What’s going on in the Viatorian Community Archives for the United States Province
Held at Denison University in Granville, OH, the Archon Users Collaborative met to discuss the future of using Archon, an open-source archival content management system developed at the University of IL. The Viatorian Community Archives has been utilizing this system about 10 years now. Just last year, we contracted LibraryHost to support and host our site.
The 2019 meeting will be a video conference which will allow more Archon users to participate – date to be announced.
This 3-day working conference was held at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA to discuss this complex topic due to diminishing membership of religious orders, merging sites or coming to completion. Nearly 170 attendees included archivists, historians and leadership of both men and women religious communities, mainly from the U.S. and a few from Canada, Ireland and Scotland.
Preservation and access of these rich, historical records and artifacts was at the forefront of discussion along with sensitivity to privacy and confidentiality. Links to videos of the presentations with be forthcoming along with a white paper. The energy and passion of the attendees at this conference will move the discussion forward into positive action in the near future.
Watch for an upcoming article titled “Grace at Work: There’s an untold American history in Catholic religious communities’ archives” in the August 2018 issue of U.S. Catholic magazine– it’s about the conference!
Read another summary of the conference here on the Chicago Area Religious Archivists blog.
The Viatorian Community Archives recently received a copy of Steven M. Avella’s new book The Church in Southwest Iowa: A History of the Diocese of Des Moines from the Most Reverend Richard E. Pates, Bishop of Des Moines. Author Fr. Steven Avella is a professor of history at Marquette University.
The book includes a section on the life of Bishop Gerald Thomas Bergan, who served the Diocese Des Moines from 1934 – 1948. Bergan studied at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais beginning in 1909 and served as priest in the Peoria Diocese before being appointed as Bishop of Des Moines.
The history of Bergan, the Viatorians and Dowling College is described in a section titled ‘Saving the High School – The Viatorian Gambit.’ This will be an interesting resource to be used – along with our in-house archival records from that era – in telling the story of the Viatorians in this diocese after St. Viator College closed in 1938.
The following images were scanned from glass plate negatives that were found in Burke Administration Building on the campus of Olivet University in Bourbonnais, the former St. Viator College. They were passed on to the Viatorian Community Archives earlier this year.
They can be dated from the late 1890s to the early 1900s. Most of the people are not identified yet – let me know if you can identify anyone from your family tree or town. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are now in the season of the Epiphany. The card that was donated was blown up to poster size and is now on display in the Province Center, as it shows the Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem. It won’t be up for long as a new digital display will be installed sometime soon where the exhibit case sits now. Looking forward to that! New year – new ideas!
Wishing all a happy and healthy 2018!
Read about this nearly 100 year old greeting card here.
Fr. Bill Mayer was buried on Wednesday, Dec. 13th and below are the photo boards that were displayed at his wake in the Province Center chapel. Please remember Fr. Mayer in your prayers.
The last month of year has arrived and the decorating begins. Red and green are the traditional colors of choice with a little candy cane paper thrown in and of course Poinsettias to make the December calendar at the Province Center come alive.
As we begin the Advent season and await the blessed birth of Christ, please remember the deceased Viatorians and those celebrating birthdays this month.
For me, November is synonymous with Thanksgiving. So for the entire month let us give thanks for all of our blessings – the people in our lives, the food we eat, our homes, the beauty of nature, our pets, and so on. The list could be endless. And especially this month remember and be grateful for those who are celebrating birthdays or who have died.
The new calendar exhibit for November is now on display in the Province Center. After viewing it, stop by the chapel and give thanks for the Viatorian Community, too.
Can’t believe it’s October, since we’ve had record-breaking warm weather, but it’s here, ready or not. And at the end of my favorite month of the year comes Halloween – hence the orange and black in the display. But nothing frightening, just daily celebrations and remembrances! Enjoy!
School is back in session, gardens are being harvested and Mother Nature will soon be taking her course. Leaves will be turning to those beautiful shades of gold, burgundy and burnt orange that are now on display in the Province Center calendar exhibit.