MPA Digitization Project Extended

Section of a handwritten letter from the Maryland Province Archives

The Library’s ongoing project to process and digitize the Archives of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus has been funded through June 30, 2025, and its scope expanded, under a newly amended Memorandum of Understanding between Georgetown University Library and the Northeast Province, which succeeded the Maryland Province. The agreement will support the completion of the digitization and archival processing for the Maryland Province Archives (MPA) collection, and fund projects to provide access to other Jesuit collections at the Library.

The original agreement provided funding only to process materials from the Archives, digitize materials from before 1900, publish them in DigitalGeorgetown, and create finding aids to make them accessible to researchers. MPA Archivist Cassandra Berman and Digital Production Coordinator Ted Mallison were hired in 2019 and 2020, respectively, to carry out the project. As of May 2022, four of ten series of records have been processed, and the first series has been published in DigitalGeorgetown. The digitization project is scheduled to be completed in April 2023.

The original Memorandum of Understanding lasted until June 2022, but the closure of the Library due to the pandemic delayed the early phases of the project. While discussing funding for the completion of the project, “The Province Archivist became very excited about other processing and digitization projects that could be done with dedicated staffing in both the archival and digital services areas of the Library,” said Head of Digital Scholarship and Technology Services Suzanne Chase.

While the specifics of the new projects have not yet been determined, they will focus on digitizing Woodstock Theological Library manuscript holdings, selected individual Jesuit papers, and selected Jesuit photographs that are currently underutilized and invisible to online researchers. “The overall goal is to provide greater access and visibility to the rich Jesuit collections held within the Library,” said Keith Gorman, Director of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections and Archives.