Repository Working Group

The purpose of the ARCC Repository Working Group is to develop guidance and best practices for collaborations between religious communities and/or academic institutions. Areas of consideration include defining responsibilities for shared or deposited collections, assistance with financial support, descriptive standards, and privacy and access concerns. If you would like to become active in ARCC and join our Google group, please contact

Past Events

Collaborative Archives: Factors and Benefits

TOPIC: Collaborative archives have become a primary focus for many institutions as a response to the need for preserving and making accessible Catholic religious community archival collections. Building on our November 2020 webinar outlining types of repositories, this webinar examines the process of creating a collaborative archive.

Each panelist has experience conceiving, planning, and executing a collaborative repository. They will present their experience and lessons learned through participating in a collaborative archive project. In addition to addressing the cost benefits and efficiencies of collaborative archives, they will discuss how to:

  • Develop a strategy for a collaborative archives 
    • Evolving process of reaching an archival solution
    • Finding partners
    • Involving stakeholders – leadership and community
    • Importance of communication
    • Initial and long term benefits
  • Determine financial support
  • Address stumbling blocks
  • Achieve long-term sustainability


Kingston, Ontario Collaborative Archive Project

  • Rodney Carter, Archivist, Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph, Kingston, Ontario
  • Veronica Stienburg, Archivist, Sisters of Providence of Saint Vincent de Paul, Kingston, Ontario

Society of the Sacred Heart, Saint Louis, Missouri

  • Michael Pera, Archivist, Society of the Sacred Heart USA-Canada Province Archives
  • Thomas More Daly, OSU, Archivist, Central Province Archives, Ursuline Sisters

Heritage and Research Center at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana

  • Monte Abbott, Archivist, Sisters of the Good Shepherd Archives, Saint Louis, Missouri

Legal Issues in Religious Archive Practice – June 2, 2021

TOPIC: With completion of many religious communities on the horizon, the legal issues become more complex as the community transfers its archives to a third-party repository. There are questions including: 1) how will the historical charism and legacy be respected and preserved? 2) does the permanent repository have a clear understanding of the charism of the community? 3) is the repository committed to arrange and describe collections? and 4) how does an institute move from a permanent loan to a full deposit? Establishing a process by which disagreements between the donor community and repository institution can be resolved is essential. Establishing terms if either party wants to withdraw from the arrangement is important. The three presenters will address the legal issues from their unique perspective


Sr. Ginger Downey, OLVM, is a current member of the Leadership Team for the Congregation of Our Lady of Victory Missionary Sisters, commonly known as Victory Noll sisters. She is in her ninth year on the Leadership Team and has served as a liaison with the archives. She is also currently working to create a collaborative archive and research center with other congregations of religious women in the Midwest.

Christopher J. Fusco, JCL, Esq.* is a tribunal judge and the associate general counsel for the Diocese of Metuchen in New Jersey, as well as the associate director for civil law at the Resource Center for Religious Institutes in Silver Spring, Maryland. He received his master’s degree in theology as well as a licentiate degree in canon law from The Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. He earned his law degree from The City University of New York School of Law. He is admitted in New York and New Jersey.

Margaret Sanche serves as diocesan archivist/historian of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and, in this role, also cares for the archives of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (former St. Mary’s Province) and seven congregations of women religious whose members have served in the Saskatoon diocese over many years. The history of this collaboration and the specific canonical details of the agreements worked out between the Diocese of Saskatoon and the religious congregations for the care of their records over the long term will be outlined in her presentation.

Generously hosted by Santa Clara University.


Presentation Summary – Sister Ginger Downey, OLVM

Presentation Notes and Sources – Margaret Sanche

Questions and Answers from the Webinar

*If anyone wishes a copy of Christopher Fusco’s presentation slides, please contact him directly via email and he will be happy to provide them with a text copy of the slide content with the proper disclaimer.

ARCC Symposium Series – November 12, 2020

Recording of the inaugural symposium generously hosted by St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas, on Zoom on November 12, 2020.

TOPIC: The various types of repositories serving religious archives. A review of solutions available to institutions with diminishing numbers, and practical advice on selecting a repository.

Consolidated Archives:  David Miros, Jesuit Archives and Research Center, St. Louis, Missouri

Diocesan Archives: Tricia Pyne, The Associated Archives of St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, Maryland

University Archives: Nadia Nasr, Archives & Special Collections Department, University Library, Santa Clara University, California

Public Repository: Carey Pallister, Sisters of St. Ann, Royal BC Museum and Archives, Victoria, Canada

Collaborative Archives: Malachy McCarthy, Claretian Missionaries Archives, Chicago, Illinois

Questions and Answers from the Symposium

Symposium Series Registration Survey Results

Additional Resources

What do we do with archives?
By Mary Grace Kosta, MA, MLIS

Options for embracing the future of religious archives for institutions facing closure, with a focus on Roman Catholic archives, are provided in this paper.  The paper finds that there are three main options which involve consolidation, transfer to another repository through donation or permanent loan, and creating a collaborative archives space. The benefits and drawbacks with these various approaches are summarized. The key recommendations of the working paper published after the Boston conference, and what religious archivists are doing in the present in terms of these recommendations, is also discussed.