News archive among growing body of Catholic digital resources

By Maureen Schlangen

A Catholic News Service story on a project to digitize Catholic news resources brought worldwide attention to the Catholic Research Resources Alliance's Catholic News Archive this month.

"Digitization has made it possible to search electronically what previously would have required, in many cases, index searching, microfilm scrolling, and manual turning of rapidly deteriorating newsprint pages," said Kathleen Webb, dean of libraries at the University of Dayton, one of 46 CRRA member libraries and institutions. "Like the Marian Library and the U.S. Catholic Special Collection, the CRRA's Catholic News Archive will be an invaluable resource for Catholic historians and other scholars. I can see this being a great resource for our faculty and students."

The CNS story appeared in The Catholic Telegraph (Cincinnati), on the online news aggregators Catholic Daily and Democratic Underground, and on CathNews, the news service of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

So far, the archive includes the news feeds of the Catholic News Service (initially known as the National Catholic Welfare Conference) and The N.C.W.C. News Sheet. It also includes issues of the following, some dating back as far as 1920:

Clarion Herald (New Orleans), previously known as Catholic Action of the South Edition of Our Sunday Visitor

The National Catholic Reporter

The Catholic Standard and Times (Philadelphia)

The Catholic World in Pictures (Washington, D.C.)

The Monitor (San Francisco, Stockton and Santa Rosa, California)

The Voice (Miami)

CRRA member libraries continue to contribute to the archive with the goal of providing access to all extant Catholic newspapers in North America.

The project has received partial funding from the Catholic Communication Campaign. The archive has search, browse and download functions and can be viewed by title or by date. CRRA welcomes suggestions for papers to be included. 

— Maureen Schlangen, e-scholarship and communications manager

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