As part of our digitization efforts we have finished uploading the high priority materials from the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph digitization project and we have scanned/created pdfs of the medium priority materials in-house. We are still working on uploading these medium priority materials into our online Omeka website. Thus far we have uploaded 315 distinct records/items from the high and medium priority materials and we have over 200 additional documents to upload, plus a number of photographs from the Federation’s collection. We are currently using Omeka’s free online storage space, but we have already utilized 376.06 MB of the allotted 500 MB. After we max out our available free space we will need to begin paying a small annual fee for Omeka to host our digital materials.

Our archives’ intern, Jade Callaway (‘17), worked on digitizing the medium priority documents from the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph records. Jade scanned all of these documents and created pdfs, which I then mapped for optical character recognition so that each document is keyword searchable. She was also able to begin uploading these documents into our online database, Omeka. This is the same database we used for the Federation’s high priority digital materials, which are now completely accessible and keyword searchable online. In the coming year we will work to upload the rest of the medium priority documents. Monika McCoy (‘17) helped to document and inventory a large set of oral histories (over 400 distinct interviews) that are a part of the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph records. For this project she obtained data from the oral history audio cassette tapes as well as paper transcripts and consent forms. She created a spreadsheet to record her findings that included who the interview was with, when and where it took place, which congregation the sister was from, length of each interview, whether a consent form was signed, whether a transcript of the interview was available (paper or digital), and if an interviewee placed restrictions on providing access to their interview. During her work she also scanned each consent form as well as any interview information/documentation forms that she came across. Copies of these digitized forms will be shared with the Executive Director of the Federation so that she can help to track down and obtain additional rights from the interviewees or the congregation to which they belonged. Audio cassettes are an unstable and obsolete format and if left in their current state they will soon become permanently inaccessible. Because of this, we plan to use the data she collected during the project to apply for a grant to have the audio cassettes reformatted into digital files. This will allow us to preserve the content of the interviews and also make them more accessible to research.

The only high priority materials that still need to be digitized are audio cassettes of talks given primarily by sisters at the Federation’s national/international conference. There are approximately 30 distinct talks. Because the number is not large this is probably a project we could handle in-house if we purchase the necessary equipment and possible hire a part-time student to assist. Respectfully submitted by Adonna Thompson, Avila University Archivist