Archives & Special Collections (A&SC) has been working through the Mission Santa Clara Manuscripts Collection, which consists of hundreds of manuscripts primarily written and collected by the Franciscan missionaries from the founding of the Mission in 1777 until the arrival of the Jesuits in 1851. Over the last two years, A&SC has created a descriptive guide for the collection which is published on the Online Archive of California, as well as a digital collection where we've scanned some of the documents for online viewing.
The documents in this collection detail the missionaries' spiritual endeavors, as well as various aspects of daily life at Mission Santa Clara. The collection is organized around nine themes:
- sacramental records
- informes (mission reports)
- Fr. Viader's miscellany book (which served as a reference book for life in Mission Santa Clara and covers such themes as church doctrine, health care, and food production)
- ecclesiastical and governmental correspondence
- secularization and the formation of California's first diocese
- personal legal and financial records
- music manuscripts
- Alta California manuscripts
- pictorial materials, ephemera, and reproductions
The collection includes a wide variety of materials, including account books, annual reports, and instructions on wool-processing and cuisine, among others.
The digital collection consists of representative items from each of the themes. The majority of the manuscripts are in Spanish. A number of the original documents have been translated, and these translations are included alongside the originals in the digital collection. We invite you to browse the digital collection. For more information about the Mission Santa Clara Manuscript Collection, including a detailed description of each series, visit the guide to the collection at the Online Archive of California.
Digital Initiatives Librarian