In this Issue:

Feature Article: Interview with Jim McCartin

From the Board

Committee Briefs Tech Corner Collection Highlights News from Our Members News from CRRA Save the Date!

Interview with Jim McCartin, Fordham University

Jim McCartin, Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University, joins us for a discussion of his research and the role CRRA has played in shaping and abetting his scholarly work. His book, Prayers of the Faithful: The Shifting Spiritual Life of American Catholics, came out in 2010 and explores prayer in the lives of American Catholics from the 1860s to the 1980s. His current project is the book: American Catholics and Sex from the 1830s to the 1980s.

What is your current area of research?

I’m currently working on a book project on the history of US Catholics and sex from the 1830s to the 1980s. The study begins with early nineteenth-century European Catholic immigrants and the anxieties they provoked among non-Catholics concerned that Catholics were sexual deviants because of their practice of vowed celibacy, and it ends with the emerging story of clerical sex abuse in the late twentieth century. In between, it turns out that the story of US Catholics and sex is a great deal more interesting and complicated than historians and others have normally assumed, which makes this project especially exciting.

How did you get interested in your research area?

Well, after the clerical sex abuse scandal exploded in 2002, it occurred to me that, while there is a lot of published work out there on the history of US sexuality, that work has not dealt at all adequately with how religion fits into the story of sex, and in particular, it hasn’t given very serious attention to Catholicism’s place in that story. I was looking for ways to think about how we get to the clerical sex abuse scandal of the early 2000s, and I found nothing that could provide an adequate, sensible narrative grounded in deep archival research. So, while my goal isn’t specifically to write a history of Catholicism and sex abuse, this project emerged out of a desire to offer a narrative that is sufficiently textured and grounded and one that can help to place sex abuse into a larger narrative frame.

View the rest of the interview on CRRA's blog.

From the Board

Steve Connaghan, Chair, Catholic University of America

It is most rewarding to see the continuing focus on this year’s top priorities : expand digital content, inform users and members of the rich content, and develop a strategic multi-year financial plan to support CRRA programs. While it would take more than my column to report on all activities, let me highlight work in a couple areas.

The fundraising update for digitizing the Vatican II Years (1958-1972) phase of the Catholic News Archive response to date reflects our collective desire to create a new and transformative digital resource open to all users at no charge to them. As Michael Skaggs, Media Historian, University of Notre Dame, has said: “A digital newspaper archive will make it possible to understand, on a very wide scale, Catholicism as practiced by ordinary people. How did lay Catholics experience the reformed Mass after Vatican II, for example, and how might we compare those experiences across the United States? This is the kind of work we can’t even consider beginning without a program like the CRRA’s digitization project.”

CRRA members and partners are the inspiration and driving force of the Catholic Newspapers Program and the digitizing projects. Sixteen early investors have pledged $46,800 to date toward a target of $152,000 from CRRA. Our investments not only put us on the path to reach the total project funding of $443,000 but also send a powerful signal on the significance of this project. I encourage all CRRA members to join with their colleagues and invest in this project.

Over 30,000 records were added recently to the portal (see program update below), expanding access to digital content as well as to rare and unique primary source materials. This is another way in which we all participate in carrying out our shared mission of providing enduring global access to Catholic research resources in the Americas.

I wish all you, your families, colleagues and friends the best of holiday seasons.

Committee Briefs

Liaisons Newsletter

This new CRRA Liaisons Council initiative will bring monthly news on members’ professional development, achievements and conferences, as well as institutional projects and grant opportunities. This bulletin looks to help support and grow the CRRA community.

View and download the first CRRA Liaisons Council Bulletin.


Demian Katz, DAC Chair

Records for a collection of more than 11,000 pamphlets previously unknown outside of the Marian Library at the University of Dayton have been added to the Catholic Portal. The pamphlets are in many different languages and cover mostly Marian topics including devotions such as the Rosary and scapular, novenas and other prayers, Marian doctrines, and histories of Marian shrines and apparitions. They are an excellent resource documenting popular and scholarly understandings of Mary in various countries and time periods.
The freely available EAD template now includes a mechanism to specify physical extent for each subordinate component. The file is available on the “Making Your Content Available” page on the website. Please send any questions or comments regarding your use of the tool to any DAC member.

Josh Dinsman, CRRA Web Manager, has completed improvements to the website suggested by CUA graduate students. Please have a look! Improvements include a cleaner look to the home page, and an updated directory of Catholic Newspapers Online. Tabular information in the “Catholic Newspapers Online” and “Committee Member Directory” have been made significantly more powerful, with the ability to sort, filter and search all of the data. Thanks to Josh for these terrific improvements. Please send Josh or any DAC member your comments or suggestions to make the website even more user-friendly and information-rich.

