St. Kate’s Ade Bethune Collection to be shared globally
Ade Bethune's artwork on banners at a St. Catherine University event.

St. Kate’s Ade Bethune Collection to be shared globally

Reference Librarian Deborah Kloiber will join Catholic Social Action Access Project (CSAAP) collaborators at a Hidden Collections Program Symposium for grant recipients of Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grants.

The Washington, D.C.-based CLIR made the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives award to the CSAAP totaling more than $149,000 in December 2009. According to the CLIR, university and public libraries, archives and cultural institutions hold millions of items that have never been adequately catalogued and "this represents a staggering volume of items of potentially substantive intellectual value that are unknown and inaccessible to scholars."

St. Catherine University is collaborating with project leader Marquette University, Milwaukee, and Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., to bring together three significant collections and make details about them available in an online catalog facilitated by the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA).

The three collections include St. Catherine University's Ade Bethune Collection, Catholic University's Catholic Charities, DC (CCDC), archives and Marquette University's Dorothy Day-Catholic Worker Collection.

Ade Bethune Collection at St. Kate’s
St. Catherine University's Ade Bethune Collection documents the career of the world-renowned liturgical artist and social activist.

In 1984, Bethune gave her personal papers and drawings to the St. Catherine Library, which established the Ade Bethune Collection. In September of 2002, following Bethune’s death, St. Kate’s received an additional donation of her papers, books, photographs, textiles and other artifacts in a variety of mediums, making the St. Catherine University’s collection of her works the largest in the world.

For the CSAAP project, materials related to Ade Bethune's activities in community organizations will be cataloged, including her efforts on behalf of affordable housing in Newport County, Rhode Island.

In addition, previously cataloged materials that document her work with the Catholic Worker organization and newspaper in New York City, liturgical art commissions and published articles, will be more widely accessible as part of the CSAAP.

CSAAP partners
The Catholic Charities, DC (CCDC), archives held by the Catholic University of America document the CCDC's leadership and support of progressive social legislation.

Marquette University's Dorothy Day-Catholic Worker Collection documents the faith-based movement founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. As a result of the CSAAP, audio recordings of the voices of most influential Catholic social activists of the 20th century will be more widely accessible.

The CRRA’s electronic portal will create an online searchable catalog to these rare, unique, and uncommon collections.

About the awards
Created in 2008 with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program supports the identification and cataloging of special collections and archives of high scholarly value that are difficult or impossible to locate.

Award recipients create descriptive information for their hidden collections that will eventually be linked to and interoperable with all other projects funded by this grant program.

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the management of information for research, teaching, and learning. CLIR works to expand access to information, however recorded and preserved, as a public good.

For more information
The Library Journal has a list of other institutions and projects funded by CLIR.

By Julie Michener
March 9, 2010

Contact Julie Michener, (651) 690-6521

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