The Catholic University of America

Dec. 7, 2012

CUA Teams with Franciscan Monastery Library and Archives

The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) announces a new partnership with the Franciscan Monastery in the nearby Brookland neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Three collaborative projects will launch in the spring semester that will enable students in SLIS to gain practical experience by working with the Franciscan Monastery’s collections.

A class on archive management will work with the monastery’s archival records, and a class on digital libraries will digitize some of the monastery’s collections to make them accessible to online users. Additionally, internship and practicum opportunities assisting the librarian and archivist of the monastery will be available to students.

The collaboration has the two-fold purpose of providing students with valuable clinical experience and putting into practice the school’s mission of community involvement.

“The School of Library and Information Science welcomes the prospect of this collaboration, which helps to bring together the professional expertise of SLIS faculty and the riches of the Franciscan Monastery's holdings in a way that makes clear the contribution of SLIS to CUA's mission,” says L.R. Poos, interim dean of the School of Library and Information Science.

“The monastery collections contain invaluable textual and non-textual materials on Roman Catholics dating back to the late 1800s.” says Youngok Choi, associate dean for academic programs and associate professor in SLIS. “However, a large number of books and records remain hidden and unprocessed. As a result of this collaboration, SLIS will provide new ideas, technologies, and solutions to make the monastery’s Catholic records and collections more accessible to the public and researchers.”

The new projects are not the first time Catholic University and the Franciscan Monastery have worked together, says Karen Levenback, archivist/librarian at the monastery and alumna of SLIS. Recently students in the School of Architecture and Planning designed and built a hermitage on the monastery grounds, and in 2011, students in the School of Engineering installed a solar panel that provides energy to the monastery’s facilities.

“The collaboration with the School of Library and Information Sciences will benefit not only SLIS students, who will gain valuable hands-on experience with the practical side of archival and library maintenance and development, but will assure greater access to both our specialized library collection and our archival records, while extending their useful lives,” Levenback says.

 

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