In 2018, Seton Hall University Libraries collaborated with the Catholic Research Resources Alliance to make a significant contribution to the CRRA’s online Catholic News Archive. Print issues of the Catholic Advocate, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark, held in The Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, were digitized and made freely available online through the Catholic News Archive for public access. The selected issues document the era of Second Vatican Council, commonly known as Vatican II (1958-1964), enabling researchers to examine this period and its impact on the Newark Catholic community.
Catholic News Archive homepage, https://thecatholicnewsarchive.org/
Newark's Catholic Advocate soon became the most popular resource available on the Catholic News Archive portal, driving 18% of traffic to the site. Approximately 12,000 users consulted the Catholic Advocate in 2018, the first year it was available online.
Now in 2019 we have digitized and made available two more years of The Catholic Advocate, for a total of 9 years (1958-1967). The text has been processed through Optical Character Recognition software (OCR), enabling keyword searching of the entire archive. Even the captions on the photographs are captured, enabling genealogists to find photographs of their relatives through a simple search of the person's name. This powerful tool allows researchers as well as the general public to discover more detail than ever before about the Catholic community of the Archdiocese of Newark during the 1960s.
Printed and microfilm versions of the Catholic Advocate in Seton Hall University Special Collections.
At Seton Hall University, Dr. Thomas Rzeznik, Associate Professor of History, has students use newspapers in his Catholic History and American History Courses. Alan Delozier, University Archivist, directs the New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission which celebrates Church-based scholarship; he's created a video introducing students to the value of old newspapers.
Efforts like these ensure that Newark's Catholic Advocate will remain one of the most popular and heavily consulted resources in the Catholic News Archives.