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Conference on the History of Women Religious Records

Identifier: HWR

Scope and Content

Records (1988-2010) of the Conference on the History of Women Religious, consisting chiefly of papers delivered at the triennial conferences; also the History of Women Religious News and Notes (1988-2000); and a small quantity of background information and mailing lists.


  • Creation: 1988-2010.


Language of Materials



The HWR website describes the history of the organization in this way:

"A small group of women (Kaye Ashe, OP; Barbara Brumleve, SSND; Mary Ewens, OP; Karen Kennelly, CSJ; Kitty Kish-Sklar; Barbara Misner, SCSC; Mary Oates, CSJ; and Margaret (Peg) Thompson) organized the Conference in 1988 for the purpose of promoting research and publication on the subject of women religious worldwide, from all religious traditions, with particular emphasis on North America.

"The newsletter, HWR News and Notes, edited by Karen Kennelly, began publication in 1988 as the main networking tool. Standard features of the newsletter which comes out three times a year are conference news, publications, research in progress, book reviews, and announcements. Subscription constitutes membership in the HWR conference.

"Triennial conferences began in 1989 to enhance networking and to recognize outstanding research in the field. Conferences have been convened at: The College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minnesota (1989); Marymount College, Tarrytown, New York (1992); Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1995); Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois (1998); Marquette University, Milwaukee (2001); Atchison Heritage Conference Center, Atchison, Kansas (2004); the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana (2007); and Scranton University, Scranton, Pennsylvania (2010). Attendance has been between 200 and 220. Format has included, in addition to plenary and concurrent sessions at every conference, such special features as magnet groups, forums, round tables and film, dramatic performances, art exhibits, book displays, and archival tours. Major speakers have included Barbara Welter, Patricia Byrne, CSJ, Mary Ewens, OP, Margaret Susan Thompson, JoAnn McNamara, Gerda Lerner, Patricia Wittberg, SC, Paula Kane, Elizabeth Rapley, Anne Butler, Angelyn Dries, OSF, Margaret Eletta Guider, OSF, and Debra Campbell.

"A Coordinating Committee composed of a the newsletter editor who also serves as general coordinator, the newsletter book review editor, the conference awards committee chair, the current and immediate past Triennial Conference program chairs, and four at-large members, is responsible for the HWR as a conference."

The same web page describes the membership in this way:

"Around 400, drawn from the United States and Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, France, Japan, and China (Hong Kong).

"Approximately one-third of the members are lay (nearly half the international members) and two-thirds are from religious congregations. A large majority (94 per cent) are women."

"Around 400, drawn from the United States and Canada, Australia, England, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, France, Japan, and China (Hong Kong).


2.5 linear feet

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Files of papers presented at the conferences came from Carol Coburn, Avila University; newsletters and information on the background of the organization came from Karen M. Kennelly, CSJ.

Conference on the History of Women Religious Records
University of Notre Dame Archives
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Archives Repository

607 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame Indiana 46556 United States
(574) 631-6448