Archiving — It takes a village
By Kathy Cordes, Diocesan Archivist
Collaboration with friends and fellow colleagues is an essential part of any archives collection.
Researching the relics in our parish altars is proving to be a lengthy endeavor. One group that I regularly consult — the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists. I was able to survey other dioceses for insight into how their relics were documented and recorded in hopes to gain tips and tricks that I was unaware of, see where the relics were documented, and see if they were having as many issues as I am. One archivist suggested that at one time in
history, anyone could request a relic and that paperwork did not always follow through. Today, Canon Law 1237§2 states that every consecrated altar retain at least one relic (with the rites prescribed in liturgical books).
Another suggested that prior to the 1918 Canon Law, it was not required. As a result, documentation of these relics remains a mystery yet to be found.
I collaborate with the Black Elk Working Group daily. Currently, they are working on a comic book for children. Red Cloud Indian School is working with other schools in Rosebud, Eagle Butte and Rapid City and are in the planning stages of the project.
The parishes of Eagle Butte recently brought in a large collection of photos from their early days as the Cheyenne Agency. Some of the earliest photos are of a 1902 baptism. Father John Vogel, circa 1920, did a beautiful job of writing descriptions for these photos. The effort to preserve these treasures started with the collaboration within that community, in storing them and even writing on the backs with great descriptive text.
Another wonderful collaboration, a wonderful working artist in our community has repaired three of our four Infant of Prague statues. The chancery will soon have them on display now that they have all their fingers intact.
Future collaborations also include an estate collection that will be arriving soon! Indeed, it does take a village — to build, to maintain and safeguard for the next generation of collaborators!