General Archives

The Archives Générales Société du Sacré Coeur (AGSSC) are the historical archives of the Generalate of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Since 1973 have been permanently housed in the beautiful and historical Villa Lante in Rome.

The mission of the AGSSC is to preserve and make available the memory of the Congregation and its charism through the documents and other materials that bring testimony to the mission as it has been lived since its foundation and in different places around the world.

As the provider of materials relating to the cultural heritage and history of the Church, the general archives need to ensure its materials are accessible and searchable through the systematic and scientific arrangement of holdings and their description.

Starting in 2013, more archival material has been transferred to the Villa Lante from different ex-provinces of the Society of Sacred Heart: France, Belgium, Netherlands and Cuba (the former provinces of France, Belgium and Netherlands are now one province called BFN, whose archives are located in Lyon).

The arrangement and archival descriptions of the archives of the Villa Lante are currently being revised and updated, in compliance with the ICA’s (International Council of Archives) archival standards.

The new Villa Lante Museum, which displays many artifacts and paintings from the general archives collections, is now open.

Some archival descriptions are available on the archival software AtoM. Currently available materials include the description and digital documents of the Philippine Duchesne Collection. Other collections will be added in the near future.

Philippine Duchesne is a key figure of the Society of the Sacred Heart, a fascinating character who left France in 1818 to become a pioneer of the Catholic mission in the Mississippi River valley. 

Services and Schedule

The Archives are open to researchers, from Monday to Friday, by appointment.

Contact information

Villa Lante Formation Center
General Archives and Museum
Via San Francesco di Sales, 18
00165 Rome Italy
Telephone: (39) 06.688.08.506

Please note that no relics are available from the General Archives.

Meet our team

Federica Palumbo

General Archivist

Alice Usai

Curator of the Villa Lante Museum and of the Audio-visual and Material Heritage of the Society

Sara Giannetti

Assistant Archivist and Digital Archivist

General Archives news

Monastery of Les Feuillants

Postcards from the past: The Poitiers milestone

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In 1806, Sophie Barat travelled to Poitiers with Henriette Girard. Here they opened the first Sacred Heart novitiate with Lydie Chobelet, Josephine Bigeau, and Thérèse Maillucheau.
Saint Marie d’En Haut, Grenoble - cloister

Postcards from the past: Expanding into Grenoble

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After the foundation of the Society in Amiens, the community of Sophie Barat and her companions merged with the Visitation Sisters’ community of St. Marie d’En Haut in Grenoble.
Abside de la chapelle

Postcards from the past: Founding in Amiens

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On October 17, 1801 in Amiens, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat and two companions founded the first Community and first School of the Society of the Sacred Heart, officially founded on…

The châsse of Madeleine Sophie

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In response to queries about the châsse of St. Madeleine Sophie, we have put up this photo-summary of events after her death.