Discussion of Religious Archives at MAC 2017

MAC members gather at a reception at the KANEKO gallery
The library at the KANEKO gallery
The 2017 Midwest Archivist Conference (MAC) was held in Omaha, NE, April 5-8. The conference is an excellent opportunity for archivists to learn from their peers with panels, presentations, and tours. Most importantly of all, MAC offers its members the chance to gather and discuss shared challenges and possible solutions in a supportive environment.

2017 MAC Members meeting in Omaha, NE
One of the final panels of the conference included CARA member Malachy McCarthy of Claretian Missionaries Archives USA-Canada. In "Endangered Archives: Issues Facing Catholic Religious Collections in the United States," Malachy discussed the social and historical importance of the records held by religious orders, and the urgent need to safeguard them for the future as more and more congregations reach completion.
An example of the types of records to be found in religious order archives:
a 1942 letter from a Cenacle Sister in occupied France.
Courtesy the Archives of the North American Province of the Cenacle

Presenting with Malachy was Jane Kenamore, of Kenamore and Klinkow, who reported on a project where she consulted on the creation of a central repository for four provinces of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The final panelist was Sister Thomas More Daily, OSU, of the Ursuline Archives, Central Province, USA. She explained that the organizational structure of her congregation (multiple provinces, as well as independent houses) complicated any plans they might make to centralize and consolidate the archives. Nevertheless, the Ursulines, like many other congregations, are undaunted in the mission to preserve their history.

To learn more about this year's conference, visit the MAC website.