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Many students do not realize the collections of important documents housed in the archives on the second floor of the library, but, in fact, some unique and irreplaceable books, letters, and other artifacts live just beneath our noses. Justyna K. Szulc-Maziarz, Regis’s eighth archivist since the archives began, finds her job to be extremely eclectic.
“Its different every time…It’s a job you’re a constant learner in and if you want to be constantly learning, then it’s the job for you.”
Between working on different projects —right now, it is working on an exhibit with Hemetera, the literary magazine — Szulc-Maziarz is speaking with researchers who come looking for information, gathering and organizing the materials, dealing with copywrite issues, and more. There is no routine to the job and that seems to be one of the more exciting aspects.
Justyna Szulc-Maziarz herself has had many incredibly interesting jobs, all different from one another. At Massachusetts General Hospital, she organized the entire collection of Dr. Thomas P. Hackett’s, chief of psychiatry, donated documents to make it easier for the hospital and family to find, should they need it. Another interesting project was at Harvard Business School working with emerging markets and entrepreneurs.
The archives themselves show a great deal about not only the school, but the Sister of Saint Joseph and their ideal of preserving history. From the very beginning of Regis College, the Sisters of Saint Joseph collected many academic and historical documents in order to keep a piece of the past safe. We owe a large part of the archives to Sister Joan Patrice and Sister Macrina, who collected most of the documents. However, there wasn’t an official archive until 1968, when Sister Jeanne D’Arc O’Hare, who became President of the University in 1964, scowered Regis for documents to include in the archives.
There are a few notable documents in the archives. One such document, shown in the second photo, is a book written entirely on palm leaves in steel pen and is over 300 years old. It is believed to be the only one in existence and is written in Tamil, a language spoken by Hindus. The most amazing fact is that other people donated priceless materials and literature to the Regis College archives because of their trust in the Sisters of Saint Joseph to keep them protected.
“Our records show that these women, the nuns supported the work of other people for the betterment of the community.
Photographs: Courtesy of Adrianna Kinney.