Welcome to New Members

Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, NC)

Donald Beagle holding a handwritten proclamation signed by President Thomas Jefferson. (Photo by Katrine Ryan, Communications/Journalism student at Elon University.)

Founded in 1876, the College is a small, Catholic, Benedictine liberal arts institution. The Library’s extensive rare book collection regularly attracts international interest, most recently from Germany regarding the 1632 copy of Cautio Criminalis, which is (apparently) the only copy known with period handwritten Latin inscriptions and marginalia, by Friedrich von Spee, noted German Jesuit. This collection also includes a 3,500 volume Benedictine Collection that will add to the twenty plus archival collections with mention of Benedictines already in the portal. Mr. Beagle’s research dug deep into the Fr. Abram J. Ryan Archive: a Civil War Chaplain for Confederate Army & Poet, to deepen understanding of Southern Irish Catholics during the Civil War. The Library has digitized unique Catholic materials as part of the grant-funded Religion in North Carolina Digital Collection.

Donald Beagle, Director of Library Services, Abbot Vincent Taylor Library, said they joined to make their unique resources part of a larger collection of Catholic resources and to be part of the network of libraries providing enduring global access to Catholic research resources in the Americas.

Ave Maria School of Law Library (Naples, FL)

From left to right: Alla Sullivant, Rebekah Skiba, Ulysses Jaen, Robert Reid

The Ave Maria Law School is inspired by Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio. It offers a distinctive legal education characterized by the harmony of faith and reason. Although the name is similar, the Law School is independent of the nearby Ave Maria University. The Library has a strong collection in canon law (about 1450 items), social teaching and natural law relating to portal themes including religion & citizenship, social action and Vatican II. The canon law materials include about 200 items in microfiche and 25 printed rare books published between 1500-1900, which will add to the portal collection of about 500 pre-1900 items.

Ulysses Jaen, Law Library Director, learned of CRRA through a law colleague at Barry University, a CRRA member. Mr. Jaen, who wants “to participate in any way we can” to carry out CRRA’s mission, has already added Catholic Newspapers Online to the Library’s A-Z list of databases and pledged early support of the newspapers Vatican II Years Digitizing Project.

New Leadership on Membership, Scholars, and Liaisons

We welcome three new committee chairs this year who bring an understanding of CRRA goals, committee experience and new ideas.  They are:   
  • Ximena Valdivia, Barry University, Liaisons Council
  • Kathy Webb, University of Dayton, Membership Committee
  • Alan Delozier, Seton Hall University, Scholars Committee
We thank you for your service!

Collections Committee

Diane Maher, Chair Collections Committee, University of San Diego

Publishing opportunity: The CRRA Collections Committee has proposed writing a group of essays describing CRRA member collections (with an introduction about CRRA and the Catholic Portal) for the fall issue of Theological Librarianship. Individual essays would highlight collections that have been (or will soon be) contributed to the portal and can be any length up to 3000 words. We are looking for CRRA members who are interested in writing an essay for this project. If you would like to participate, please contact: Diane Maher.

Tech Corner

Exporting MARC Records to CRRA Workflow

Lynn Whittenberger, Metadata Librarian, Raynor Memorial Library, Marquette University

Marquette University began contributing MARC records to CRRA in 2011. At that time, we identified records for items in special collections to contribute to CRRA: serials from the Catholic Native America and Catholic Social Action collections; books from the Tolkien, James Joyce, G.M. Hopkins, Dorothy Day, Jesuits, and United States Catholic Conference collections; and selected rare books classed in the BR-BX call number range. Using our ILS (Innovative Interfaces Millenium at the time), we were able to pull the MARC records into a list for export. At that time, we also added a local MARC field (599) with CRRA as the content to allow us to pull future lists of CRRA records easily. On an ongoing basis, the CRRA local note field is added to records for material new to the collections (and fitting into the CRRA collection) to allow for easy record retrieval.

Marquette sends CRRA record updates/replacements on a quarterly basis. Each quarter, we run a list in our ILS (now Innovative Interfaces Sierra), to pull records that have a 599 MARC field = CRRA. Once that list is pulled, we split the list into two sublists, one for monographs, and one for serials. We export the MARC records for the two sublists to a local folder, and then use MarcEdit ( to edit the records.

For Serials records, we build a hyperlink to our local catalog record, so that CRRA users can check Marquette’s holdings. Many of our serials records have MARC field 856 links in them, linking to local online databases. Since these links are useless to CRRA users, we delete most of them, the exceptions being links to serials in our local Institutional Repository. Using MarcEdit, we insert the string before the bibliographic record number (exported as MARC field 907, subfield a by III Sierra). This creates a link to the record in our local catalog. We then change the MARC field 907 to an 856 field to make the URL link live.

