Thanks to a valuable contribution from the Church organisation Otto per Mille, work has been started on a reorganisation, inventory taking and evaluation of the Central Archives of the Institute in the Casa Generalizia in Rome.
The work began officially in spring 2018, when we joined the CeiAr project so greatly favoured by Brother Diego Munoz, Director of the Centre for Lasallian Research and Resources and by Doctor Anna Cascone, Librarian of the Casa Generalizia. Links with the project had started in autumn 2017, when our archives were registered with the Archivi Ecclesiastici, and by the follow up which took place through Doctor Maria Errico Agnello, an archivist who is skilled in the use of the new CeiAr software.
The work of reorganising and digitising the archives (A.M.G.), started by examining the documents produced by the General Council and the Circular Letters of the Superiors General in particulr the printed Circulars issued since the close of the XVIII century. These publications, along with those from the previous century (1684-1805), are a witness to the intense and very interesting activity of publishing done in the Maison Mère as it passed from Paris to Belgium and finally to Rome (1680-1936).
So far, the work has focussed on taking an inventory of all the volumes of Institute Circulars conserved in the archives, in the library or in other locations, which amount to more than 200 items. The volumes were ordered chronologically and then subdivided according to their types of binding. After that the volumes were catalogued on cards and put in place in the archives.
This important first step of the action would not have been possible without the support, collaboration and constant willingness to help showed by the team comprising Dr. Anna Cascone and her colleagues in the archives, Brother Hilaire Raharilalao, Brother Pierre Petitjean, Brother Edorta Zabaleta and Brother Diego Muñoz who is a precious source of information on the history of the Institute.
Currently the information on the Circulars is being digitised using the CeiAr software with a view to facilitating access to and the use of the full inventory of documents in the archives.
When the project is completed, the Service for Lasallian Research and Resources hopes to be able to provide a new tool for the many researchers who seek to consult our archives every year.
Anna Cascone, Librarian
Secretariat for Lasallian Research and Resources
Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Rome.