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CRRA Update Fall 2014

CRRA Update
Fall 2014
(October, November, December)
please see the PDF for
the more visually rich version

In this issue:

From the Board: Creating a Community Infrastructure for Digital Catholic Newspapers
Diane Parr Walker, Chair and University Librarian, University of Notre Dame

It was a busy and productive fall for the CRRA Board, focusing primarily on the progress and plans for newspapers digitization and repository services. The Catholic Newspapers Committee (which replaces the former Task Force) and its subgroups have done extensive work adding holdings of the priority newspapers to the publicly-accessible ICON registry, developing digitization guidelines, evaluating repository platforms, and investigating cost recovery models with a small number of vendors and partner organizations.

The Catholic Newspapers Online points to an increasing number of digitized and born digital newspapers. Each one is accessible from its own website.  For the future, we are building a community infrastructure, with the intent to include a shared repository for enhancing access to digital Catholic newspapers.  Digital access results in more use by more people. In the words of The Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans “… the Catholic Church needs to have its history easily accessible to researchers and interested readers, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.”  We can collectively make a strategic investment and create a valuable new digital resource.  As our plans go forward, we will keep you informed of ways in which you can participate in this ambitious project.

Other Board activities included the appointment of a Governance Committee to implement new provisions in the CRRA Bylaws. Tyrone Cannon, chair, Theresa Byrd, and John Buschman have agreed to serve as the Governance Committee.  Their first activity will be to recommend a process for members to elect new Board members next spring.   In addition, the Executive Committee of the Board has begun work on a strategic, multi-year financial plan to secure the future (Five Year Strategic Plan (2012/13 – 2016/17).

Congratulations are due Michael LaCroix, who retired from Creighton University and the Board effective mid-September.  Michael brought a wealth of experience and a keen perspective to the Board discussions.  We wish him well in retirement.

As the year ends and the holidays begin, I am mindful that our success comes through the leadership and activities of members and partners.  Our committees are deeply involved in shaping and carrying out our goals and we thank them for all their work. I wish that I could talk with each of you personally about the rewards I am experiencing through my involvement. Instead, let me encourage everyone to consider the opportunities mentioned later and join with us in advancing the CRRA mission.

Further Progress on Catholic Newspapers into ICON
Nick Casas, CRRA Project Coordinator, Center for Research Libraries

I am happy to announce that another Catholic newspaper has been ingested into the ICON (International Coalition on Newspapers) database, the Sacred Heart Review from Betsy Post and the staff at Boston College. How did we do it?

Betsy contacted me and gave me a list of her issues of Sacred Heart Review in both paper and digital format. She then notified me of missing issues to accurately reflect the holdings. We then took the data from Boston College’s catalog and the list of issues and produced the publications skeleton and issues skeleton specifically for Sacred Heart Review. The publications skeleton is used to feed metadata about the Publication such as ISSNs, OCLC numbers, title, alternate titles, publisher, etc. into ICON.

The issues skeleton is used to feed issues of that publication into ICON. It could either be A.) individual issues listed in year-month-day format or B.) a range of dates your organization has along with a frequency.

After the skeletons were completed, I sent all of the data Betsy provided me over to Andy Elliott, manager of the ICON database at Center for Research Libraries (CRL). Thus, an ICON record for Sacred Heart Review was born.

You can find the full record online at

After the addition of Sacred Heart Review, ICON contains over 240 newspapers relating to Catholicism. This is astounding progress. Keep the newspapers coming! Special thanks to Betsy Post and the staff at Boston College and Andy Elliott at CRL.

From the Digital Access Committee (DAC): Making Your Content Available
Demian Katz, Digital Access Committee Chair

 DAC welcomes new member Paul Kelly from the Catholic University of America.  Paul is Digital Archivist at The Catholic University of America Archives, where he develops standards and practices for accessioning of born-digital content, manages digitization projects, and recently initiated CUA’s web archiving activities. His interests include digital forensics, late 19th/early 20th century literature, and live music. He received a BA in English Literature from the University of Glasgow in 2005, and an MSLIS from Catholic University in 2014.

DAC has recently expanded and revised CRRA guidelines for Making Your Content Available.  In addition to adding records to the portal, DAC has explored and identified strategies for harvesting digital content from CONTENTdm.

We are also pleased to announce the availability of a simple tool for creating simple EAD records that can be saved locally and/or made available to the portal.

If you have content you would like DAC to explore for ingest, please contact me or any DAC members.

Special thanks to Rob Behary (Duquesne) for work on CONTENTdm and to Kevin Cawley (ND) for development of the EAD Template.

Archivism is Activism! Preserving the History of Catholic Women Religious
Jennifer Younger, CRRA Executive Director

Dr. Mary Ellen Lennon, historian, invited women religious from congregations in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania to join with archivists, digital scholarship librarians and advancement officers to discuss “how we can help.”  Affiliated with the National Women’s History Project and a faculty member at Marian University, Dr. Lennon is organizing a comprehensive oral history project on the Sisters of St. Francis Oldenburg, Indiana, a project she hopes will be replicated by many others.  She set the stage with questions. Have we gathered the authentic history of women religious? Are we preserving it? Are we attentive to needs of small communities without archivists?

