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Heritage Center and Archives

The Loretto Heritage Center includes both an Archive and a Museum where the 200-year history of the Sisters of Loretto and the 40-year history of the Loretto Community are documented in paper, artifacts and richly interpretive exhibits.

The Museum

In the museum, visitors experience the setting of dramatic demonstrations by Loretto peace and justice activists and explore maps showing the rapid spread of Loretto education across the American continent and over the Pacific to China. An audio-visual theater and a room full of photographs offer a variety of vivid stories of Loretto places and people.

Enjoy this virtual tour of the Heritage Center.

The Archival Collection

The archival collection, carefully and professionally maintained since the 1890s, offers academic researchers, families interested in genealogy and individuals related to Loretto the opportunity to examine original manuscripts and artifacts. A comfortable research room and knowledgeable staff assist users on an appointment basis. Less extensive research requests often can be handled by telephone and email.

For archival assistance, please contact the archivist or executive director using the form at the bottom of the page. The Heritage Center does not charge fees for information requested by Loretto members, relatives or students. We are happy to accept donations in furtherance of our mission to preserve and pass on the Loretto legacy.

Artifacts and Archives Collections

Online Collections

Not all of the work of the Heritage Center is done through the physical exhibits and collections! You can find all of our online collections here, including our photograph and artifact collections.

You are also encouraged to explore the “Crossroads” exhibit online. In 2021, the Smithsonian “Museum on Main Street” traveling program came through Marion County, Kentucky. In preparation for this exhibit, entitled “Crossroads: Change in Rural America”, the Heritage Center along with community partners invited residents to share their photos and memories of Marion County. You can find those photographs along with narrative clips here.

LOREtto Blog

Did you know the Heritage Center staff regularly writes an awesome blog about cool Loretto history? Find the most recent LOREtto (pronounced “LORE-etto”) posts at the bottom of the page, or read them here!

Photo of museum displays in the Heritage Center

Visiting the Museum

Museum Hours*
Tuesday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – noon, 1 – 4 p.m.
Friday – Monday: by appointment

*The Heritage Center is closed Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and December 25 through January 1 for the holidays. For additional holiday and emergency closings, please check the Heritage Center’s Facebook page.

We welcome visitors and researchers outside of the Heritage Center’s standard hours, with advance notice. If you would like to visit the museum outside of the posted hours or do research in the archives, please use the contact form below or call the Heritage Center at (270) 431-0096 to set an appointment.

Address and Directions

The Loretto Heritage Center is located on the grounds of the Loretto Motherhouse at 515 Nerinx Road, Nerinx, KY 40049.
Driving directions

Heritage Center staff

Reba Weatherford – Director of Archives
Amanda Beard – Archival Assistant
Angela Selter – Archival Assistant
Eleanor Craig SL – Community Historian

Contact the archivists