DePaul University is making its vast international collection of texts relating to the life and work of St. Vincent de Paul available through a new online digital repository titled “Via Sapientiae.” The collection can be accessed at http://via.library.depaul.edu.
“As the global community steps up efforts to assist the poor and address the systematic causes of poverty and injustice, it is an opportune time to broaden the reach of DePaul’s unique and comprehensive collections on St. Vincent de Paul – a man whose name is synonymous with the mission of assisting the impoverished,” said the Rev. Edward R. Udovic, C.M., DePaul’s senior executive for university mission and vice president for teaching and learning resources.
Debuting with more than 20,000 pages of text, the initial content areas on the site are from the university’s extensive Vincentian collections, the most comprehensive in the world, reflecting DePaul’s role as the premier international site for Vincentian studies. The site’s content will expand exponentially over the next several years as tens of thousands of additional pages are uploaded, and hundreds of thousands more pages of Vincentian texts in numerous languages are continually added.
“The Internet will allow us to share the wisdom and inspiration of St. Vincent and the Vincentian tradition around the world,” said Udovic. “This tool will afford everyone unprecedented access to formative Vincentian documentary, spiritual and historical texts not just for scholarly research, but for insights on how to meet the challenges of effectively serving the poor in the 21st century, in keeping with the Vincentian mission.”
Vincentian studies encompass the life and times of Saint Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and Saint Louise de Marillac (1591-1660) and their legacy of service to the poor, as it has been practiced around the world for almost four centuries by groups such as the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity, the Sisters of Charity, the Ladies of Charity, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and countless health care, parochial, social service agencies and educational institutions like DePaul University.
The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president of DePaul, applauded the Web-based resource, noting, “DePaul University is uniquely qualified and equipped to play a leading role in Vincentian historical, spiritual and service research. The new digital repository will enable us to provide a signal service to Vincentian communities and institutions worldwide.”
Institutional repositories bring together all of a university’s unique library research and scholarly resources under one umbrella in an effort to provide wide exposure and access to these materials. The Via Sapientiae digital repository will eventually include materials from throughout DePaul University including technical reports, university publications, faculty research, dissertations, archives, and special collections.
Established in 1898, DePaul University is the nation’s largest Catholic university, whose nine colleges and schools serve more than 24,300 students on six campuses in the Chicago metropolitan area.