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CRRA Update March 2012

CRRA UPDATE March 2012

Happy Spring!

This month’s update includes:

  • Board Adopts Vision and Strategic Plan, from Janice Welburn, chair, CRRA Board of DirectorsWith great appreciation for a job well done, the Board of Directors adopted the five year strategic plan proposed by the Five Year Strategic Planning Task Force ...
  • Strategic Plan for CRRA: 2012/13 - 2016/17, from Lorraine Olley, chair, CRRA Five Year Strategic Planning Task Force
    The plan is ambitious, strategic and outcome-oriented ...
  • All-Members Meeting, Anaheim, CA, June 25-26, 2012: You are invited by Jennifer Younger, CRRA Executive Director
  • Diane Maher, Chair, CRRA Collections Committee
    We are delighted to announce that Diane Maher will serve as Chair of the Collections Committee ...
  • Selecting Materials for the Catholic Portal by Fran Rice, University of Dayton
    CRRA recognizes that establishing a process for contributing member records to the Portal requires the institution to integrate this process into the existing workflow, human and technical infrastructure. Fran Rice shares Dayton’s two-pronged approach to selecting materials for the Portal ...
  • Now Available: Keynote Address from the CRRA/Duquesne Symposium, by Leslie Woodcock Tentler
  • CRRA Collections Spotlight: Saint Thomas More Library Collection at the University of San Diego by Diane MaherDiane provides a fascinating account of how two sisters in 1950’s California set their sights on building a library and how their dream was realized ...
  • Mark Your Calendars: CRRA at CLA, Boston, April; CLA Archive Workshop, San Antonio, June

Board Adopts Vision and Strategic Plan from Janice Welburn, chair, CRRA Board of Directors

With great appreciation for a job well done, the Board of Directors adopted the five year strategic plan proposed by the Five Year Strategic Planning Task Force. The Board thanks Lorraine Olley, chair, for her graceful leadership in developing an ambitious, actionable plan, and thanks every member for their active participation in articulating strategic, high priority directions for achieving our mission.

The Task Force set a framework of “content and community” to recognize that true mission success rests on creating the content and serving the communities. Together, the Task Force and Board created a picture of what we want to achieve and what we are doing to get there. In going forward, our vision will inspire us to take the steps to make the future a reality. Working together, we can make it happen.

The CRRA Vision

The CRRA will foster a dynamic scholarly community by: creating the freely available portal to Catholic research resources in the Americas; sustaining the distinctive network of libraries, archives and other institutions that enable the vision; and facilitating internationally the sharing of resources and scholarship.

I hope that you will read on and explore the strategic plan. It is our shared plan, developed with substantial member input. The mission critical outcomes will serve as the basis for developing annual goals and objectives for committees, task forces, Pat and Jennifer. At our membership meeting on June 26, 2012 in Anaheim, we will discuss these goals with a view toward identifying the highest priorities and knowing how the goals advance our mission. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Task Force members:

  • Jonathan Bengtson, University of Victoria, member of Scholars Advisory Committee
  • Stephanie Clark, Georgetown University and member-at-large
  • Ann M. Hanlon, Marquette University, member of Digital Access Committee
  • Ingrid Hsieh-Yee, The Catholic University of America and member-at-large
  • Pat Lawton, CRRA Digital Projects Librarian
  • Joseph Lucia, Villanova University and Board member
  • Diane Parr Walker, University of Notre Dame and member-at-large
  • Thomas B. Wall, Boston College and Board member
  • Jennifer Younger, CRRA Executive Director

Lorraine Olley, University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary and member, Collections Committee, Task Force Chair

Strategic Plan for CRRA: 2012/13 - 2016/17: from Lorraine Olley, chair, CRRA Five Year Strategic Planning Task Force

On behalf of the Task Force, I am pleased to present the strategic plan. We see an exciting future ahead and developed the plan with directions, initiatives and mission-critical outcomes to guide us in serving our communities. Accordingly, the plan is ambitious, strategic and outcome-oriented. Let me thank everyone, individuals and committees, for responding to the survey and reviewing draft versions of the plan along the way. I hope you will find the strategic plan helpful to you not only in your participation in CRRA but also in supporting your institutional mission and priorities. I too look forward to our discussions at the annual membership meeting. Below, I have highlighted the foundational principles and major directions. Please feel free to contact me or any member of the task force with any questions you might have about the plan.


1. Keep the Portal a freely discoverable resource.

2. Integrate member priorities and needs into their building and use of the Portal in areas such as building collections, expanding collaborative opportunities between/among institutions, and ensuring the Portal fits into national standards and project frameworks.

3. Integrate Portal access and collection building into member collaborative projects such as AJCU Digital Repository and Vincentian collections, and member contributions to other repositories such as the Online Archives of California or the Internet Archive.

4. Make the Catholic Portal the destination for Catholic resources.

5. Continue discovery via metadata records with links to full digital content on contributor or other sites as available.


