San Francisco Archives a Busy Place

by Rachel Foote, Archivist

Since August 2015 the San Francisco archive received 36 research requests. Of those requests, 21 were received via email, six over the phone and nine via walk-in visits to the archives. The majority of the requests, 39%, came from alumnae of the schools where the Presentation Sisters have taught over the years. Another 33% came from other individuals outside of the congregation, and 28% came from Presentation Sisters and staff members.

Thirteen of the requests were in regards to nostalgia and memorabilia items such as school photos; copies of historic issues of The Reflector, the student newspaper of Presentation High School/Academy of the Presentation, San Francisco; a class reunion; and copies of the lyrics and music of the school song of the Academy of the Presentation and school songs of Our Lady of Loretto High School, Los Angeles. Eight of the requests were genealogical in nature, two of which dated back to the mid-1800s.

The remaining 16 requests were on a variety of historical topics including, but not limited to, the Sanctuary Movement; history of religious architecture in the San Francisco Bay area; Mother Mary Teresa Comerford, the San Francisco foundress; and Presentation College.
One of the researchers recently completed a short video on the history of the Sanctuary Movement for the San Francisco Interfaith Council. That video titled SANCTUARY: A Short History features Sister Kathleen Healy and can be viewed online here: