An Overview of Availability for Permanent Housing of Archives

Sharon Casey, OP

Currently the possible sites are the Repository at Boston College, the Collaborative Archives Initiative at Santa Clara University, the Women Religious Archives Collaborative (Cleveland), and the Chicago Collaborative Archives Center.

On July 20, 2022, the Dominican Archivists gathered by zoom to hear from the directors of the four sites. 

Commonalities of all Four Repositories

  • Will include other charisms besides Dominican
  • Will be temperature and humidity controlled.
  • Each Congregation will have to work with the chosen repository regarding Memorandums of Understanding financial resources, moving the Archives, access to documents etc.

Repository at Boston College (Michael Burns)

  • Malachy McCarthy and Ellen Pierce originally explored this possibility which culminated in a 2018 conference at BC which included leadership, archivists, and historians.
  • Today, BC has committed 65 million to build a common repository on the campus of Pine Manor College which has been purchased by BC. This facility will have exhibit space, processing space, meeting rooms and an auditorium for programming. 
  • Negotiation for signing gift agreement will be unique to each Congregation.

The Collaborative Archives Initiative at Santa Clara University, CA (Nadia Nasr)

  • The Archives at Santa Clara have been in existence since the early days of the institution and   houses university records, presidential papers, and history of Santa Clara.
  • This Initiative is for the collections of Women in Theology and the Catholic Church. The Dominican Sisters of Tacoma are in the process of transferring their archives to Santa Clara.
  • Santa Clara is exploring national strategies for collaboration.
  • There is no specific dollar amount being asked of communities. This would be negotiated individually along with Memorandums of Understanding.

The Women Religious Archives Collaborative, Cleveland (Susan Durkin, OSU)

  • This group is incorporated in the state of Ohio and 12 congregations have signed on and they are in conversation with three monastic groups. Memorandums of Understanding are in process.
  • A capital campaign will be undertaken. Congregations would be asked to “gift monies” for this campaign as one of their Legacy gifts according to their means.
  • The new building will cost about 12 million to construct and comprise 15,000 square feet. Exploration of potential sites is underway.
  • A Board is in place and will address processes for receiving gifts, contents of archives, and to settle any disputes over ownership of archives etc.
  • This group has received a Hilton Grant to develop a plan for networking the other repositories including communities not part of this repository.

Chicago Collaborative Archives Center (Malachy McCarthy)

  • The Boston College event in 2018 provided the impetus for our current reality.
  • Idea to repurpose some unoccupied buildings to house a collaborative archives center in Chicago
  • This building is not open, but soliciting new partners and tenants.
  • This collaborative would house all various archives including and non-religious as well as programs and events unrelated to Archives.
  • Site would be close to Dominican University and the McGreal Center offering possibilities for other collaborative initiatives.