Archival Resources for Catholic Collections: Progress and plans, 2020–2021
By Malachy McCarthy
Archival Resources for Catholic Collections (ARCC) is a direct response to the 2018 Boston College-sponsored conference “Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives” and its working paper, “Preserving the Past, Building for the Future.” It specifically addresses the suggestion that a formal organization to coordinate the critical movement towards preserving Catholic religious community records would be beneficial to Catholic religious leaders, archivists, and scholars. Its eight-member steering committee represents those groups and sets ARCC’s priorities.
ARCC’s progress in 2020 included many successes. Among them are:
- Launch of a Google group that facilitates communication and cooperation among ARCC’s members to address issues important to Catholic archives and scholarship.
- Initiation of six working groups, each charged with providing resources and guidance relevant to their respective areas to Catholic leaders, archivists, and scholars: Launching or Improving an Archive, Educational Resources, Repository Coordination and Planning, Raising Visibility, ARCC Sustainability and Gatherings, and Transnational Network.
- Launch of archivalrcc.org, which provides news about ARCC’s administration, updates on the activities of ARCC’s working groups, and resources to help religious leaders, archivists, and scholars collaborate, educate, and advocate for the preservation of women’s and men’s religious community records.
- On November 12, 2020, at ARCC’s first virtual symposium—organized by the Repository working group and generously hosted by Saint Mary’s University in Texas—speakers reviewed five types of repository solutions for religious communities, especially those with diminishing numbers: consolidated archives, diocesan archives, university archives, public repositories, and collaborative archives (the full presentation is available at archivalrcc.org/repository-working-group).
- Addition of a public information officer to the steering committee to help amplify ARCC’s message in relevant communities.
ARCC’s plans for 2021 include:
- Developing a strategic plan to shape the organization’s activities going forward.
- Working toward becoming a 501(c)(3) organization, first by obtaining official status as a nonprofit in the state of Illinois.
- Expanding the working groups’ public programs in response to the needs of Catholic religious leaders, archivists, and scholars, including new virtual symposiums.
Enhancing ARCC’s global presence and strategically linking international Catholic archives and scholarship communities through the Transnational Network working group.
ARCC’s steering committee and working groups are composed of volunteers dedicated to ensuring the survival and use of Catholic archives for future generations. We welcome interested individuals who would like to join the organization and suggestions for new working groups.
All ARCC programs are free and open to the public and notifications about upcoming events are shared via our Google group. For more information about ARCC or to join our Google group, please visit archivalrcc.org or contact ARCC coordinator Malachy McCarthy at email@example.com.
Malachy McCarthy is province archivist for the Claretian Missionaries USA-Canada Province.
This announcement appears in the spring 2021 issue of the American Catholic Studies Newsletter.