For both the monographic and serials records, we delete MARC fields containing local data (such as item or order data). In our case, we delete MARC fields 907, 945, and 998. Once the records are cleaned up, we use MarcEdit to join the monographic and serials sublists back together, and save the file in UTF-8 format. The file of MARC records is then uploaded to a private directory on our webserver, and Eric Morgan is notified that the file is ready for pickup.

For a step-by-step look at the workflow (with screenshots), see the document in e-Publications@Marquette.

Collection Highlights

500 Years of Teresa de Ávila at Lauinger Library, Georgetown University

John Buchtel, Georgetown University

This fall the Booth Family Center for Special Collections at the Georgetown University Library celebrated the quincentenary of Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582 with an exhibition), “500 Years of Teresa de Ávila,” curated by Bárbara Mujica, Professor of Spanish in Georgetown’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese and author of the novel Sister Teresa.

The exhibition features books drawn from the Library’s rare book collections. Prof. Mujica writes in the introductory essay of the exhibition catalog that “Books were vital to Teresa de Ávila (known in the Spanish-speaking world as Teresa de Jesús) from the time she was a girl. The daughter and granddaughter of conversos (converted Jews), Teresa learned to read at an early age. She mentions in her Vida that as a child she was an avid reader of chivalric novels, a passion she shared with her mother...”

Highlights of the exhibition include the 1588 Los libros de la madre Teresa de Iesus, one of four extant copies in the U.S. and perhaps eight in the world of the extremely rare first edition of the works of Saint Teresa; the first edition of Ignatius of Loyola’s Exercitia spiritualia (Spiritual Exercises) from the Woodstock Theological Library; and Cartas de la Seráfica y Mística Doctora Santa Teresa de Iesvs, the first collection of Teresa’s letters, compiled by Diego de la Presentación, O.C.D. and published by Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, Bishop of Osma, in 1671. The exhibition explores Teresa’s own writings, in her language and in translation; the books she read; the writings of her friends, collaborators, and followers; and those inspired by her during her lifetime and for centuries thereafter.

View the online version of the exhibition.

News from Our Members

CUA Archives: A Conference for Teachers and Archivists

On October 8-9, 2015, the Catholic University of America Libraries/Archives hosted a “Catholic Archives in the Digital Age: A Conference for Teachers and Archivists.”

The conference sought to address two issues within American Catholic education and scholarship. First, the matter of Catholic archival repositories adapting to an increasingly digital world. Second, where digitized materials in Catholic archives fit in the American Catholic history classroom today.

Day one featured three panels of educators and archivists from Catholic institutions, focusing on digital materials available to teachers of Catholic history and religious studies, what Catholic school educators would like to see online for classroom use, and successful collaborations among Catholic institutions to make their materials available online in digital formats. Day two featured a digitization workshop for librarians and archivists.

Participants included CRRA Members and Committee Members including Malachy McCarthy (Claretian Archives), Amy Cooper Cary (Marquette), Carol Coburn (Avila), Maria Mazzenga (CUA), Alan Delozier (Seton Hall), and Pat Lawton (CRRA).

The conference was co-sponsored by the Libraries/University Archives and the Department of Library and Information Science at CUA. It was made possible by a grant from the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

All conference presentations are available online at:

Ithaka Religious Studies Survey

New on the Ithaka S+R blog is an announcement from Roger Schonfeld, Director, Libraries and Scholarly Communication Program, on three new projects, including one to analyze the research practices of faculty in Religious Studies. We are delighted to know that several CRRA members were approached to participate and that Notre Dame will be participating. You can read more at

Marian Library - 2016 Aggiornamento Award Winner

The Marian Library at the University of Dayton (CRRA Member) will receive the 2016 Aggiornamento Award from the Catholic Library Association. The Award will be presented to the Marian Library at the 2016 CLA Convention in conjunction with the National Catholic Educators Association Convention and Expo being held March 29-31, 2016 in San Diego, CA.

Institute for Research Design in Librarianship Call for Applications

Through a three-year Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant, the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA is proud to offer this continuing education opportunity for 21 academic and research librarians during June 2016.

The summer IRDL workshop is supplemented with pre-Institute learning activities and a peer learning network that provides ongoing support. For more information about the project, including the project partners, the San José State University School of Information and the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC), please see the project website: The full call for proposals is available at:


We are always looking for news from CRRA members for the Update. Please send any such information to CRRA Update Associate Editor, Rose Fortier.

News from CRRA

CRRA's Spring 2016 Annual Meeting

Planning is getting started for a meeting to be held May or June 2016. By popular request, we anticipate live viewing options for the program so that all members and colleagues can participate. Send your ideas and/or volunteer to be part of the planning via email to Jennifer Younger.

