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CRRA Update January 2011

CRRA Update

In this update …

Please reserve space on your calendars now for these
upcoming CRRA events:
Tuesday, March 29  - Dinner in Philadelphia with your CRRA colleagues
Wednesday, March 30  - The CRRA Annual All-Membership Meeting in Philadelphia
 February 24-25 - ND/CRRA Digital Humanities Forum and Workshops at Notre Dame

New Member Highlights

Our new members bring a rich array of rare and unique resources to the CRRA.  Collection highlights and introductions to their member library deans/directors follow.  A warm welcome to all, we look forward to working with and getting to know you!

University of Dayton Libraries  (Dayton, Ohio)

The University of Dayton Libraries include two large special collections of particular significance for research on Catholicism: the U.S. Catholic Special Collection and the Marian Library.   In addition, the Libraries’ Rare Book Collection includes significant holdings in Catholic theology and canon law and the University Archives houses the papers of the Catholic Council on Civil Liberties.

  • Catholic Council on Civil Liberties. A collection located in the University Archives.
  • Marian Library.  The world’s most comprehensive research collection devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary; it includes materials in all formats.
  • Catholic Sisters International. The Pauline A. Money Collection displays dolls dressed as sisters from religious orders active in the United States.
  • U.S. Catholic collection Retrospective and contemporary works in different languages, formats, and media, as well as objects used by American Catholics in their religious practice. The collection is strong on official church documents, theology, religious orders active in the United States, school textbooks, biographies, and books and serials used or published by various Catholic immigrant groups.

Kathleen M. Webb has been of Dean of University Libraries at the University of Dayton since 2006. In that capacity she oversees the Roesch and Marian Libraries as well as the University Archives and the International Marian Research Institute. Ms. Webb began her career at the University of Dayton Libraries as the Government Documents Librarian in 1993. She directed the Client Services division of Roesch Library from 1998-2005 and served as the Interim Dean of Libraries from 2005-2006. She has held leadership roles with a variety of local and regional library organizations including OhioLINK and the Government Documents Roundtable of Ohio.  She is currently a member of the LLAMA BES Buildings for College and University Libraries committee. She has written and presented on a variety of topics including web site development, library technologies, and most recently, on the use of academic library spaces and its impact on learning.

DePaul University Libraries (Chicago, IL)

The archives, rare books, and related collections held at DePaul are major resources for those researching the history of the Congregation of the Mission founded by St. Vincent de Paul and related organizations, including the Ladies of Charity.

Other Catholic-related collections at DePaul include:

  • Anne Burke papers .  Files maintained by Justice Anne Burke during her term as interim chair (2002-2004) of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People (NRB).
  • The Brockman-Romero Papers contain the research materials of Rev. James R. Brockman, S.J. who wrote about the life and murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero in 1980 and about the persecution of the church in El Salvador.

DePaul University has also established a Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology  and the library plans to add papers from their future conferences and symposia to the institutional repository.

Linda Morrissett has been Director of Libraries at DePaul University for the last six of her fourteen years at this institution.  Previously she held several positions at Western Kentucky University, the Library of Virginia, and the University of Virginia.  She has been active in the Illinois academic library consortia, serving as a CARLI board member and chair of CARLI’s Collections Working Group and has served on LLAMA, ALCTS, and ACRL Distance Learning Section committees.  Throughout her career she has given numerous presentations and published articles on a wide range of topics in the field of librarianship.  In addition to several digitization initiatives which include the  development of a portal for Vincentian resources, recent initiatives at the DePaul Libraries include a building renovation plan for Richardson Library incorporating state of the art technologies to enhance the information literacy and outreach programs.

Membership Outreach to ACCU Institutions

By Jennifer Younger, chair, CRRA Board of Directors

As we welcome our two newest members, the Universities of Dayton and DePaul, we are also beginning a membership outreach initiative to Catholic colleges and universities that belong to the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU). You may remember that a short article on the CRRA was included in Update: the ACCU Newsletter (Fall 2010). Through the leadership of Michael Galligan-Stierle, President and CEO of ACCU, a brochure about the Catholic portal is included in the materials for the January 2011 ACCU Annual Meeting attended by presidents, vice-presidents for mission and other senior leaders.  Thanks to Steve Connaghan for printing and delivering the flyer.

