Archives Mission

The School Sisters of St. Francis Archives collects, preserves, describes, exhibits, and provides access to the materials that document the history, mission, charism, and administration of the School Sisters of St. Francis. The materials in the Archives are preserved to aid in the congregation’s policy formation, planning, and decision making, to illustrate the history of the School Sisters of St. Francis as a religious community of women, and to enable historical research.


Welcome to the School Sisters of St. Francis Archives!
Visiting the Archives

For a research appointment, contact the Archivist at, 414-944-6031 or fill out the request on the right-hand side of this page.

Sacred Heart
1545 S. Layton Boulevard
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Please enter through the main entrance where you will receive assistance in finding the archives.

Visiting the Heritage Room Exhibit

The Heritage Room exhibit gives an all-embracing look at the 150 years of the outstanding missions and never-wavering commitment to the charism of the School Sisters of St. Francis with artifacts and an interactive program. More information

Access to the Collections

The School Sisters of St. Francis Archives attempts to provide access to as many collections and materials as possible. Certain records are restricted based on the content, status, and/or age of the records or to protect information based on canon law or state and federal mandates. All researchers will be granted access to all open collections and to open portions of partially restricted collections. Permission to access restricted materials may be granted through an appeal process to community leadership.

There is no charge to visit the Archives, do research on-site, or search for reference materials in our online catalog.

For those who cannot come to the Archives, please call the number listed above or fill out the request form and we will be happy to assist you. Archival services are free to everyone for the first hour, but due to limited resources, there may be fees for additional services. For more information please consult Archives Services.

Donor Guidelines

Interested in donating to the Archives? We welcome gifts of materials that pertain to the history, administration, and operation of the School Sisters of St. Francis community.

For more information, please consult the Donor Guidelines.

Information Request Form


Email Address

Nature of Your Request

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why does the School Sisters of Saint Francis have an archive?

The School Sisters of St. Francis have a long and rich history lasting almost 150 years. By preserving and sharing this history, the Archives ensures that current and future generations will have an opportunity to experience the history, mission, charism, and administration of this congregation and its ministries.


When are the Archives open?

Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm. Please make an appointment so we can ensure we are prepared for your visit.

Do you have contact information for the sisters? I would like to contact a sister from your community.

The Archives has up-to-date information on all the sisters who have been members of the community throughout its history. Information on how to contact a sister is available with the sister’s approval. To learn if a sister can be contacted, please call or email the Archives for more information.

I have a family member who was a patient at St. Mary’s Hill Hospital. May I have a copy of their medical records?

No, the School Sisters of St. Francis Archives does not keep or provide medical records of former patients at St. Mary’s Hill Hospital.

I am a former student at an educational institution run by the School Sisters. Do you have copies of my transcripts?

No, the School Sisters of St. Francis Archives does not keep transcripts of former students. You will need to contact the administrative department of the teaching institution.


Does the Archives accept art?

All donations of artwork should go directly to the separate Art Archives. To meet with the Art Curator about a donation of art, contact Valerie J. Christell, Alfons Gallery Curator, at 414-385-5273 or

If I bring material to the Archives and it is closed, can I leave the materials at the front desk?

Please do not leave materials at the front desk of Sacred Heart. Donating materials to the Archives includes speaking to staff about where the materials come from and to whom they originally belonged. Found materials may not be added to the Archives if it is unclear where the materials originated and why their history is significant.

Can I mail materials to the Archives?

We prefer that you do not mail materials to the Archives unless arrangements have been made with the Archivist. If you are not able to come yourself, someone from the Archives staff can come to you if you reside in the Milwaukee area or other arrangements can be made for those who live further away.

I’m not sure if the item I have belongs in the Archives. What should I do?

Please call, email or visit the Archives and speak to someone on the staff. They will be able to advise you whether it is an item appropriate for long-term preservation in the School Sisters of St. Francis Archives. The phone number to the Archives is 414-944-6031 and the email is


Cabinet Card Exhibit

Cabinet Card Collection

This collection of late-Victorian cabinet cards came from the School Sisters of St. Francis Motherhouse in Erlenbad, Germany in 2019.


St. Joseph Convent - Campbellsport

St. Joseph Convent Campbellsport

The video and the timeline here demonstrate the power of ministry and the significance the School Sisters of St. Francis have had on the place they first called home.


St. Joseph Convent Milwaukee Postcard

Postcard Collection

Our collection allows us wonderful snippets of the history of the School Sisters of St. Francis.