Now that I have finished working on my proofs for Fordham, I wanted to spread the word about a really wonderful digital history project hosted at the Catholic University of America (CUA).
Published out of the Omeka content management system, the American Catholic History Classroom is a wonderful site dedicated to making primary source content available online to educators and researchers interested in American Catholic history. The larger website is composed of eighteen smaller sites (called “exhibits” in Omeka). These sites largely focus on the 20th century and cover such topics as Catholics and Race, Catholics and Education, and Catholics in the labor movement. Each of these topical sites provide documents, images, and explanatory essays written by professional historians.
The site is an excellent example of the power of the digital humanities to make resources on American Catholic history more accessible than ever before. Unfortunately, it is only one of a few such websites dedicated to telling the story of the American church. Catholic institutions across the United States need to do a much better job of both supporting and creating projects like the American Catholic History Classroom. As readers of this site know, I have already published a two-part essay on the subject of keeping the American Civil War at the forefront of the field of digital history. Next month, I will start publishing similar essays on American Catholic history and the digital humanities as well.
Finally, I am happy to announce that the Classroom just published a “mini-site” that I put together on Catholic nuns during the Civil War. With the blessing of the project’s staff at CUA, I am hope to expand this site soon to add more primary-source documents, more images, and more content on how the Civil War era shaped the history of the U.S. Catholic Church. This is a large undertaking, so if anyone knows of any relevant documents to include on such a site or if you are interested in helping, please email me.