Of Interest: The Catholic News Archive

February 2, 2019

The Catholic Research Resources Alliance has made available, free of charge, a fully searchable, open repository of historical Catholic news publications at thecatholicnewsarchive.org.

The announcement below was provided to the ACHA by the Catholic Research Resources Alliance:


crra-header4Why a Catholic News Archive? Scholars, librarians, archivists and newspaper editors identified their needs for online access to and digital preservation of historic Catholic newspapers. In response, the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA), a nonprofit membership alliance began partnering with newspapers, diocesan archives and financial supporters to implement a digital repository. The impact is seen in the monthly average in 2018 of over 2,000 users and what they tell us about their successes.about-img1

    • Built with the researcher in mind
    • Freely available to all users
    • Mobile friendly
    • Over 12,000 issues and growing
    • Optimized for research, classroom and individual use
    • Digital archiving for preservation and access
    • All simply for the sake of scholarship

“My students and I frequently use Catholic newspapers toilluminate how Catholicism engages with the broadercontext in which it exists.” –Dr. James P. McCartin, Director, Fordham University Center on Religion and Culture

“In the early 1840s reactionary agitators called Nativists whipped up Anti-Catholic/Anti-Immigrant fervor that resultedin armed conflict and the destruction of property in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After the first Nativist Riot May3-10, 1844, a public meeting of Philadelphia’s Catholic citizens appointed a committee to prepare an address to answer the accusations of a Grand Jury which blamed Catholics for theconflagration. The American patriotism of Catholics, namelytheir dedication to the protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution to minority groups, was one of the major points of the address. The full text of the address as reported in the press at the time was discoverable by using The Catholic News Archive.” –Darren G. Poley, Associate Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, Villanova University

“The leading online sources … are largely focused on municipal and trade newspapers with Catholic newspapers conspicuously under-represented.” –Dr. Timothy Meagher, Associate Professor of History, Curator of American Catholic History Collection and University Archivist, The Catholic University of America

“Journalism has been called the first rough draft of history.Looking beyond the main headlines of old newspapers, at minor stories and even advertising, gives us a sense of the culture of a particular time, and helps us place past and current events in historical perspective. For Catholics who wish to look back on the revolutionary changes that took place in theChurch in the 1960s, the Catholic News Archive offers compelling reading.” –K. E. Colombini, Tracing Church History Through Old Newspapers, First Things, May 18, 2017.

“Having the CNS newsfeeds from 1920 to the 1960s digitizedwill allow access for the first time to anyone with the Internet because previously the microfilm was only available in three collections in the U.S. Thanks to the CRRA grant from theCatholic Communication Campaign. Now to digitize the rest! –Katherine Nuss, Information and Archive Services for CNS and the USCCB