The Voices of Saint Joseph's Orphanage Exhibit

Fletcher Room

On Display January 9, 2023 to February 18, 2023


The St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington was home to more than 13,000 children from 1854 to 1974. Although the Catholic-run institution was held in high regard in the community, accounts began to emerge in the 1990s from scores of former orphanage residents describing abuse at the hand of nuns and other clerical personnel. Few were believed at first, but these ex-orphans persevered, ultimately winning validation for the harm done to them and working for laws protecting vulnerable children in Vermont. This is the story of these former orphans, now known as the Voices of St. Joseph, and their remarkable and enduring accomplishments.

The Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage exhibition contains material that may be challenging for children and may be disturbing or triggering for other visitors.

The exhibit is generously supported through grants from the Vermont Humanities Council and the Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services. Voices of St. Joseph’s Orphanage is a collaboration between the St. Joseph’s Orphanage Restorative Inquiry, an initiative of the Burlington Community Justice Center, and the Vermont Folklife Center.


Opening Reception:  Thursday, January 12 at 5:00pm

Times for Quiet Reflection: Sundays, January 15th - February 12th and Thursdays, January 12th - February 16th.

1:00PM to 3:00PM

Literary Event: Thursday, February 16th at 5:30PM



The Library will be closed for Library Services on Tuesday, March 5 for Town Meeting Day.

The building will be open as a polling location.