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CRRA Update Summer 2014

CRRA Update
Summer 2014
(July, August, September)
please see the PDF for
the more visually rich version

In this issue:

From the Board: Accessing Digital Content, Informing Users and Bringing Your Expertise to Our Shared Mission
Diane Parr Walker, Chair and University Librarian, University of Notre Dame

Our priorities for the year focus on two important areas: 1) to build a critical mass of digital content available through the portal and the Catholic Newspapers Program, and 2) to inform prospective users of this rich content. The year is off to a great start.  With links to over seventy newspapers, Catholic Newspapers Online (CNO) is already a “go to” reference source and as our support for newspapers digitization materializes, CNO will continue to grow. I’m pleased to report as well on our extended collaboration with the Center for Research Libraries to support discovery and digitization of Catholic newspapers.

All of us are looking for ways to let faculty and students know of the CRRA collections, which continue to grow through new member collections and additions from current members. I encourage you to see how the subject guides recently made available by the CRRA Subcommittee on Subject Guides might be useful on your campus.

In noting these accomplishments, I am remembering that our success comes through the support and activities of members and partners.  Our committees are deeply involved in developing policies and activities to reach our goals.  Please do consider how you might build on your professional interests and expertise in connecting with colleagues through participation on CRRA committees or as the associate editor of CRRA Updates (announcements below).  Contact any of the committee chairs, Pat Lawton or Jennifer Younger to seek more information or to volunteer your services.

From the Membership Committee: Welcome to St. John’s University (New York City) and Saint Louis University (St. Louis, MO)
Laverna Saunders, Chair and University Librarian, Duquesne University

St. John’s University is Catholic, Vincentian, and Metropolitan.  Over 20,000 students choose from academic programs on the Queens campus (the largest), Staten Island, Paris and Rome. The Main Library in St. Augustine Hall holds materials relating to several portal themes, including Women and Men’s religious orders. The Halpern Collection of Popes and Saints Letters of 38 manuscript letters, not ordinarily available outside of the Church archives but soon to be available in a digital collection, bridges eight centuries.  They maintain close connections with the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John's University Center, the Institute on Poverty Studies, and the Religion and Science Dialogue.  Welcome Blythe Roveland-Brenton (pictured, left) Alyse Hennig (right), Theresa Maylone, Anna M. Donnelly and all of St. John’s.

Welcome to Saint Louis University
Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University was the first university west of the Mississippi. It is a Catholic, Jesuit university whose 13,000 students are undergraduates and graduates, national and international.  The Pius XII Memorial Library (Main Library) has already begun selecting materials for the portal. It holds extensive collections with special strength in theology and historical theology, including the world-renowned Vatican Film Library  and the Woodstock Letters, a publication of the Society of Jesus from 1872 until 1969, available as a digital collection.  They maintain close connections with the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Center for Digital Humanities on campus.

Welcome Dave Cassens, Dean of Libraries and all at SLU!

Catholic Newspapers in ICON: Welcome to Nick Casas, CRL Project Coordinator for CRRA
The goal of the Catholic Newspapers Program is to provide access to extant Catholic newspapers held in North America through a directory, digitization and repository.  In September, we contracted with the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) to assist us in making Catholic newspapers visible in the freely-accessible ICON registry (International Coalition on Newspapers) and supporting our newspaper digitization initiatives. Nick Casas, CRL Project Coordinator for CRRA, will work with Pat Lawton, CRRA Digital Projects Librarian, to assist members in submitting their newspapers metadata to ICON, identify newspapers available in digital form and ensure their discoverability in ICON and the Catholic Newspapers Online, and provide technical support to CRRA members and partners digitizing newspapers and adding data to ICON.  We welcome this opportunity to continue our collaboration with the Center for Research Libraries.

Nick has been at the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) since September 2011, beginning as a stacks management assistant, then a library assistant, and now as a project coordinator. Previously, Nick attended Saint Xavier University in Chicago earning his bachelor of music in music education. With his teaching experience and education background, Nick graduated with the MLIS in May 2013 from Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Nick writes, “my goal with CRRA and CRL is to instruct other librarians, faculty, and staff from our member institutions to the best of my ability. Newspapers (serials in general) are a very different type of species compared to other materials. It is a challenge, and not everyone has that "serials mindset." My goal is to help our member institutions at least to understand a part of it - not necessarily to make them experts, but to facilitate their data to us so we can make the ICON Registry grow efficiently.”

Welcome, Nick!