ACCU is the collective voice of Catholic higher education, which is not otherwise a system. The only natural bond of unity among the 244 Catholic institutions in the United States is the proclaimed Catholic mission and identity. Some belong additionally to specific associations, notably the Jesuits and Franciscans. About 195 institutions in the United States are ACCU members.  Internationally, there are 19 ACCU members, one of which, the University of Saint Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, is already a member of CRRA.

ACCU President Dr. Galligan-Stierle articulates two principal purposes of ACCU: “to help member institutions strengthen their stated Catholic mission and to foster collaboration among Catholic colleges and universities.” We are engaged in a collaborative effort which will benefit the faculty and students at all institutions.  By taking part in developing the Catholic portal, institutions will support the Catholic identity of their campuses, advance research opportunities for Catholic scholarship and enhance the information system for the Church, a community made up of over a billion people, to study challenges and new directions. Believing our mission will offer significant benefits for all Catholic institutions as well as benefit from their support, we have been building a relationship with ACCU since 2005. We have attended ACCU annual meetings. The ACCU President as well as some of our presidents serve on the CRRA Leadership Council.

The next step is to send the brochure to all of the ACCU library directors. Many of the library directors already know of the Catholic portal and the CRRA. It is important, however, that they receive the brochure going to their presidents and become participants in discussions about supporting or joining the CRRA. Please send your comments, suggestions or questions to me.

CRRA at University of San Diego, January 6, 2011

A good time was had by all! The San Diego meeting provided an opportunity for new and continuing CRRA members and friends to look at the enhanced portal, discuss future directions for the CRRA,  and last but not least,  to get to know one another.

Portal development was a focal point for this meeting.  Many milestones have been met and Eric Morgan demonstrated new portal functionality including Web 2.0 features of VuFind, an EAD indexing and display tool, and text mining techniques to facilitate discovery and creation of new knowledge.  Stay tuned for the official launch of Portal 2.0.

Sincere thanks to Theresa Byrd, Jackie Sabanos, Jeff Rach, Diane Maher, and Alma Ortega for your gracious hosting of this event.

CRRA Poster Proposal Accepted by ACRL.  Philadelphia, March 2011

The CRRA annual membership meeting immediately precedes the ACRL meeting. Some, perhaps many, of you will be staying for the ACRL conference in Philadelphia.  I am delighted to note that Jean McManus, Catholic Studies and Economics Librarian, University of Notre Dame and Chair, CRRA Scholars Advisory Committee, and Pat Lawton, CRRA Digital Projects Librarian, submitted a winning proposal for a poster at the ACRL meeting.  Their poster proposal is titled Building Collections, Building Community in a Virtual, Distributed Environment: Lessons Learned from the Catholic Research Resources Alliance. If you have any suggestions, I am sure they would be happy to hear from you directly. Write to them at [email protected]and/or [email protected].

--Jennifer Younger

Mark your calendars...

The CRRA Annual All-Membership Meeting .   Wednesday March 30, 2011.  Philadelphia.
This is our annual all-members meeting.  We hope you will come, we hope you will encourage one or more individuals from your library to attend. While it is desirable that the individuals coming to the CRRA meeting are those involved in your institution’s portal activities, participation is not limited to those who are directly involved. We would benefit greatly from having a broad representation from members. Every year people new to the CRRA attend the meeting.  It is a great way for individuals and members to learn and contribute to advancing our mission.

When: Wednesday, March 30, 10am – 2pm
Where: St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia (map)

Draft Agenda  (all times are Eastern time)
10:00 Welcome, update
10:30 Discuss Draft Strategic Plan 2011/2012
11:30 Lunch
12:30 Concurrent Sessions

  • Enhancing Portal Functionality and Usability Testing at Member Institutions. Update from Notre Dame, and Hands-on.
  • Update on membership dues and structure.
    Expected participants include members of the CRRA Board of Directors, members of the Membership Dues Task Force, and invited institutional contacts.

