B.C. establishes religious archives repository

CHESTNUT HILL -- Boston College has established a Catholic Religious Archives Repository to assist in the collection, preservation, and study of institutional records and documents belonging to Catholic religious orders and congregations in the United States and Canada. The repository will be part of the university's library system, and will be guided by an advisory committee of archivists and faculty associated with Boston College.

After materials have been evaluated, accepted, and processed, they will be available for use by students and scholars seeking to learn about the contributions of religious communities of men and women to the Catholic Church, Catholic life, and wider culture.

In July 2018, Boston College hosted a conference entitled "Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives," which brought together 160 archivists, historians, and leaders of religious communities to consider ways of ensuring that archival holdings of various religious orders and congregations would be maintained and available to future generations. The decision to launch the Catholic Religious Archives Repository came about as a result of the conference.

"Catholic religious communities have made enormous contributions to Catholicism in the United States and Canada and to society at large," said university librarian Tom Wall. "In education, health care, social policy, and service to the poor, men and women religious have played an invaluable role. Their archives provide evidence of dedication, commitment, and impact, and must be maintained to enrich historical understanding of the influence these religious congregations have had on the Church and American society."

Religious orders and congregations interested in transferring their records to the Catholic Religious Archives Repository at Boston College should contact Michael J. Burns, special assistant for Jesuit and Catholic Collections, Boston College Archives, at michael.burns.7@bc.edu or 617-552-8846.