In September, Archives Assistant, Emily Siegel, '14 presented a poster at The National Workshop of the Consortium on Digital Resources for Teaching and Research in Washington, D.C. During the last three years, the Rosemont College Archives has worked with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) through a grant provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to digitize the archival records pertaining to the college's Immaculate Conception Chapel. The Immaculate Conception Chapel is significant to Rosemont College’s history because it is one of a very few across the United States that features specifically female saints. We want to get that information out to the world!
This project came about after a group of students participating in a Digital Humanities class in the Spring of 2014 began researching the construction of the Chapel. This class focused on building a website based on the construction of the College’s Chapel by collaborating with the Archive staff and using the archival materials that were a part of the Chapel Collection. During this process, the Archive staff realized that there was a need to have these items digitally preserved to aid in preservation and make them accessible online so that students didn’t necessarily have to be in the Archives in order to complete their research. Digitization is a big part of preservation in any archive. It ensures that duplicates of photos, documents, and other items are being saved so that if anything ever happened to the original copy we have a backup file to support the collection. Digitization projects also help us to see what in the collection might need extra attention in terms of preservation. Also, with the students building a website there was the desire to display some of the photos and documents online.
The goal of this project was to allow greater access to the documents without researchers having to handle some of the more delicate items. The documents have been scanned into a program called Shared Shelf and are now accessible to anyone who has interest in viewing them without having to make an appointment with an archivist at Rosemont. The Archives plans to continue uploading into Shared Shelf and is currently working on adding the oral histories that students took from SHCJ Sisters for the Sisters Story Project. If you would like to take a look at the Immaculate Conception Chapel documents, please go to: http://www.sscommons.org/openlibrary/#3|collections|7731675||Rosemont20College20Archives3A20Chapel20of20Immaculate20Conception|||
Check out the poster on the main floor of the Kistler Library by the Archives Exhibit near the front reading room. Our Archive staff is also ready to answer any questions that you have about the Archives collection at: firstname.lastname@example.org or for questions about the Archives at SHCJ: email@example.com.