the year, forename, surname, age, diocese of birth,and position in school for each entry in the registers. Once downloaded, the index can be sorted, filtered, or searched to find specific names. Please note that the spelling of names in the index have been matched to that in the register, however this may not match the current usage of a name and it may be necessary to search for variations in spellings of a name, for example O’Byrne, Byrne, O’Beirne, Beirne.
Carysfort College
Teachers–Training of–Ireland–History
Student teachers–Ireland
Teachers colleges–Ireland–History
Student records–Ireland
Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy
Suggested credit
"Carysfort College Registers, 1883-1922," held by Mercy Congregational Archives. Digital content by University College Dublin, published by UCD Library, University College Dublin <>

In collection
UCD Convent Collections.

Record source
Descriptions created by staff of UCD Library, University College Dublin based on information provided by the Mercy Congregational Archives. EAD derived from MODS record.20 March 2021

Finding aid author
Cosgrave, Marianne

C181/25. Carysfort College Registers, 1883-1922

C181/25.   Carysfort College Registers, 1883-1922


Register of 1421 students admitted 1883-1896 with additional 21 extern students 1892-1907 (1883-09/1907) [View]


    Register of 1391 students admitted 1897-1910 (1897-09/1910-09) [View]


      Register of 1557 students admitted 1911-1922 (1911-09/1922-12) [View]

        Access restrictions At the request of the depositor, and due to concerns about data protection, only the entries up to the end of 1922 have been released for the Register of 1557 students admitted 1911-1925. Page 104 of Volume 3 has been redacted as a result.