How would you define archives?
For me, archives are a window into the past. Through that window we see the people of another time and learn about their activities. We discover who these people were, learn about their personalities and learn about the culture of their era, and how the past informs our future.
Why consider this type of work?
When I entered the Ursulines of Brown County, I quickly developed an interest in the history of our Community. As a novice I had the opportunity to help Sr. Xavier Ladrigan in the Archives and enjoyed the many discoveries that we shared. My ministry as a Spanish teacher helped me to develop the organizational skills valuable to an archivist.
Where did you learn to become an archivist?
I began my work in the archives in January of 2013. I have joined a group of local archivists that meets semi-annually, and have visited the archives of Hebrew Union Institute, Ursuline Sister of Cincinnati and the archives of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Cincinnati. I have spent a lot of time transcribing diaries onto the computer—community diaries, farm diaries, and one very old diary written by one of the earlier French Sisters, Sr. Pauline Furnell. Many doors have been opened for me through the requests of Brown County alumnae.
Who contacts you for information?
Some requests come through our sponsored institutions. Others come through family geneology searches. Some contact us because their grandmothers or great grandmothers attended the boarding school in St. Martin, Ohio.
What is your goal for the archives?
My major aim is to organize information so that it will be easily accessible for future research. To that end I have made sure that the only extant English manuscript of Yo, el Rey by Sr. Monica Maginnis and her unpublished manuscript entitled Lead Them to Their Woodlands have been preserved on computer for future generations.