Over the past few years AMRI has engaged with Members around the important topic of establishing a Shared Archive. To date a number of Webinars and Consultations have taken place. A committee has been appointed by the Executive of AMRI in 2023 with a view to scoping out the size of this task.
The mission of AMRI is to provide leadership and support to our members, to foster collaboration and to promote spirituality, social justice and sustainable living on a shared journey of faith.
Religious orders and congregations are faced with the reality that as they downsize, what will become of their Archives. It is proposed that AMRI ascertains what exactly a future shared archive might look like. On the island there are several very professional archives such as the Presentation Sisters, Franciscans, Christian Brothers. Some collections vary in size and scope of contents.
AMRI has responded to this reality by initiating some work for Congregations who would like to work towards a shared archive. For some congregations, this is an urgent matter.
The Story So Far…
A working group was formed in 2022 to begin a wider consultation among AMRI members. Its members include AMRI staff and a number of archivists from various Congregations.
- They reviewed a survey that was commissioned by AMRI to its members.
- Seventeen Congregations have expressed a desire to hearing more about the move towards a shared archive. (January 2022)
- Following a webinar in January 2023, 34 Congregations/Archivists expressed the desire to be kept informed as this project advances.
A meeting of this Working Group was scheduled for March 2023 to review the steps already taken and the information we now have received. It has been suggested that this group is appointed formally to work with AMRI. Further members who are expert in this area will be considered too.
AMRI – January Webinar on Shared Archives
AMRI hosted a webinar where the model of such a shared archive has been developed over many years in the Netherlands. The Heritage Centre for Dutch Monastic Life opened in 2006. This was after almost 20 years of discussion for such a collaboration. Currently it has collections from over one hundred Dutch religious orders and congregations. Its collection covers 5.5 linear kilometres. Collections vary from 2 meter to 300 per archive. It also preserves many objects, books and items of interest. They are housed in a specially modified (professional climatised) part of Sint Agatha Monastery. It is still an archive that is in receipt of new collections.
In September a new Shared Archive Committee was established.
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