For the safety of our staff and visitors, the Archives is currently closed to the public. And although a reopening date remains unknown, we look forward to welcoming visitors and researchers to our campus soon.
Meanwhile, Archives has been keeping busy! Requests have continued to come in from researchers, and while lay staff has been working remotely, the Sisters who live on campus have served as wonderful facilitators with the ability to scan a file or a folder in response to a request. Materials already digitized are easily accessible, and we can quickly forward on this material. For the more complicated request, we have compiled a running list that we will address and answer once back on campus. You may send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Under normal circumstances, archivists need access to the physical materials to do their work, which are safely kept in our lower level repository. Without access to these documents, we are somewhat hampered in addressing all needs. But Sisters still working in Archives on campus are adding materials to the digital collections, which in turn have become usable to researchers. Lay staff have also made the rare decision to allow a few materials, in good condition, to travel home with them, with the promise that they be kept safe from archival scourges such as wandering cats or open mugs of coffee that are prone to spill.
Other special projects currently underway include, 1) a staff member is creating an index for the newsletters and literary journals taken from Marillac College in St. Louis, the former college run by the Daughters of Charity exclusively for members of women’s religious communities. These newsletters serve as both campus newspaper and a place for commentary on the events of the world in the 1960s and 1970s as related by the women religious at the time.
2) Staff members have been transcribing valuable historical materials, such as Sister Mary Raphael Smith’s scrapbook; a book that contains the writings of sisters and students of St. Joseph’s Academy and information on 50 years of community and school life during the 1800s.
3) We have also been busy creating indexes and transcriptions of some of our legacy oral history collections; the fascinating stories of the lives of Sisters and the times in which they lived and served. Many of these histories were recorded on cassette tapes, and we have been working diligently in digitizing them to ensure their preservation. These stories provide a fuller picture of both the ministries of the Sisters and the society in which they lived.
We remain available and committed to assisting you and fulfilling requests as best as we can for now, and we are looking forward to serving you and seeing you in the near future on Emmitsburg campus!
Be safe and well.