COA Hidden Stories: Researching Habits

07 Aug 2017 9:58 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

 “This is my great aunt in the middle of the photograph. I know she lived in Chicago for a while, but I don’t know what she was doing there. Can you tell me anything about her?”

Photo courtesy of Archdiocese of Chicago Archives.

Family historians contact the Archdiocesan Archives asking “What parish did my ancestors attend?” or “I want to trace my genealogy – what records do you have that can help me?” By using clues from this photograph and from our collections, we’ve identified the woman in the center of this photograph as Sr. M. Petronilla, superior general of the Sisters of St. Joseph, LaGrange Park, IL. As mother superior in the 1960s, she oversaw nearly 300 religious women who worked at 20 grammar and high schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The lives and work of religious women are under-documented in histories of Chicago Catholics, but every nun has a story to tell, and Archives can help those stories come to life.

Join us Tuesday, August 8, at 6:00 PM at DePaul University for the Chicago Open Archives Spotlight Event Workshop as we piece together a genealogical mystery: the life of a religious woman in Chicago.

The COA Spotlight Event Workshop is designed for Chicago Area Archivists members and allies who are interested in hosting an archives month event that follows the 2017 theme. The 2017 theme, Hidden Stories, will give visitors an opportunity to uncover a story from your collections using specific “clues” (documents, artifacts, images, maps) that create a narrative. During the workshop members of the COA Working Group will demonstrate a 'building a narrative' activity, brainstorm hidden story ideas with you, and discuss our vision for encouraging visitors to attend multiple COA events.  Consider the clues your collection uses to help researchers tell their story.

For more information and to register, visit the Workshop events page.

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