University Library Joins Catholic Research Resources Alliance

St. Thomas University Library and the Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive & Museum have joined the Catholic Newspapers Program of the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA). The CRRA is a nonprofit alliance of institutions collaborating to deliver projects and services in support of its mission—”to provide enduring global access to Catholic research resources in the Americas.” The CRRA initiated the Catholic Newspapers Program in 2011 “to provide access to all extant Catholic newspapers published in North America.” Metadata Librarian Jessica Orozco of St. Thomas University Library and Assistant Archivist Julia Ricks of the Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive & Museum will spearhead the university’s involvement in this program.

Catholic Newspapers Program

Initiatives of the Catholic Newspapers Program include creating a comprehensive database of information about North American Catholic newspaper collections on International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON), collaborating with its partners on the digitization of newspapers identified as being a priority, encouraging local newspaper digitization projects, and developing a shared repository for Catholic newspapers. Its latest initiative, Vatican II Years (1958-1972), involves the digitization of nearly 250,000 pages from 11,700 issues of designated Catholic newspapers that chronicled the events surrounding The Second Vatican Council. The CRRA also maintains a list of Catholic Newspapers Online.

Relevance of Catholic Newspapers

Catholic newspapers are not well-represented in commercial and public digital databases of historical American newspapers. Yet, they are relevant to an array of issues across disciplines, including topics such as class formation, ethnicity, adaptation to new environments, religious discrimination, charitable work and social justice, school systems, and hospitals. Catholic newspapers in the United States have also played a critical role in communicating with and welcoming new immigrant groups.

St. Thomas University’s Catholic Newspaper Collection

VoiceHeadlineSt. Thomas University Library has digitized all issues of The Voice weekly newspaper of the Archdiocese of Miami and its two-page Spanish-language insert La Voz Catolica. The Voice was published as the official newspaper of the Archdiocese until November 1990, when it merged with the Florida Catholic, which serves the archdioceses of Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Venice, Florida. The Library’s digital collection of The Voice contains the complete run, spanning from March 1959 to October 1990, the final issue of The Voice. The digital collection of La Voz includes issues from 1990 to 2015, with some missing volumes. The Florida Catholic is also archived by the Library, with digital copies available from 2009 to 2012, and 2015, with gaps for the years 2013 and 2014. The Library also holds print copies of these newspapers.

The Library and Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive & Museum are also in the process of digitizing photographs from The Voice and La Voz Editorial Photograph Collection and making them accessible on Shared Shelf Commons. To view the photographic collection, on the Browse page of Shared Shelf Commons, scroll down to St. Thomas University: The Voice, and double click the link to view the images. The Library is also currently in the process of building its collection of The Voice newspaper on the Shared Shelf platform, accessible from the St. Thomas University: The Voice Serials Collection link on the Browse page. Double click, and enjoy!

This blog post was authored by Yva Audate, a St. Thomas University undergraduate student who works as an assistant to Librarian Nina Rose.

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