Philly Archdiocese’s Treasure Trove Of Historical Data Finds New Home

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has moved its historical archives into a new home in the Northeast.

The newly-reconstituted Catholic Historical Research Center is now located along Roosevelt Boulevard in the former Our Lady of Ransom School.

Cait Kokolus, the center’s director, says until a few months ago, it had been in a crypt at St. Martin’s Chapel at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Lower Merion.

“It was damp and there was no special air-handling system there and so we thought to preserve the records better that we should have a place that was up to the standards of 21st century archival storage,” she says.

She says more space was needed when the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in Bensalem, Bucks County, donated the archives of their founder…Saint Katherine Drexel.

“All of the Drexel papers and all of Mother Katherine Drexel’s papers are now here with us,” she says.

Kokolus says the new facility is bigger and has good climate controlled areas to preserve the documents.

“We have all of the archdiocesan papers back to the founding of the diocese, which was much larger then. It took in all of Delaware, half of Pennsylvania, half of New Jersey,” Kokolus says.

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