1:45 Plenary session. Discussion and closing remarks.
2:00 Adjourn in plenty of time for all participants to attend the ACRL Opening Session at 4 p.m.

Plan to join us for other CRRA events on Tuesday March 29th at Villanova University Library with dinner on Tuesday evening in Philly for all participants.

Further details will be distributed in future Updates, the CRRA Blog, and email.  Please, as always contact Jennifer or Pat with questions or comments.

ND/CRRA Digital Humanities Forum and Workshops at Notre Dame

We look forward to seeing many of our CRRA members and friends at this special event, sponsored by the CRRA and the University of  Notre Dame. We look forward to demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on experiences with new tools and technologies envisioned in the Catholic portal.  Please join us!

 Digital Humanities Forum and Workshops
February 24-25, 2011
sponsored by
Hesburgh Libraries, the Center for Research Computing (CRC), and the
Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA)


Thursday, February 24, 2011
10:30 - Optional tours of the Notre Dame campus and libraries (Meet at Eck Center)
11:30 - Optional lunch at Legends on the ND campus

Forum draft Agenda - Eck Center Auditorium
1-1:30 - Welcome, overview, context, and demo of the Catholic portal (Eric Morgan)
1:45 - 2:45 - Crivella West
2:45 - 3:15 - Break
3:15 - 4:15 - Ron Snyder, JSTOR
4:15 - 5:00 - Discussion, Q&A
5:00 - ? - Participants are invited to continue the discussion over drinks and/or dinner at Kildare’s Irish Pub, within walking distance of the meeting site.  Shuttles also available. 

Friday, February 25, 2011
with Ron Synder,  JSTOR, Hesburgh Library, Room 248 

Draft Agenda

9:00 - Welcome, introductions (Eric Morgan)
9:15 - The first workshop is a "bibliographic instruction" type session where participants will learn how to use  JSTOR's Data For Research interface (
10:15 - Break
10:45 - Using  JSTOR datasets.  Intended for computer programmers.
Ron Snyder and will walk participants through the use of the raw datasets extracted from searches.
12:00 - Adjourn

About the presenters:
Crivella West ( - Working closely with St. Michael's College of the University of Toronto, Crivella West is applying text mining computing techniques to the Cardinal Newman archives for the purposes of providing enhanced understand of Newman's writings and thought. Representatives from Crivella West will describe and demonstrate these techniques.

Ron Synder, JSTOR ( - Snyder is a driving force behind some of JSTOR's research and development efforts. He will be discussing digital humanities in general as well as demonstrating JSTOR's Data For Research interface which allows one to search JSTOR, illustrate results with charts and graphs, and download resulting datasets for further analysis.

Eric Morgan (University of Notre Dame) – Eric will provide an overview and demo of the Catholic portal. The Catholic portal is a project of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance whose mission is to provide enduring global access to Catholic scholarly materials.

Participants are welcome to come and go at any time!
Refreshments will be served at all events.

Please send your questions about this event or RSVP (not essential for attending but helpful in our planning) to Pat Lawton at [email protected].

We look forward to seeing you in February!

CRRA in the news ….

DePaul’s Rinn Law Library Blog Names the Portal as a Resource for Canon Law, December 10th, 2010
CRRA is getting some press …  please see DePaul University Rinn Law Library’s recent blogpost Catholic Research Resources Alliance Helps Locate Canon Law Titles. “A quick general search of the collection by the terms “canon law”, bring up the topical Categories shown below. The numbers after the topic indicate how many titles are classed under that topic.  As can be seen, there are substantial numbers of works in this area in multiple languages …”

CRRA in CLA News.  “The Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA) is an ambitious effort to identify the rare and unique research resources which document and illustrate the Catholic experience, and provide seamless and enduring access to these resources “….  Thank you, CLA!

All CRRA events and events of possible interest to members are posted to the CRRA calendar, available at and also accessible from the Admin area of the CRRA website.

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