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Elizabeth Hayward Collection of Ursuline Academy


A collection of primary source documents regarding a nineteenth century Boston-area fire is now online. The Elizabeth Hayward Collection of Ursuline Academy material held by the John J. Burns Library was recently digitized.

The collection was originally compiled by a former student of the school, which was the first Roman Catholic school for girls in then-Charlestown (now Somerville), Massachusetts. Driven by anti-Catholic nativism, a mob gathered at the convent and set the building on fire, forcing the students and sisters to flee to nearby farms. The collection contains material relating to the convent fire – including unpublished firsthand accounts – and to a reunion of Ursuline Academy students.