April 2012 Update

CRRA UPDATE

April 2012

This month’s update includes:

  • A Focus on Members, from Janice Welburn, Chair, CRRA Board of Directors
    To guide us in developing effective strategies for successful member engagement, the Board has set up a Membership committee and I’m delighted to welcome a current Board member, Evelyn Minick, University Librarian, Saint Joseph’s University, as the chair The Committee’s major objectives are to grow the membership and ensure retention of current members …
  • CRRA Collections Spotlight: The Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center Catholic Newspaper Collection, by Shawn Weldon
    The Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC) holds one of the largest collections of Catholic newspapers in the United States …
  • Update on the Digital Access Committee (DAC), from Demian Katz, DAC Chair
    In spite of changes, DAC has pressed forward with several initiatives.  The Catholic Portal, still the centerpiece of CRRA’s website, is under continuous improvement, both in response to member feedback gathered during usability testing and due to new features in the underlying VuFind software …
  • Mark Your Calendars: All-Members Meeting, Anaheim, CA, June 25-26, 2012, all are invited;
    Archival Networks and EAD Consortia at SAA in August (San Diego); Fall Symposium at DePaul University, Oct. 15-16, 2012
  • Position Announcement:Duquesne University


A Focus on Members
from Janice Welburn Chair, CRRA Board of Directors

 The new strategic plan affirms the importance of a strong value proposition for members.  To guide us in developing effective strategies for successful member engagement, the Board has set up a Membership committee and I’m delighted to welcome a current Board member, Evelyn Minick, University Librarian, Saint Joseph’s University, as the chair.  Evelyn’s deep commitment to our mission, keen insights into member expectations and effective leadership of the task force that developed a multi-tiered dues schedule, make her an excellent choice to guide our membership development and support. While we may add other members over time, I am pleased to announce the initial membership:

  • Kris Brancolini, Dean of the Library, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
  • Theresa Byrd, University Librarian, University of San Diego; also a Board member
  • Melody McMahon, Director of the Paul Bechtold Library, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
  • Tom Messner, Library Director, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL
  • Laverna Saunders, Library Director, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh
  • Bob Seal, Dean of Libraries, Loyola University Chicago
  • Kathy Webb, Dean of University Libraries, University of Dayton
  • Jennifer Younger, ex officio, Executive Director, CRRA

The Committee’s major objectives are to grow the membership and ensure retention of current members.  It is advisory to the Board.  Although the Committee plays a central role, it is important to emphasize that the Committee will consult broadly with members on needs and expectations of membership, as well as actively seek suggestions from individuals and committees on prospective members.  We want to continue our participative tradition of reaching out to potential members as noted in our protocol for inviting new members.  The charge to the Membership Committee will be accessible shortly along with the full roster on our website.

 


 THE PHILADELPHIA ARCHDIOCESAN HISTORICAL RESEARCH CENTER

CATHOLIC NEWSPAPER COLLECTION

 The Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center (PAHRC) holds one of the largest collections of Catholic newspapers in the United States. These newspapers were collected by the American Catholic Historical Society of Philadelphia which was founded in 1886 to collect material documenting the history of Catholicism in the United States. The ACHS collections, including manuscripts, newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets, books, artifacts and graphic material, were given to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the 1930’s. In 1989, the ACHS Collection was merged with the Archives of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to form PAHRC.

The newspaper collection contains Catholic newspapers from throughout the United States as well as some Catholic newspapers from Canada, England, Ireland, France and Italy.  The collection contains over 300 titles, representing 35 states and the District of Columbia, and covers the period primarily from the 1820’s through the 1940’s. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1840’s through the 1920’s.

Included are early and prominent Catholic newspapers such as The Catholic Press/The United States Catholic Press (Hartford), The Catholic Miscellany (Charleston), The Catholic Herald (Philadelphia), The Catholic Mirror (Baltimore), The Catholic Advocate (Louisville), The Pilot (Boston), The Catholic Telegraph (Cincinnati) and The Freeman’s Journal (New York City). The collection also contains many ethnic newspapers, including Irish-American, German-American and Polish-American newspapers, as well as newspapers published for a juvenile audience, society newspapers and papers published for the support of Catholic institutions.

Notable are some of the first black Catholic newspapers published in the United States. There is a good run of the American Catholic Tribune, originally published in Cincinnati and later in Detroit, for the years 1887-1894. There are some issues of The Journal, a Philadelphia black Catholic newspaper that was published for a few months in 1892. The collection also includes Volume I, Number 1 (February 18, 1905) of The Catholic Herald, a black Catholic newspaper in Washington, D.C. which may be the only issue published. For more information on black Catholic newspapers and periodicals in the PAHRC collection see the following: http://www.pahrc.net/index.php/black-catholic-periodicals/

The collection also contains other rare titles such as Sina Sapa Wocekiye Taeyanpaha, a North Dakota newspaper published in the Sioux language, The Catholic Visitor (Richmond, Virginia), The New Jersey Catholic Journal (Trenton, New Jersey) and perhaps the only significant collection of Redpath’s Illustrated Weekly, a primarily Irish national newspaper published in New York City by the journalist and social activist James Redpath.

Despite the size and research value of the collection, there are some issues that impact its usefulness. Although there are very large runs of issues for the major newspapers, none of the titles is complete and there are gaps and issues missing. Most of the rarer newspapers may contain only a few issues or a few years of the paper. The most pressing issue is that the collection is maintained primarily in hard copy and a significant number of the newspapers are in very fragile condition and in need of immediate conservation and preservation. One of the advantages of membership in the CRRA is the opportunity to cooperate with other repositories facing these same issues to create a comprehensive online inventory and directory of North American Catholic newspapers and to facilitate the eventual digitization of the various collections. One of my goals as a member of the CRRA Newspapers Taskforce is to assist in the realization of these projects.