1. Add value beyond discovery: Transition to discovery and access to the full text

2. Expand scholars’ participation; Create innovative and highly valued services

3. Develop important, curated collections: Grow CRRA’s collections systematically and collaboratively.

4. Expand CRRA’s sharing of resources and scholarship: Develop collaborative opportunities with other organizations around mission.

5. Secure the future: Develop and assess a sustainable basis for carrying out the plan.

Please find the Strategic Plan here:

All-Members Meeting Anaheim, CA June 25-26, 2012

You are invited to the annual All-Members meeting. While we don’t know specific locations at this time, we will hold our events in easily accessible locations. The Anaheim Resort Transit Trolley has numerous routes connecting hotels, restaurants, shops, convention center and the Crystal Cathedral, and we will provide directions for getting to CRRA events. Later we will ask for RSVP’s from those attending Monday’s dinner and/or Tuesday’s meeting and/or lunch so as to provide appropriately for a dinner reservation, and for breaks and lunch on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, June 25, we will gather for what is always an enjoyable dinner at a casual restaurant. We meet about 6:30. We will make a group reservation.

We meet on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. followed by lunch (optional). Our agenda is focused on mission-support for the next year: identifying top priorities, ideas for forming local teams and expanding our understanding of Catholic Studies. With the announcement that the Board has adopted a five year strategic plan, we will be asking committees to develop their annual goals in this context and will be inviting all members to participate in identifying high priorities for the coming year.


  • Welcome, Janice Welburn, chair, Board of Directors
  • Annual goals, objectives and priorities – Moderator, Pat Lawton
  • Forming institutional teams – Panel discussion TBA

Catholic Studies and challenges facing Catholic educators – Rev. James Heft, S.M. President, Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California and Member, CRRA Leadership Council

We look forward to meeting with as many of you as can be there. Please share this invitation with any others at your institution who may also be in Anaheim. Traditionally, our meetings are open to others interested in our mission and activities. If you know of others who might like to attend, you can share this information or request that Pat or Jennifer do so. See you there.

Jennifer Younger
CRRA Executive Director

Diane Maher, Chair, CRRA Collections Committee
We are delighted to announce that Diane Maher will serve as the Chair of the Collections Committee. Diane is the University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at the University of San Diego (USD) and liaison to the university’s Art and Music Departments – and USD’s CRRA Liaison. She holds an M.A. in English Literature from San Diego State University and an M.L.S. from UCLA. Before settling down for the most part in the Archives, she spent time experiencing other aspects of librarianship: from acquisitions and cataloging to serials and reference services.
Diane has been involved with CRRA since attending the auspicious Boston College meeting of 2007.

Establishing a Process for Contributing to the Portal: Member Perspectives

CRRA recognizes that establishing a process for contributing member records to the Portal requires the institution to integrate this process into the existing workflow, human and technical infrastructure. This takes thought, care, and how to make this happen is not always apparent. We will be presenting member stories of how member institutions integrate the task of including materials in the Catholic Portal as part of the institution's workflow and infrastructure.

Fran Rice, Director of Information Systems and Digital Access at Roesch Library and CRRA Liaison, graciously accepted our invitation to begin this series of member stories. Thank you, Fran, and the University of Dayton team including Rachel Bilokonsky, Colleen Mahoney, Jillian Slater, and Dean of Libraries, Kathleen Webb. -pat

Selecting Materials for the Catholic Portal

The University of Dayton, University Libraries apply two approaches to the recommendation and selection of materials for inclusion in the Catholic Portal: collaboration and faculty recommendations.

Selection of materials for the Catholic Portal is part of the digital planning process of our Digital Projects Advisory Committee. This committee includes representatives from the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute and the U.S. Catholic Collection of Roesch Library. The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute is recognized as the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of printed materials on Mary. The U.S. Catholic Collection preserves records of the Catholic Church and Catholic life in the United States and supports the University’s new doctoral program in Religious Studies focusing on the U.S. Catholic experience.

The Digital Projects Advisory Committee meets twice a year to select and prioritize collections for digitization. The committee considers the twelve collecting themes identified in the collection development policy statement of the CRRA to help identify materials appropriate for inclusion. Many of the themes, such as Catholic social action, religious orders, diocesan collections, and Catholic liturgy and devotion, are within the scope of the collections of the Marian Library and the U.S. Catholic Collection.

Recommendations also come from our library faculty. Two of our faculty attended the Duquesne/CRRA Symposium in November 2011. They returned from the symposium with a deeper appreciation for the Portal and quickly identified several rare research materials for inclusion. Both the Marian Library and the U.S. Catholic Collection have hired project archivists for a 1-5 year project. They have been tasked to inventory many unprocessed collections and create electronic finding aids (EAD). As the EADs are created, they are evaluated for inclusion to the Catholic Portal.

Either one of these solutions might work at your institution as well.

Fran Rice
Director of Information Systems and Digital Access Roesch Library, University of Dayton
CRRA Liaison

Note: The University of Dayton, University Libraries joined the CRRA in 2010 and have 700+ finding aids in the Catholic Portal. Please browse all of Dayton's Portal records by searching for all records in the Portal and limiting your results to Dayton.

