Marcia Stein Retirement Party

Marcia Stein
Photo courtesy of Joan Sweeney

A few weeks ago, CARA members past and present gathered at a restaurant to wish Marcia Stein a happy retirement. At the end of March 2017, Marcia will be retiring as Archivist for the Robert M. Myers Archives of the Society of the Divine Word. Over the years, Marcia has been a loyal member of CARA, a mentor, a friend, and a passionate advocate for the importance of religious archives. Please join us in wishing Marcia all the best on her next big adventure in life!

Photo courtesy of Joan Sweeney

A Visit to the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago Archives and Records Center

Meg Hall, Director of Archives and Records, standing next to a portrait
of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin
On March 15, 2017, members of the Chicago Archive Collaborative (which consists of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, Claretian Missionaries USA-Canada, and the North American Province of the Cenacle) visited The Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. Meg Hall, Director of Archives and Records, gave a tour of the collections and facilities.

Housed at 711 W. Monroe Street in downtown Chicago, the Archives and Record Center contains the personal papers, archdiocesan business records, and photograph collections of Cardinals Mundelein, Stritch, Meyer, Cody, as well as smaller collections for other archbishops and bishops. The business records of Cardinal Bernardin will be open to researchers in 2021, and Cardinal George's will be open in 2040 -- 25 years after their respective deaths.

One of several large records storage rooms in the Archives

Pre-1916 sacramental registers for all parishes (open and closed) are available to researchers on microfilm. Also, the Archives actively collects records from closed parishes and schools. In addition, the Archives is the repository for the inactive records and archival collections of archdiocesan agencies, programs, and organizations. 

Meg Hall gives a tour of the Archives workroom.

Scanner for digitizing architectural plans and oversize photographs

The Archives also houses many photographs and architectural plans, and Meg and her staff are in the process of digitizing the oversize materials with the help of a large scanner in their work room.

Artifact storage area

Bust of St. Patrick in the reading room
Display case with artifacts and relics
Artifacts, paintings, and relics are also stored in the archives, some in the restricted stack area and others on display in the reading room.

Many thanks to Meg Hall for taking the time to share her collection with us.

Future of Religious Communities' Archives to Be Discussed at Two Conferences

CARA Steering Committee member Malachy McCarthy will be participating in two discussions about the future of Catholic religious communities' archives. On March 29, 2017, the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., will host a one-day conference on "The Fate of Religious Order Archives."

As religious orders across the United States consolidate and close houses, many are at a loss to preserve the invaluable historical materials they have conscientiously collected across their history. Some orders have actually had to dispose of much of their archival material for lack of a properly cared for location to put them in. The Fate of Religious Order Archives will focus on the importance of religious order archives in understanding the American Catholic experience, as well as possible solutions to the preservation of these archives.
Malachy will be a panelist in a session called "For Posterity: Religious Order Archives and the Writing of American Catholic History." For more information about this conference, please refer to the Catholic University website.

Malachy will also be speaking on a panel at Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) in Omaha, Nebraska. The session is entitled "Endangered Archives: Issues Facing Catholic Religious Collections in the United States" and will be held on April 8, 2017. For more information on MAC, please visit the conference website.