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CRRA Update May June 2013

 CRRA Update
May/June 2013
please see the PDF for the more visually rich version

CRRA Annual Meeting in Chicago - Monday and Tuesday, July 1-2, 2013
We’re excited about the opportunities to get together with you, our CRRA friends and colleagues.  Please review the events below and RSVP to Felice Maciejewski at [email protected].  The due date for registration has been extended so as you complete your plans, we hope you will join us. Details are below, and posted to the CRRA News and Events page:

Read all about us! CRRA is the LEAD STORY in the Cushwa Center’s spring 2013 American Catholic Studies Newsletter.  Read about our beginnings, our present, and our future at: or download the full issue at:

Special thanks to Heather Gannon-Geary, Cushwa editor, for her excellent guidance in making this article one that will serve us well and make us proud for years to come. Enjoy!

Janice Welburn, Chair, Dean of Libraries, Marquette University

Last month, I wrote the good news that CRRA is now a nonprofit corporation. Since then, the Board reviewed and approved our application for federal (U.S.) tax-exempt status, more popularly known as 501c3 status.  We expect to submit the application by the end of June 2013, well within the 27 month grace period allowed between the time of nonprofit incorporation and submission of the application for federal tax-exempt status.  We do not know when the IRS will respond to our application but most organizations hear something with 6-18 months. In the interim, CRRA can assume a positive response and operate as a nonprofit organization. This is a tremendous milestone for CRRA. I am grateful to all members of the Board, but especially to Steven Connaghan (The Catholic University of America), Susan Ohmer (University of Notre Dame), and Jennifer Younger, Executive Director, for their extraordinary due diligence and persistence in making this happen.

In other end of year actions, the Board adopted the FY14 budget, agreed to fund the Proposal to upgrade the VuFind software behind the Catholic portal submitted by Villanova and Notre Dame, approved the revised Collection Policy Statement submitted by the Collections Committee.

I also want to thank all of our chairs, committees and CRRA members.  We will recognize and celebrate some notable accomplishments this year, including that members added over 15,000 thousand records to the portal and contributed over fifty titles to the Catholic Newspapers Online. I look forward to seeing many of you on July 2 at our All Member Meeting in Chicago.

Collection Spotlight
“Fun and Facts: the Treasure Chest Collection at the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives at Catholic University” by Dr. Maria Mazzenga, Education Archivist

In 2008 Larry Davenport, a student at St. Catherine of Siena parochial school in Birmingham, Alabama in the 1960s, sent us a query.  “There was a series in Treasure Chest about a future U.S. president who was very wise and kind, but never seen,” he wrote, “in the last panel of the last episode in the series, we see the President's hand, and it is an African-American president.  For some reason, shortly after Barack Obama announced his candidacy last year, this memory resurfaced... I searched the internet for a short while, then chalked it up to a faulty memory.”  Could a member of our staff, he asked, look through the 1964-67 issues of the Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact for the series?

Mr. Davenport was referring to one of our most popular online collections, The Treasure Chest of Fun and Fact, a Catholic comic book published as an antidote to the supposedly trashy comics read by millions of young Americans in the 1940s.  Running from 1946-1972, Treasure Chest was distributed through Catholic schools all over the United States, and is still fondly remembered by former Catholic school students like Larry Davenport, who said that “we looked forward to the Treasure Chest comic book delivery almost as much as recess and hot dogs on Thursdays.”  The comic book was published by George Pflaum of Dayton, Ohio, a well-known Catholic publisher whose other title included The Young Catholic Messenger, The Junior Catholic Messenger, and Our Little Messenger, each, like Treasure Chest, intended to instill patriotism, faith, and civic responsibility to  different age groups within the Catholic school system.  Additionally, Pflaum was active in the Catholic Press Association and was a founder of the Catholic Civics Clubs of America, a joint project with the Commission on American Citizenship.  The Commission’s records, like the Treasure Chest collection, are held by the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

The Treasure Chest ran for 508 issues between 1946 and 1972, promoting themes of faith, family, and patriotism and related to sports, school, and the lives of saints in fiction and non-fiction stories.  Contributors included Frank Borth, Bob Powell, Berry Reece, Reed Crandall, and Joe Sinnott.  In the 1960s the comic began declining in popularity; by the time it ceased publication in 1972, it was being published by T.S. Denison and Company in Minnesota.  Currently the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives in Washington D.C. has 507 of the 508 issues, with issues from 1946-1963 digitized and available online.  The remaining issues from years 1964-1972 will be going online later in 2013.

To return to Mr. Davenport’s query, in fact, his memory was remarkably good, though not quite perfect, so his consultation with our archive was a good idea.  He did indeed have the general dates correct, and the storyline very nearly exact.  The series began on January 30, 1964, and centered around an African-American man running for president of the United States.  Set in the year 1976 due to that year’s bicentennial’s evocation of national ideals of equality, the series culminated in the man receiving the nomination of the political party .  The man’s racial identity was indeed not revealed until the final panels of the series.  Staff concluded that such a series, written as it was at the height of the African American struggle for equality was historically significant and decided to create a website around it.  We contacted the author of the series, Berry Reece, who agreed to answer questions as to why he wrote the story at the time.  Along with the digitized series, we published Mr. Reece’s interview and some background information on Catholics and the civil rights movement.  The entire series of Treasure Chest will soon be available online for former readers as well as the general public.

