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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives: Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

Oblate Sisters of Providence

Introductory Information


Address: 701 Gun Road, Baltimore MD, 21227

Telephone number: 410-242-1603


Online catalog: None; please email for records finding aids

Access Policies

Hours of service: Monday - Friday: 9 am - 4 pm

Open to the public: By appointment.

Interlibrary loan: No.

Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by telephone, email, and in person.

Background note: Reverend James Hector Joubert de la Muraille, S.S., co-founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence in the city of Baltimore with Elizabeth Lange (later Mother Mary Lange) in 1829 and three other women of color: Madeleine Balas, Rosine Boegue and Therese Marie Duchemin. The express purpose of the founding was the education of the children of people of color. There were no provisions for public education of people of color in Maryland prior to the Civil War. The Oblate Sisters of Providence is the oldest order of Religious Women of Color in the modern world.


Books and monographs
The Joubert Library contains 600 volumes dating from the late 1700s to the 1840s. Subject emphases of this collection include church history, the Catholic faith, the Sulpician Order, the Jesuits, the Josephite Order, and the Redemptorist Order. Highlights include works on the Oblate Sisters of Providence, their missionary endeavors in Cuba, Costa Rica and the United States, as well as their educational programs and ministries of service to the church in the Americas.

Periodicals and newspapers
An indefinite number in the Community Library. These cover the national and Central American mission and ministry of the community as well as highlighting the social, educational, formative and ecumenical aspects of the Oblate Sisters. A couple of journal highlights include a now defunct journal entitled Oblate News and Views (1948-1966) and the Josephite Harvest (1929 to present).

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
12 five-drawer vertical file cabinets with holdings from 1828 to the present. This collection includes manuscripts; biographical sketches; personal files of deceased Oblates; histories of the Order; correspondence; civic and religious activities of all Mission Houses in the United States, Central America and Cuba (1900-1961); personnel directories; diary of the founder; information on schools and institutions owned and operated by the Oblate Sisters; and parochial and parish church educational events and projects.

Finding aids are available for six Record Groups: Missions, Motherhouse, Administration, Congregation, Affiliated Organizations, Photographs and Scrapbooks

Videos and sound recordings
Four 16mm films; 25 8mm films; eight videos; 98 cassette tapes with inclusive dates from 1960 to the present. Virtually all of these relate to the geographic areas of the United States, pre-Castro Cuba, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic which comprise the missions and ministry areas served by the Oblate Sisters. The cassette tapes are of liturgies, ceremonies, seminars and workshops related to O.S.P Gospel Ventures.

Vertical files
See archival section

100 photo binders and a large number of unidentified photographs; art works from former OSP convent-owned properties; 50 or more sets of slides of O.S.P. functions, rites, programs, etc. The dates vary according to the lifespan of the mission or ministry. The focus of these items is Catholic generally and includes Congregational milestones, events, functions, educational and ecumenical projects, ministerial ministry and achievements. Finding aids include inventories of holdings, document box labels, personnel directories and historical ledgers.

Other holdings not listed above
Artifacts and exhibit posters and relics depicting the Congregation's history, mission and ministry to the Church. The Church is understood here ecumenically.

Subject Headings

Joubert, James (Jacques), d. 1843; Lange, Mary Elizabeth, ca. 1790-1882; Missions and missionaries--Costa Rica; Missions and missionaries--Cuba; Missions and missionaries--Dominican Republic; Missions and missionaries--United States; Oblate Sisters of Providence; Oblate Sisters of Providence--History; St. Frances Academy, Baltimore