Catholic Newspapers Program (CNP)
"One of the important (and largely untold) stories in the history of the mass media in the United States is about how religious groups responded to the rise of a mass secular press. [...] The increasing availability of digitized archives of city newspapers would allow me to read that commentary in both directions--how the secular press covered Catholicism, and how Catholic papers responded to the new worlds of imagination and experience being created by the mass press."
--Dr. John Pauly, Professor and Chair in Communication, Department of Journalism and Media Studies, Marquette University
The Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA) initiated the Catholic Newspapers Program (CNP) in 2011. The goal and scope of the program, overseen by the Catholic Newspapers Committee, is to provide access to all extant Catholic newspapers published in North America. These program activities include:
- An environmental scan of North American Catholic newspapers to determine what newspapers exist, where they are located and the extent of holdings and formats. A summer 2012 pilot project at the University of Notre Dame resulted in the identification of 800+ titles.
- Creation of a comprehensive directory of North American Catholic newspapers, freely available to all, via the International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) database; CRRA works with member institutions and partners to contribute title and holdings data to ICON.
- Collaborative digitization of priority papers with the help of our Digitizing Partners. Initial efforts are focused here while simultaneously providing encouragement, guidance, and support to others interested in digitizing Catholic papers.
- Implementation of a shared repository for Catholic newspapers, including the priority papers and beyond. The repository will contain already-digitized and born-digital content. (A demonstration platform is forthcoming in summer 2016.)
- Last but not least, please see the current listing of Catholic Newspapers Online - and help us to populate this list by sending us information about digitized or born-digital Catholic newspapers. For those interested in historic newspapers more generally, please also see Kenneth Marks's website, which currently has over 15,000 links to free online historic newspapers in the US and Canada.
We are a non-profit, collaborative organization and as such, welcome and encourage your participation to achieve our goals. More on how you can help.
Program Plan and Progress
- Annual Meeting, 2014, Marquette University
- Annual Meeting, 2013, DePaul University
- Resources and Best Practices for Digitizing Newspapers
Presentations and Publications
- Best Practices for Digital Archiving: Aggregated, Catholic, Collaborative, presented by Pat Lawton and Jennifer Younger. Catholic Media Conference, June 3, 2016.
- Building a Catholic News Archive, presented by Pat Lawton and Jennifer Younger. Catholic Media Conference, June 25, 2015.
- Implementing the Catholic Newspapers Program: Collaborative Digitization and Discovery within a Nonprofit: Distributed, Online Organization, by Patricia Lawton and Alexandra Budz. IFLA 2014, Newspapers Section Pre-conference, Geneva, Switzerland, August 2014.
- The Catholic Research Resources Alliance: Providing Access to Rare and Unique Materials, from the Spring 2013 issue of American Catholic Studies Newsletter.