Several CRRA colleagues participated including Jeff Hoffman, Archivist, who attended with Sr. Ginger Downey, Leadership Team, Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters (OLVM), Jean McManus, Catholic Studies Librarian, Catherine Osborne, Fellow, Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism, University of Notre Dame; Kate Feighery, Archival Manager, Archdiocese of New York; Pat Lawton, CRRA Digital Projects Librarian and Jency Liddell, CRRA Associate Administrative Assistant, and Jennifer Younger, CRRA Executive Director.  Together, we highlighted the opportunities for providing access to collections through the Catholic portal, emphasized the significance of digitizing in preserving the legacies of women religious and making it available to many researchers and noted that CRRA developed a template for creating standards-based metadata records which can be ingested into the portal.  Other speakers spoke about steps in organizing archives, digitization, getting funds, and overall, the great desirability of knowing much more about the content in these archives.

We were pleased to talk with Sr. Louise Grundish, SC, Archivist, Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill and president, Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR) about partnering with ACWR in the design of a survey of these collections.  We share their interest in making the unique resources of women religious congregations accessible.  Our CRRA partners (OLVM and Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary) are also members of ACWR and some of our CRRA members work closely with archivists of the institution’s founding congregation.  In turn, two members of ACWR contributed images to the online exhibit Treasures of CRRA: Images of Women Religious, curated by Marta Deyrup, Seton Hall University.

Preservation Survey Results Released by ATLA

A report on the ATL/CLA/AJL project In Good Faith:  Collection Care, Preservation, and Access is Small Theological and Religious Studies Libraries is available at The Spring 2014 survey targeted religious libraries and archives with fewer than five full time equivalent, and budgets under $500,000 asking about their preservation and digital practices.  Several CRRA members, including University of Dayton Marian Library, the St. Thomas University Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library (graduate theology library), University of Saint Mary of the Lake (USML), St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, and partners, including Sisters of Charity of BVM,  Our Lady of Victory Noll Missionary Sisters, along with two CRRA digitization partners, Archdioceses of New York and Hartford, responded.  The 235 responses reveal a lack of policies for preservation and digitization although preservation is often part of the mission and there is a need for expanding capacity for collection processing, cataloging and finding aid development to increase discoverability of collections.

Save the Dates! 

January 16, 2015 CRRA Webinar, All Are Invited!
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Catholic Portal

Friday, January 16
1:00-2:30 Eastern
12:00-1:30 Central
10:00-11:30 Pacific

This 90 min. ​session will provide an overview of the Catholic portal ​including scope, member responsibilities, types of records and how to search for them, basic guidelines on making content available in the portal and how to submit records for ingest, and use of LibGuides to inform users of CRRA resources.​  This session will provide an introduction. Future webinars will expand on many of these topics.​

​​Please plan to attend and invite ​your ​colleagues!  Information on joining the session will be sent closer to the date. We hope you can join us.
Information on this and all CRRA events are found on our News and Events link:

June 1-2, 2015 CRRA Annual Meeting and Symposium
The CRRA Symposium and Annual Meeting will be held June 1-2, 2015 at Catholic Theological Union (CTU), Chicago.  Plan now to join in learning about the impact of Vatican II on liturgical art and design as visualized by a leading liturgical artist and what faculty, students, and others value most in the portal collections and Catholic Newspapers Online.

Opportunities for Professional Service and Development in CRRA
Join Your Colleagues – Make a Difference!

CRRA carries out its mission through the leadership and engagement of its members. Every year we welcome new committee members to share their expertise and help us enhance CRRA programs and services. If you are looking for new opportunities to discover the joys of connecting with your colleagues, gaining new insights, and shaping our future, Diane Parr Walker, chair, Board of Directors, invites you to join a CRRA committee. There are lots of ways to match your interests and passion with CRRA.  Committee goals and current membership are on the website under CRRA Groups.  Please contact any committee chair or member, Pat Lawton or Jennifer Younger.

In addition, consider using your talents to enhance CRRA communications with its members, partners and other organizations.  We are seeking a creative, collaborative and self-starting individual to serve as the associate editor of CRRA Updates (add link here to job ad in file manager).  The associate editor will solicit and write content for Update, participate in planning and scheduling future issues, and envision a fresh and visually look with enhanced functionality.  A small stipend is available to support editorial activities.  To nominate yourself or recommend others, please contact Pat Lawton, CRRA Updates Editor.

Post-doc Opportunities at Notre Dame in Data Curation, please distribute:

CRRA Update is an electronic newsletter distributed via email to provide members and friends with an update of CRRA activities.  Please contact Pat at 574.631.1324 or email [email protected] with your questions, comments, or news to share.

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