To view the contents of the newspaper collection at PAHRC see the following:  http://pahrc.pastperfect-online.com/30664cgi/mweb.exe?request=clicksearch;dtype=d;subset=0;_t1101=newspapers

–Shawn Weldon, PAHRC

Member, Collections Committee

Member, Catholic Newspapers Task Force

 


Update on the Digital Access Committee (DAC), from Demian Katz, DAC Chair

The Digital Access Committee has had some recent membership changes, bidding farewell to Ann Hanlon (Marquette) and welcoming new member Megan Bernal (DePaul).

In spite of changes, DAC has pressed forward with several initiatives.  The Catholic Portal, still the centerpiece of CRRA’s website, is under continuous improvement, both in response to member feedback gathered during usability testing and due to new features in the underlying VuFind software used to run it.  Additionally, DAC has begun looking at some new software that can be used to expand and improve CRRA’s online presence.  The Concrete5 Content Management System is an open source tool for building websites, and DAC hopes to use it to improve the quality and simplify the maintenance of the informational pages that accompany the Catholic Portal on catholicresearch.net.

Archon and Archivists’ Toolkit are both packages for building EAD files for archival description, and DAC has been weighing the benefits of installing one of these packages to help members build finding aids.  Finally, DAC is also preparing to support the Newspapers Task Force as needed as efforts progress.

 


 

Mark Your Calendars!  Upcoming Events

 All-Members Meeting

Anaheim, CA

June 25-26, 2012


CRRA colleagues,
As you make plans for the ALA conference and/or the following ATLA conference, we hope you will also make time for the CRRA All-Members meeting.  This announcement also appeared in the CRRA March Update but we thought it might be good to send it out again after the Easter holiday. –Jennifer

You are invited to the annual All-Members meeting.  While we don’t know specific locations at this time, we will hold our events in easily accessible locations. The Anaheim Resort Transit Trolley has numerous routes connecting hotels, restaurants, shops, convention center and the Crystal Cathedral, and we will provide directions for getting to CRRA events.  Later we will ask for RSVP’s from those attending Monday’s dinner and/or Tuesday’s meeting and/or lunch so as to provide appropriately for a dinner reservation, and for breaks and lunch on Tuesday. On Monday evening, June 25, we will meet for dinner at a casual restaurant. We meet about 6:30.  We will make a group reservation.

We meet on Tuesday, June 26, from 9:00 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. followed by lunch (optional).  Our agenda is focused on mission-support for the next year: identifying top priorities, ideas for forming local teams and expanding our understanding of Catholic Studies.  With the announcement that the Board has adopted a five year strategic plan, we will be asking committees to develop their annual goals in this context and will be inviting all members to participate in identifying high priorities for the coming year.


Agenda

·         Welcome, Janice Welburn, chair, Board of Directors

·         Annual goals, objectives and priorities – Moderator, Pat Lawton

·         Forming institutional teams – Panel discussion TBA

·         Catholic Studies and challenges facing Catholic educators – Rev. James Heft, S.M. President, Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California and Member, CRRA Leadership Council

We look forward to meeting with as many of you as can be there. Please share this invitation with any others at your institution who may also be in Anaheim.  Traditionally, our meetings are open to others interested in our mission and activities. If you know of others who might like to attend, you can share this information or request that Pat or Jennifer do so.  See you there.

Jennifer Younger
CRRA Executive Director


Attending SAA in San Diego in August?  This session on Networks and EAD Consortia may be of interest:

Archival Networks and EAD Consortia

EAD consortia and aggregators of archival resources share broad interests in the ongoing exchange of information about each others’ projects and programs.  Why reinvent the wheel?

Where: SAA 76th Annual Meeting, San Diego Hilton Bayfront — room to be determined.  Please consult conference program for location details, once available.

When: Thursday, August 9, 2012, 12:00-1:15 pm

Goal: to increase communication across consortia, in order to share expertise and develop a common vision for broader archival description and discovery networks.

Agenda: brief regional/statewide/national program updates, followed by structured discussion.  Additional agenda details forthcoming.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Orbis Cascade and NWDA
Jennifer Schaffner, OCLC Research
Adrian Turner, Online Archive of California and the California Digital Library

Fall Symposium at DePaul University, Oct. 15-16, 2012
Continuing on the success of the November 2011 Duquesne Symposium, plans are underway for a Fall Symposium to be held at DePaul University Oct. 15-16.  Please hold this date, and watch the CRRA Update for further details.


Position Available: Reference & Instruction Librarian, Duquesne University

 Duquesne University

Gumberg Library

Reference & Instruction Librarian
NATURE OF WORK:
This non-tenured library faculty position reports to the Director of Information Services.  This is primarily a public service position with significant instructional and liaison duties.  Knowledge of information sources, interpersonal skills, instructional skills, and technology skills are of highest importance for this position.  Provides reference service and instruction to enable members of the Duquesne University community and guest users to find and effectively make use of library resources and other information sources.

For the full posting, please see: http://www.duq.edu/hr/faculty/faculty-jobs-openings/gumberg.cfm

 


CRRA Update is an electronic newsletter distributed via email to provide members with an update of CRRA activities.  Please contact Pat Lawton at 574.631.1324 or email plawton@nd.edu with your questions, comments, or news to share. We welcome your news items!

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CRRA Calendar: http://tiny.cc/Calendar798
CRRA Contact page: http://www.catholicresearch.net/About/Contact
CRRA blog: http://www.catholicresearch.net/blog/