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CRRA Update July 2012

CRRA Update July 2012

This month’s update provides information on key CRRA events: past, present and future. First is an invitation to the fall CRRA/DePaul Symposium; Janice Welburn (Board Chair) then provides an update of Board activities, with a look the future; and Jennifer Younger (CRRA Executive Director) provides an introduction to the CRRA Catholic Newspaper Program.

  • From the Board of Directors, Janice Welburn, Chair
  • The CRRA Catholic Newspapers Program (CNP), by Jennifer Younger, CRRA Executive Director

May be of interest: Workshops aimed at developing strategies to protect collections including sessions on policies and fundraising. All are invited to register.

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much – Helen Keller

You are invited to attend: CRRA/DePaul Symposium: Nurturing the ‘Spirit of Perfect Charity’: Libraries and Archives at the Intersection of Service and Scholarship in Catholic Social Justice Studies

A symposium co-sponsored by the Catholic Research Resources Alliance and DePaul University to be held at DePaul University, Chicago
October 15-16, 2012

Dear CRRA Colleagues,

Please join us on October 15 and 16, 2012 at DePaul University in the city of Chicago for a fall symposium co-sponsored by the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA) and DePaul University. Our participants - scholars, librarians, and archivists - will explore the multifaceted issue of social justice in the Church and in Catholic history and the ways in which resources reflecting this multifaceted issue can be used in support of teaching, learning, scholarship, and service. Beyond this, we will discuss broader issues related to Catholic scholarship and collections, how we can advance the CRRA’s mission to provide enduring global access to Catholic research and resources, and how scholars find and use these resources.

The symposium will feature speakers actively engaged in working for peace and justice, curators of social action collections, and scholars mining the papers of Catholic social activists for research and curricular use.

Additional highlights of the symposium include:

  • an exclusive screening of "A Question of Habit," by filmmaker Bren Murphy, Associate Professor, School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago. Bren will introduce her film and a Q&A session will follow;
  • a poster session
  • a discussion of CRRA’s program to enhance access to Catholic newspapers in the U.S. and Canada
  • a reception in the new DePaul Art Museum and dine-arounds at some of Chicago’s best restaurants.

We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be an engaging and enjoyable event. Sincerely,

Scott Walter, University Librarian, DePaul University
Janice Welburn, Chair, Board of Directors, CRRA and Dean, University Library, Marquette University

Scott Walter Janice Welburn, University Librarian, DePaul University Chair, Board of Directors, CRRA

Registration is free and will open on August 13th with a deadline of September 14th.

For more information, please contact the Symposium Committee: [email protected] or visit the Symposium website for the Schedule of Events and further details:

From the Board of Directors, Janice Welburn, Chair

At the beginning of my second year as Board chair, I want to start by congratulating and thanking all of you for the progress we have made developing the portal as a significant source for discovering Catholic research materials and strengthening the membership alliance. I had the pleasure of personally thanking members at the All-Member Meeting in Anaheim, recognizing however that we benefit from the participation and guidance of all members.

The Board is responsible for the general administration of CRRA with particular attention to strategic and financial planning. This year, as was announced in March, we adopted the new Five year strategic plan. Subsequently, we developed and approved the FY13 budget on the basis of the priorities for years one and two. In addition, we welcomed Dr. Tyrone Cannon, University of San Francisco to the newly- established position of vice-chair/chair-elect/past-chair. As we set our meeting schedule for the coming year, we will consider again having a Board retreat in December. I want to thank Tyrone and all of my Board colleagues for their willingness to serve next year.

