By Angelique M. Richardson, Director of Archives and Records | Published November 14, 2019
As a close-out to October as American Archives Month, the Office of Archives and Records held a fun open house for employees on Halloween to stop by and see various items from our collections. It was a great chance for new employees to get a tour of our beautiful space and to learn more about what the office does, while long-time employees could see some of our new acquisitions (and grab some candy!). We were able to touch base with The Georgia Bulletin staff and came up with the idea for me to write this column about what we’ve been up to recently and our plans for the future.
It’s been an incredibly busy year for the Office of Archives and Records. We’ve had a staff change with our records manager/assistant archivist leaving for another position in March and a new hire, Mandy Ryan, starting in that role this June. Several records management related projects have been in the works to ensure everything runs smoothly within the Chancery and at parishes and schools. We have lots of great plans for the new year in relation to records management duties to ensure that our office serves the needs of everyone at the Chancery, parishes and schools more effectively. Stay tuned.
On the archives side of things, we’ve had several new acquisitions, including some wonderful artifacts Geoff Hetherington, our archivist/records analyst, collected at the 50th reunion of the D’Youville Academy Class of 1969.
With Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory leaving Atlanta for Washington, D.C. earlier this year, the archives staff has been hard at work making sure we’ve collected the last remaining materials related to his time in ministry and have just recently begun the lengthy process of organizing the archbishop’s large collection of papers, photographs and artifacts. Our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/archatlarchives) has had more traffic as we try to celebrate all the parish anniversaries with throwback posts. We also picked up some great ideas while attending two, annual professional conferences this fall, including one that we’re hoping to roll out publicly within the next month or two.
The month of November is an important one for us this year as our office is gearing up to participate in #iGiveCatholic on Tuesday, Dec. 3. It’s the first time the Office of Archives and Records has joined in the fundraising day, but we’re excited and we have a wonderfully worthy cause in mind—digitizing historic Georgia Bulletin newspapers. Samantha Smith, reporter for the Georgia Bulletin, helped choose the theme “Find Your Roots in Faith.”
Scanning the older newspapers, specifically 1971-1990, is a huge undertaking. Because of the oversized nature of newspapers, we have to send them out to a scanning vendor and the costs add up quickly. However, once the newspapers come back and we have the digital images, we will be able to preserve the paper newspapers for much longer because we’re no longer handling them day-to-day. Having the scanned newspapers also opens up decades of information for research as we can easily word search the PDFs instead of paging through the physical newspapers.
Please keep the Office of Archives and Records in mind when making donations on Giving Tuesday at #iGiveCatholic. You can find more information on the donation page at atlanta.igivecatholic.org/organizations/office-of-archives-and-records-archdiocese-of-atlanta.