The Shrine Archives are kept within the buildings known as the College. There is a wide, though incomplete, range of material covering nearly a hundred years of the modern history. The Shrine holds no original medieval records, but many core documents are reproduced on the Archives website, together with some of Fr Patten's writings on the medieval history of Walsingham.
Most valuable of the modern records are the complete sets of The Walsingham Review and its predecessor, Our Lady's Mirror. As well as the photographic and document collections, there is a section of video and audio recordings, both commercial and those donated by pilgrims. There is a small library of the best-known books about the Shrine, and core books on other medieval and modern aspects. Artefacts and memorabilia are included in the archive collection.
After outline professional cataloguing in the 1980s and subsequent accessions, the present aims are to digitise as much of the collection as appropriate, to provide a comprehensive catalogue and to acquire and preserve more records. Top priority is given to those of Fr Patten's own time, but later material is never neglected and is just as welcome.
We are grateful for donations of material, especially after our occasional appeals for particular items to fill gaps in series. Pilgrims' reminiscences and photographs are particularly valuable. Copyright status is strictly respected.
The Archive is not open regularly to the general public but the Archivist is happy to deal with enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org
A new Shrine Archive website is currently under construction and will be launched in early 2018. The old website is normally accessible but, for technical reasons, it has not be updated for some months. At present (December 2017) the site is unfortunately not available. It is hoped that this will only be for a short period and that normal service will soon be resumed. It contains a wealth of information and photographs.
The Eric Kemp Library and the Marian Library – St Augustine’s House
The old College Library housed in St Augustine’s was an extraordinary place – full of elderly books housed in ancient bookcases, with rickety furniture and a highly distinctive smell – was it dead rodents, or perhaps the drains? The library was little used unsurprisingly.
In 2013, after a major refurbishment of St Augustine’s, the library - now in fact two libraries - was rededicated by the Archbishop of York. The main room is named in honour of the late Eric Kemp, Bishop of Chichester and an Honorary Guardian of the Shrine. It contains the general theological library with particular emphasis on Anglo-Catholic history, theology and spirituality. The Marian Library (in honour of the 2nd Lord Halifax, a founder Guardian) houses books relating to Mary and her place in the church.
The six en suite study bedrooms in St Augustine’s are reserved for the clergy, but lay people can apply to the Priest Administrator for permission use the libraries.