Now Available: Keynote Address from the CRRA/Duquesne Symposium,
by Leslie Woodcock Tentler
The Catholic Library Association has given CRRA permission to share the link to the full text of Dr. Tentler’s inspiring keynote address presented at the November 2011 Symposium. The full text article appears in the recent issue of Catholic Library World (CLW): vol. 82, issue 3 and is available here, courtesy of CLW:

Thank you, CLW and CLA!

CRRA Collections Spotlight:

Saint Thomas More Library Collection at the University of San Diego

In the midst of the Depression, the lifelong dream of Dr. Julia T. Metcalf, the first female graduate from Tufts School of Medicine, and her sister was realized. They opened the first private Catholic lending library in Los Angeles. Urged forward by the belief that the “love of the Church could only be born of knowledge” and challenged by the success of a friend who had opened a similar library in London, the sisters worked together to make their dream a reality. Undaunted by the lack of support from the Bishop of Los Angeles who bluntly advised them to give up on the idea and from prominent Los Angeles Catholics who were not inspired by the sisters’ decidedly liberal views, they opened the library in their home.

Over the next fifteen years, the library grew to over 6,000 volumes and included works of sociology, biography, literature, and art, as well as, works of theology and philosophy. In the meantime, the sisters discovered that even “a medium size home could be converted into both a library and a meeting place.” Evening lecture series, workshops, and study groups were soon initiated. No fees were charged and everyone was welcome, no matter what race or religion. The library became a place where talks on “any and every subject pertaining to Catholic teaching” could be heard. Speakers from Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin to playwright Emmet Lavery and academic Paul Hanly Furfey lectured here. The library also provided a platform for social reform, specifically the denunciation of interracial injustice, anticipating by almost two decades the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1953, a year before her death, Dr. Metcalf donated the entire contents of the Saint Thomas More Library to the newly opened College for Women at the University of San Diego. The choice of the San Diego College for Women was prompted in part by the sisters’ connection to the Religious of the Sacred Heart who founded the College. In her account of the history of the Saint Thomas More library, Dr. Metcalf writes: My Father often said, “The best investment I ever made was in the education of my four daughters with the Mothers of the Sacred Heart” and now it is to those same Mothers that we are giving our beloved books. Dr. Metcalf’s only stipulation was that the collection should be identifiable. To that end, a book plate identifying the collection and donor was added to each book and for many years they were shelved together in a separate location in Copley Library. In the late 1990s, the library added the collection name into the bibliographic record in a searchable field, making it possible for the collection to be shelved with the general collection and for rare items to be shelved in Special Collections. And so, a virtual shelflist for the collection was born.

Later, we discovered in the Archives a bound volume that contains the archival record of this donation: the account of the founding of the Saint Thomas More Library; correspondence involving the donation to the University; the library’s appraisal; and other various documents. It also includes a bibliography of the entire collection, 90 pages of typescript. When our online catalog gained the capability to display scanned documents, we chose to digitize the papers contained in this volume as an experiment. The usual technological glitches aside, the experiment was a success and we were able to display fully digitized archival documents in our catalog. Upon joining CRRA, this digitized collection was our first choice to add to the Portal. The collection is both rare and unique in that it reveals an obscure chapter in the history of Catholicism in Los Angeles. It also provides an interesting look at mid-twentieth century

Catholic liberalism. I am sure that Dr. Metcalf would be pleased to know that the history of her library continues to find “a home in the most inspiring academic circumstances.”

Diane Maher, University of San Diego University Archivist & Special Collections Librarian Chair, CRRA Collections Committee

Please see the Saint Thomas More Library gift collection donated to the San Diego College for Women by Julia Metcalf as displayed in the Portal by following this link:

CRRA at CLA in Boston

Friday, APRIL 13
9:00 - 10:15 a.m., Room 108 Session Number: 3113

Mark Your Calendars! Upcoming Events

Virtue and Value in Cross-Institutional Collaboration: the Catholic Social Action Project

Presenters: Deborah Kloiber (St. Catherine University), Pat Lawton (CRRA), Eric Lease Morgan (University of Notre Dame)
Archivists, catalogers and interns from several universities received a grant that enabled them to uncover “hidden” collections both locally and within the CRRA’s Catholic Portal. Presenters will describe lessons learned about identifying, organizing, describing and providing access both individually and collectively to diverse collections. Academic librarians interested in collaborative grant projects will find this a valuable session. --

CLA’s Introductory Archive Workshop for Religious Communities

San Antonio, June 24-29, 2012
The Catholic Library Association is pleased to announce the fifth Introductory Archive Workshop for Religious Communities to be held at the Oblate Renewal Center, San Antonio, TX from June 24-29, 2012. Sessions focus on the unique types of records found in the archives of men’s and women’s religious communities. Complete program and registration information and a registration form are posted on the Catholic Library Association website at, or contact the CLA at [email protected] or phone 312-739-1776 or toll free 855-739-1776.

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