Collection Policy Statement for the Catholic Portal

(The following is the current collection policy for the Catholic Portal.)

Collection Policy Statement for the Catholic Portal

The purpose of the Catholic Research Portal is to provide global access to the wealth of research resources relating to the Catholic experience. Of primary interest are rare, unique and uncommon Catholic research materials. Because these resources are often uncataloged and little known outside their institutional repositories, the Portal seeks to encourage broad participation and to provide support to libraries, archives, and other institutions that wish to participate in this project but lack the resources to do so. The Portal will ultimately facilitate and assist researchers and students in identifying Catholic research resources and make Catholic scholarship more productive. In doing so, the Catholic Research Portal will contribute substantially to the generation of new knowledge.

The Portal will be the modern day bibliography of research resources providing access through a number of approaches, including author, title, subject, keyword, format, and holding institution. Resources will remain under the care of the owning institution. The Portal will identify the owning institution for non-digital resources and, where the resources exist in a digital format, it will link directly to the digital resource. Using international standards, the Portal will collect metadata from participating special and archival collections.

The Catholic Research Resources Alliance has identified twelve collecting themes:

  • Catholic education
  • Catholic intellectual life
  • Catholic literary figures
  • Catholic liturgy and devotion
  • Catholic missions
  • Catholic social action
  • Diocesan collections, including papers of Bishops
  • Men’s religious orders
  • Peace-building
  • Religion and citizenship
  • Vatican II
  • Women’s religious orders

These themes are intended to encourage the consideration and classification of institutional resources which may be suitable for the Portal. It is expected that the Portal will feature an initial emphasis on the above-named topics and that they will produce an early “critical mass” of research content collections. All contributors’ collections will be accepted for inclusion, however, provided that they are relevant to the study of Catholicism and can be deemed rare, unique or uncommon. All formats, including manuscripts, books, ephemera, photographs, and artifacts which meet these criteria, are of interest to the Portal.

This effort is being sponsored by the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA). Member institutions currently include: Boston College, The Catholic University of America, Georgetown University, Loyola University of Chicago, Marquette University, University of Notre Dame, St. Catherine University, St. Edwards University, University of San Diego, Seton Hall University, and Villanova University. As the Portal develops and expands, all Catholic colleges, universities, seminaries and archives in North America will be welcome to participate in this effort. Non-Catholic institutions with holdings of Catholic interest will also be welcome to contribute records.

Drafted by the Collections Committee of the CRRA, September 2009.

Approved by the CRRA Board of Directors on November 19, 2009.

Author: Eric Lease Morgan

I am a librarian first and a computer user second. My professional goal is to discover new ways to use computers to provide better library services. I use much of my time here at the University of Notre Dame developing and providing technical support for the Catholic Research Resources Alliance -- the "Catholic Portal".