Kate Feighery

Archives of the Archdiocese of New York
Candidate for Executive Council (2024-26)

Candidate statement

When I started at the Archdiocese of New York over 10 years ago, the reputation of its archives within the historical community was fairly negative. Many scholars were disappointed and frustrated with the lack of access to the collections, which span 200 years and touch on a variety of topics, including immigration, politics, the military, ethnicity, foreign relations, and, of course, religion. Through outreach to the historical community, the symbiotic relationship between archives and historians became very clear to me in way that isn’t taught in grad school. Archival work is extremely important, but without the publications and other scholarship that brings the material to a larger audience, the archive risks becoming just a temperature-controlled storage facility.

I believe there is so much possibility for collaboration between archivists and historians, and only through working together can the material stored in archives be brought to life. I have always gotten much out of my ACHA membership, and the connections and friendships I have made over the years have only improved my own work as an archivist. The perspectives I gain when speaking with ACHA members and attending conferences helps me to look at our archival collections in a different light, and hopefully continue to make them more accessible. I am extremely honored with the opportunity to possibly serve on the ACHA executive committee, and I look forward to many new and exciting partnerships between the historical and archival communities in the future.