Today the Archive is managed by Mrs Patricia Olson (who joined MLMC in 1978 as the Head of Art) and a dedicated group of volunteers. Key tasks include providing research services to staff, alumni and members of the community, as well as holding activities to promote the history and heritage of the College.
It is also the Archivists’ responsibility to ascertain the significance of heritage items, establish the provenance and oversee the Heritage Centre which is located in the Mount St Joseph building — providing an invaluable resource for the College curriculum, particularly in Religious Education and Humanities.
Oral story telling is integral to the explanation of the Mercy journey in Lilydale and the College Archive also has videos which celebrate this aspect of College life (see below). Tours of the Heritage Centre are available each Wednesday. If you have a story to share or would like to inquire about a tour please contact Patricia on firstname.lastname@example.org
“History is an essential means that should be in the forefront of every process of understanding Mercy as a community, and the archives as the important treasury that safeguards the future.”
— Delores Liptak RSM
Prior to the College Centenary in 1996, Library technician Margaret Farrelly began collecting information on the history of MLMC. This was an invaluable resource for Adrian Reilly who wrote A Century of Mercy after researching archival records at Mercy Centre Alphington. Subsequently, Jan Battaglene (Personal Assistant to Principals Sister Beth Calthorpe, John Goodfellow OAM, Sister Nancy Freddi and Bernard Dobson), took over the role of Archivist. On her retirement, long-serving staff member, Irene McClue was appointed to the role.
In 2006 a volunteer committee under the leadership of College Registrar Patricia Olson set up the College’s first Heritage Centre in the Mansfield House building vacated by the Sisters. Officially opened in August 2006, Mrs McClue noted “the Centre was set up to showcase the work of the Sisters of Mercy in education in Lilydale as well as to tell the story of the College in relation to the history of the area. This was in response to ongoing requests by members of the Community to facilitate the display of records and other heritage and archival material collected over a period of time from a variety of sources”.
When the old Mansfield Building was demolished in 2010 to erect the Year 7 Learning Centre, the Heritage Centre gained a more permanent home in the original 1896 Mount Saint Joseph building. Restoration of the former parlour, entrance hall and Chapel was the first step and the area proved a fitting venue for displaying the continually expanding College Archive dating back to the school’s foundation in 1896.
History is an essential means that should be in the forefront of every process of understanding Mercy as a community, and the archives as the important treasury that safeguards the future.