The digitized copies can be found here:

A finding aid to the collection can be found here:

The site on the Pettigrew series can be found here:

Happy viewing!

Shout out to Margaret Heller, Digital Services Librarian ( Cudahy Library, Loyola University Chicago) Margaret is featured as one of American Libraries’ Emerging Leaders Class of 2013 - the new rising stars, the generation that will move, shape and influence the present and future of the library profession. [American Libraries, March/April 2013]. Margaret was also ACRL’s Librarian of the Week in January – see the full article here and learn how Margaret describes herself in three words.

Congratulations for your notable distinctions, Margaret!

Shout out to Marta Deyrup (Seton Hall University Libraries)
Marta isthe recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Service Award, granted by the New Jersey Library Association’s College and University Section / Association of College and Research Libraries New Jersey chapter.  This award honors Marta’s excellent, energetic, prolific, and long-standing contributions to New Jersey librarianship both in information literacy instruction and as an international educator, editor and writer in information science.   Marta has twice received the prestigious Researcher of the Year Award at Seton Hall University Libraries.  She has long been an active participant in NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ and was a member of the team that won the first NJLA CUS/Technology Innovation Award in 2002 for “Information Literacy in the Wired University.”

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Marta!

TECH CORNER  VuFind Tip #2: Tagging a Record
by Demian Katz, Chair, Digital Access Committee

The Catholic Portal has several useful social features you can take advantage of while logged in.  If you do not already have an account, you can set one up using the Login / Create account link found near the top of any Catholic Portal page.

If you would like to help categorize the records in the Catholic Portal, you can add tags which can be used to look up related items.  To add tags, simply view the record for the item you wish to tag, and click the “Add Tag” link found within the item’s description.  You can now add one or more tags to the item.  Note that multi-word tags need to be surrounded by double quotes or else each word will be treated as a separate tag.  Once an item is tagged, you can click on the text of a tag to see other items with the same label.

CRRA Annual Meeting in Chicago - Monday and Tuesday, July 1-2, 2013

We’re excited about the opportunities to get together with you, our CRRA friends and colleagues.  Please review the events below and RSVP to Felice Maciejewski at [email protected].  The due date for registration has been extended so as you complete your plans, we hope you will join us. Details are below, and posted to the CRRA News and Events page:

Digitizing Catholic Newspapers
Monday July 1:  2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
DePaul Loop Library Instruction Room
1 East Jackson Blvd. (in downtown Chicago)

Come and share your interests and/or experience in digitizing newspapers. We will learn more about newspaper digitization and other digital services offered by Lyrasis, exploring a possible collaborative initiative for funding strategies and support, digitization of collections,  and access.  Your input is central to identifying what will help you and other CRRA members do what you want to do, and how your digitizing projects might be part of and benefit from a more comprehensive effort.

A taste of Italy: Dinner at Quartino’s
626 N. State Street

Monday July 1: 6:30 p.m.
Enjoy the distinctive Italian small-plates menus and vintage ambience at Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar in Chicago’s Near North side.  Meet us at 6:30 and treat yourself to an enjoyable dinner with friends.

CRRA All Member Meeting
Tuesday July 2 : 8:30 a.m. to Noon
Breakfast at 8:30 and Meeting at 9:00
University Club  Northwestern Room (A&B)
Dress is business casual
76 East Monroe (corner of Michigan Ave. and Monroe St.)
Start your day with breakfast (hosted by Dominican University) and stay to contribute your ideas to CRRA.  Our agenda is a window into mission-support for the next year. We want your input on the proposed top priorities: expanding access to Catholic newspapers, engaging in more outreach about the portal and member mentoring, and harvesting new content. We are setting up small group and plenary discussions on ways in which we can get the word out about the portal and CRRA collections and especially what works at your institution.  We will explore ways in which individuals and institutions can increase our capacity to carry out our mission of providing global enduring access to Catholic research resources in the Americas.

Treasures of Faith: Twenty Years of Acquisitions
Newberry Library
60 West Walton Street

In 1991, Newberry Trustee Sister Ann Ida Gannon, president Emerita of Mundelein College, arranged for the transfer of Mundelein’s rare book collection to the Newberry.  More donations followed of which a selection are in this exhibit of books used by American seminarians.  Hours posted on the website.

Stay the night at Catholic Theological Union (CTU) Guest Housing
5401 S. Cornell Avenue (an easy bus ride to downtown)
If you are joining us for CRRA events and need a place to stay, consider the reasonably priced guest rooms at Catholic Theological Union  in the heart of the Hyde Park neighborhood.  Contact CTU directly or write to Melody McMahon , Library Director, CTU for more information on staying on campus.

We hope to see you in Chicago!

Please share this invitation with others at your institution.  Our meetings are open to others interested in our mission and activities and who may not yet be members. All are welcome!

 CRRA Update is an electronic newsletter distri

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