Catholic Portal Program Update: New Additions

Over 30,000 records and finding aids were added recently to the Catholic portal, expanding access to digital resources as well as to rare, archival resources. Digitized resources such as the Review for Religious (published by the Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus, held at Saint Louis University) and new finding aids to archival collections, such as the Catholic Council on Civil Liberties records during its near decade-long history, 1958-1967 (held at the University of Dayton) and Our Lady of the Angels School Fire Collection, Chicago 1958 (collected papers of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary). Contributions from Marquette University include almost 900 full text articles representing the entire back issues of Conversations on Jesuit Higher Education, from 1992 through current issues. As a result, the portal collections relating to Jesuitica, civil liberties, education and religious orders of women and men, among others are growing by leaps and bounds.

Opportunities for Member Participation

Jennifer Younger, Executive Director

We have much to appreciate in member engagement which comes from our shared mission and priorities that are closely aligned with what benefits individual members. Steve Connaghan, (The Catholic University of America), reports that CRRA’s goal of creating a Catholic newspaper directory of titles, locations and holdings fits in well with their goal of analyzing their newspapers collection, making it easier for them to send their titles and holdings metadata to CRRA for the Catholic newspaper directory. Another example is seen in the additional financial support for harvesting metadata for the portal from a member’s digital repository so that library could showcase its digital collection more widely. Half of our members participate in CRRA committees and on the Board, giving us the benefit of a broad range of expertise and perspectives.
Looking ahead, there will be more opportunities, such as creating a flyer about the Vatican II Years Digitizing Project, joining the Development Committee, and upgrading the open source application VuFind for the portal, which will be publicized in CRRA Updates, on the website, and via emails to groups. As we develop a strategic multi-year financial plan to support CRRA programs, we understand the importance of the additional financial support, committee participation, and in-kind work so generously given to carry out CRRA activities. We thank all of you for your continuing support and hope you will be able to respond positively to new opportunities.

Licensing e-Resources through SCELC

The Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC) offers opportunities for libraries beyond California for licensing e-resources. Established in 1986, SCELC licensing opportunities cover a wide range of e-resource, such as the current offer for Oxford University Press (OUP) Religion Content. Rick Burke, Executive Director, welcomes inquiries via email – see

"Look! In Your Clip Files! It's Catholic History!"

The CRRA's work was referenced in the Catholic Press Association's "Board Corner" feature in August 2015 issue of The Catholic Journalist. CPA Board member Ana Rodriguez-Soto reflected upon a presentation given by CRRA's own Jennifer Younger and Pat Lawton on the importance of the "first draft of the history of Catholicism in the U.S."

Her thoughts on the presentation led her to a greater appreciation of the Catholic newspapers and clippings she has access to, and the implication of losing physical access to them, especially in a climate like South Florida's. The trend of disappearing parish newspapers that are replaced by monthly newspapers and magazines also comes up and she fears the potential loss of "the week-to-week of parish life — the groundbreaking, the dedication, the school opening or school closing, the anniversary, the pastor’s retirement."

She concludes that it is up to all of us to endeavor to preserve these works, and to ensure their continued production into the future. After all, "[w]ithout a Catholic newspaper, who will write that history? Who will tell our story?"

Save the Date!

2016 University of San Diego Digital Initiatives Symposium Call for Proposals

Proposals are now being accepted for the third annual Digital Initiatives Symposium, an event focused on digital initiatives and all types and platforms of institutional repositories. Proposals for 45-minute concurrent sessions, 90-minute panel presentations, and 3.5-hour workshops are being accepted. All sorts of organizations - including colleges and universities of all sizes, community colleges, public libraries, special libraries, museums, and other cultural memory institutions - are invited to apply.

Proposals are due: January 15, 2016.

For more information, visit the symposium website.

The Promise of the Vatican Library International Conference

An international academic conference highlighting the holdings of the  Vatican Library and opportunities for future research. May 8-10, 2016, at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN. 


  • H.E. Msgr. Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P., Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church

  • Carmela Vircillo Franklin, Columbia University

  • James Hankins, Harvard University

For more information and to register, head over to

Pre-IFLA Satellite Program, August 12, 2016

IFLA Religious Libraries in Dialogue Special Interest Group (RELINDIAL SIG) invites all to its pre-IFLA satellite program on Friday 12 August 2016, Columbus OH. The program will be held at Ohio Dominican University. In the world today, “our goal to facilitate the acquisition of the knowledge about religions, to fight against ignorance, to make progress for mutual understanding is a good and salutary initiative and needs all our energy" (Odile Dupont, convenor, RELINDIAL SIG). Send suggestions to the program co-chairs: Kelly Campbell (Columbia Theological Seminary) or Jennifer Younger (CRRA).

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