Subject Guides to the Portal
Subject guides to the portal are published and available via the Links & Resources tab on our website and through a keyword search using “Catholic portal,” or “CRRA” on the Springshare community site.  You can copy, adapt and incorporate the content to create a subject guide for your library or archive. You can also listen to the webinar at which Felice Maciejewski, Ted Bergfelt and Rick Clegg discussed the work of the LibGuides Subcommittee and the published guides at Also included in the list are examples of how one member incorporated links to the LibGuides to CRRA and the portal in other relevant LibGuides.

Save the Date!  June 1-2, 2015
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.

News from Our Members

Avila University’s Martha Smith, CSJ, Archives and Research Center
This photo shows the outside legacy wall for the Martha Smith, CSH, Archives and Research Center, recently completed at Avila University. Carol Coburn, Professor of Religious Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies and the Director of the CSJ Heritage Center, writes that they “are very excited to share our new site that was dedicated on August 25, 2014.  It is in our new Library/Learning Commons and provides space for archival materials, a research room, and a full time archivist.”

The Center includes the Women Religious Special Collections, begun by Sister Martha Smith and Carol Coburn, Ph.D., in the fall of 1997. These collections are unique as the first college/university Special Collections focused entirely on the experience of Catholic sisters and nuns.

Congratulations, Avila!

DePaul University: Sending St. Vincent’s Letters to the World
DePaul University Special Collections and Archives hold eight of St. Vincent's original manuscripts - the largest collection outside of Europe. “Holding a letter (safely encased in plastic) that St. Vincent de Paul held," the Reverend Edward R. Udovic, C.M., tells his students “can be a transformational experience. Vincent was a 17th century person, and even though his ideals and values transcend history, understanding that he was a real person and came from this specific place and time is very important." Now the Vincentian community worldwide can get a closer look at these letters through a new digital collection, allowing “scholars to pore over the way the letters have been written: underlining, scratch-outs, and bolder passages, which cannot be replicated in the print volumes of Vincent's correspondence," says Andrew Rea, DePaul's Vincentian librarian.

St. Catherine University Adé Bethune: The Power of One Person
Deborah Kloiber, University Archivist / Head of Special Collections, St. Catherine University Library

Adé Bethune (1914-2002) gave her personal papers, art works, books, and other items to St. Catherine University in 1984. The Adé Bethune Collection is one of St. Kate's treasures, and has drawn the interest of scholars and others from around the world. This fall the University is celebrating the centennial of Adé Bethune's birth and her contributions to art, especially liturgical art, and social action initiatives.

The celebration centers on an exhibition in the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery on campus curated by Deborah Kloiber, University Archivist and Head of Special Collections. Adé Bethune: The Power of One Person, which runs September 8 – December 19, 2014, draws from items in the University's Adé Bethune Collection to commemorate the career of Bethune as artist, writer, and activist. From her early association with the Catholic Worker in the 1930s, Bethune went on to become a pioneering liturgical artist, graphic designer, and businesswoman, as well as a driving force for social justice and community change. The exhibition illustrates her work in these areas, all of which grew from her involvement with the Catholic Worker.

To further honor this remarkable woman, a lecture series accompanies the exhibition. The free lectures feature four scholars who are familiar with Adé Bethune and her work, and who have used the Adé Bethune Collection for their research. Dr. Julia Upton, RSM, Distinguished Professor of Theology, St. John's University, New York, spoke September 18 on "The Work and Works of Mercy: Learning from Catholic Worker Artist Adé Bethune." October 9 features two talks, one by Rebecca M. Berru-Davis, Ph.D., Louisville Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Theology, St. John's University, Minnesota. Her topic is "Liturgical Design, Art, and Community: Adé Bethune’s Evolving Mission to Transform Church Space."  The second, by Katharine E. Harmon, Ph.D., Lecturer in Theology, Marian University, Indianapolis is titled "Work and Worship: Adé Bethune and the American Liturgical Movement." The final lecture, "Adé Bethune, Renaissance Woman: Creative Living and Aging," will be given November 18 by Dr. Judith Church Tydings.

Bethune was once asked by a reporter about her opinion of Catholic art in general. Her response evokes the combination of innovation and authenticity that made her a pioneering artist of her time. “You use the word 'art' as meaning things, i.e., works of art. Actually art is the virtue (or power) residing in the artist. You should be careful in your use of the word. No virtue of making is generally found in our churches, schools, or homes. But they are full of works of art, most of them the very ugly products of commercialism.”

Adé Bethune used the artistic power she alluded to in many ways throughout her life—designing churches and sacred objects for use in worship; as an illustrator and graphic designer for a variety of causes and organizations that she supported; and in designing residential buildings in order to provide affordable housing in Newport. Her legacy demonstrates the ability, or power, of one person to improve conditions of her community and the world around her.

For more information about the celebration, see the exhibition website,, and Pinterest board,é-bethune-the-power-of-one-person/.

