Brandi Klingerman | August 21, 2017
Starting in the 1950s, political upheaval began to intensify in various countries across Latin America, which sparked significant changes in the contemporary Latin American Catholic Church. Although these events have been recorded, the materials are spread throughout Latin America, which limits the capability of scholars to study these important moments. To preserve and share this history, Notre Dame researchers are collecting a variety of audio recordings, handwritten documents, and texts to develop a digital library of critical events that took place throughout Latin America over more than 60 years and ultimately changed the Catholic Church.
Peter Casarella, associate professor of theology and director of Latin America North American Church Concerns (LANACC) at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, as well as project lead, and Timothy Matovina, professor and chair of Theology, are working in consultation with Alex Papson, metadata and digital services librarian at the Hesburgh Libraries’ Center for Digital Scholarship, to digitize these unparalleled resources and preserve them as a digital library collection in CurateND, Notre Dame’s institutional repository.
In discussing the significance of developing the digital library, Casarella said, “In 1985, Fr. Bob Pelton founded LANACC to promote the exchange of ideas, pastoral experiences, and practical engagements on behalf of the common good between the Catholic Church of North America and the Latin American Church. To further LANACC’s mission, we are archiving important events that took place as far back as the 1950s and led to the rise of critical theological engagements in Latin America. This will ensure that significant, historic resources that all tie to this topic can be studied collectively for years to come.”