  • Theresa Byrd, University Librarian, University of San Diego
  • Tyrone Cannon, Dean, University Libraries, University of San Francisco
  • Steve Connaghan, Director of Libraries, The Catholic University of America
  • Artemis Kirk, University Librarian, Georgetown University
  • Joe Lucia, University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University
  • Evelyn Minick, University Librarian, Saint Joseph’s University
  • Susan Ohmer, Director, Digital ND, University of Notre Dame
  • Diane Parr Walker, University Librarian, University of Notre Dame
  • Tom Wall, University Librarian, Boston College
  • Janice Welburn, Dean, University Libraries, Marquette University
  • Jennifer Younger, Executive Director, CRRA, ex officioPlease feel free to contact me or any member of the Board with your suggestions, comments or questions. With thanks again, Janice Welburn, Chair

The CRRA Catholic Newspapers Program (CNP) by Jennifer Younger, CRRA Executive Director

About a year ago, the CRRA Scholars Advisory Committee noted that Catholic newspapers offer many key insights into the life of Catholics as well as into the beliefs and influence of the Catholic Church. As such, Catholic newspapers are highly-valued resources relevant to a broad array of issues across disciplines, including adaptation to new environments, charitable work and social justice, school systems and hospitals. Especially in cities with large numbers of Catholics, the newspapers provide a Catholic dimension on critical questions in American history. At the same time, scholars noted these newspapers are often held in scattered locations with unknown holdings, in fragile condition and vulnerable to disappearance. They recommended digitizing Catholic newspapers for access, use and preservation.

The Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC) holds one of the largest collections of Catholic newspapers in the United States, now accessible via the portal (CRRA Update April 2012). Currently, a small number of newspapers and newspaper clippings appear in the collections of ten other CRRA members. Duquesne, Villanova, and Boston College have digitized individual Catholic newspapers. Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and Notre Dame are each seeking grants to digitize diocesan newspapers in their respective states. The CRRA Five Year Strategic Plan highlights the importance of Catholic newspapers in developing important, curated collections and in developing the scope of the portal for continuing value to scholars with this mission critical outcome: 3.3.2 Continue project to locate, provide access to and digitize North American Catholic newspapers toward the goal of an online directory and central shared repository.

In the last several months, the Catholic Newspapers Task Force has created a three part plan to create a comprehensive directory with links to the full digital content when available, encourage digitization projects and explore options leading to a central shared repository in the future. Two pilot projects are underway. The University of St. Michael’s College is undertaking a survey of Canadian library holdings of Catholic newspapers. Pat Lawton, CRRA, is mining extant sources of newspaper metadata to build a prototype directory after which she will gather and add data from CRRA members on the kinds, formats, and holdings in their collections, and whether these newspapers are included in their digitization plans. Even in its early development, the directory will encourage broader use by simplifying access, laying the groundwork for a more extensive survey of institutions, and supporting individual and collaborative digitization projects.

At the ALA Annual Conference, I spoke at a program on cooperative digitizing projects of religious materials. What quickly became evident is that each project – the American Methodism Project, the Florida Jewish Newspaper Project and the Catholic Newspaper Program – has discovered significant gaps in digital religious documents. Many digitization projects focused on geographic, format or other characteristics that while not completely exclusive of religious documents, did not systematically or comprehensively include religious materials. The three projects will create internationally important digital collections of religious materials. We thank the American Theological Library Association and the Catholic Library Association for inviting CRRA to participate. You can find the presentation slides for Virtual Faiths Digitizing Catholic Newspapers June 2012 on the CRRA website:

For more information about the program, please contact me or any member of the Catholic Newspapers Task Force.

May be of interest: Workshops addressing the challenges that threaten world-class collections are now open for registration - all are invited to participate.

Save Pennsylvania’s Past is a statewide effort to preserve the millions of objects and historic artifacts that shape the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s history and define our nation. Workshops to prepare staff to address the challenges threatening world-class collections through training programs and online resources are now open for registration and all are invited to participate.


Save Pennsylvania's Past is led by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in partnership with the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (PHMC), PA Museums, and LYRASIS. The project is supported by an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Arthur Ross Foundation, Inc.

For details, please see: a741de4b39f1463690b2b6f659861299.aspx

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