View St. Kate’s rich holdings in the Catholic portal:

CRRA at IFLA August 2014
We were well represented at three IFLA (International Federation of Libraries Association) meetings this year. At the IFLA Newspapers Section conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Pat Lawton (CRRA), presented Implementing the Catholic Newspapers Program: Collaborative Digitization and Discovery within a Nonprofit, Distributed, Online Organization which she and Alexandra Budz, a graduate student working with her at Notre Dame, co-authored. Pat noted “it was fascinating to see our project through the lens of national library projects in Europe. It was a great learning experience and opportunity to connect with experts in the field.”


While attending the IFLA meetings in Lyon, France, Michael LaCroix  (Creighton University), met the Head of “La Collection Jesuits des Fontaines,” Monsieur Yann Kergunteuil, who invited him to visit. For a variety of reasons, the Jesuits made a decision to close the “Centre Culturel des Fontaines” located in Gouvieux, north of Paris.   Subsequently, the Director of La Bibliotheque de Lyon and the city’s Mayor  offered unfinished space in the Library’s stack tower to house, grow, preserve, and promote the collection, which occupies over 32,000 linear feet. Thirty-seven semi-trailers were required to move the collection over a period of months in 1998 and 1999. The theme of the collection is Catholicism’s history of spirituality as presented in its social and cultural context, with particular emphasis on Europe’s civilization from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

  1. Kerguneuil (who speaks excellent English) and his associates welcome researchers and scholars interested in using this significant resource.  He can be reached at [email protected]. Information about the collection can also be found at La Bibliotheque de Lyon’s web site at

Theresa Byrd (University of San Diego), Marta Deyrup (Seton Hall University), Janice Welburn (Marquette University) and Jennifer Younger (CRRA), participated in the two day symposium Libraries at the Heart of the Dialogue of Cultures and Religions, sponsored by the  IFLA Religious Libraries in Dialogue (RELINDIAL) Special Interest Group. Held at the Institute catholique de Paris, the program was wonderfully diverse in religious traditions and countries represented.  There was great interest in what CRRA is doing (Can add link to The Catholic Research Resources Alliance: Building a membership community for collecting and hosting digital Catholica in theUnited States and Canada. Our colleagues from the French Catholic universities asked to include Catholic newspapers in France to the Catholic newspapers directory we are building and we promised to stay in touch about future opportunities.

On a problem of intense concern in North America too, Otto Lankhorst, Curator at the Fondation du Patimoine Monastique aux Pays-Bas (  spoke about the work of religious congregations to preserve their libraries and archives in light of the increasing secularization of Dutch society.  Today, over one hundred organizations support this foundation in housing and preserving the heritage assets from Catholic religious orders.

We expect that RELINDIAL will hold a one day symposium in 2016, the year IFLA will meet in Columbus, Oh. We hope more of our North American colleagues will be able to attend.

Opportunities for Professional Service and Development in CRRA
Each year we welcome new committee members.  Maybe this is the year when you would like to explore new opportunities, and if so, we invite you to volunteer for a CRRA committee. The goals and current membership are on the website under CRRA Groups.

The newly formed Development Committee’s major objective is to develop strategies to generate funds to sustain the programs and services of CRRA. If interested, contact Lorraine Olley or Scott Walter, co-chairs. (The Development Committee web page is in process).

The Digital Access Committee (DAC) seeks two new members.  DAC identifies metadata guidelines, best practices and protocols for making metadata and content accessible via the portal. An interest in technological solutions to library problems and/or strong opinions about interface design and usability are very helpful. Technologists are welcome, but users of technology can be just as helpful as developers in hashing out solutions to the problems DAC usually discusses. If interested, contact DAC chair Demian Katz or Pat Lawton for more information.

To explore other opportunities, contact any committee chair, Pat Lawton or Jennifer Younger.

In addition, we are seeking a creative, collaborative and self-starting individual to serve as the Associate Editor of CRRA Updates (link to full job description).  If you like to share the news, we need your talents to enhance CRRA communications with its members, partners and other organizations.  The associate editor will solicit and write content for Update, participate in planning and scheduling future issues, and envision a fresh and visually engaging look with enhanced functionality.  A small stipend is available to support editorial activities.  To nominate yourself or recommend others, please send a short letter of interest and qualifications to Pat Lawton, CRRA Updates Editor.

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. 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.

Lyrasis Offers Online Class: Grant Writing for Digitization and Preservation Projects
This four-hour class, which will be offered online in two-hour increments for two successive days, focuses on preparing for and writing grants for digitization and/or preservation projects.
WHEN: Thursday & Friday, October 30 & 31, 2014 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST

See more at:

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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