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University Libraries

Know Thy Staff: Stephanie Shreffler, Professor, Librarian, Archivist

By Tyler Campbell

The third floor of Roesch Library is home to the U.S. Catholic Special Collection, a collection which preserves books, records, relics, and other various ephemera related to the heritage of the Catholic Church in the United States. The U.S.Catholic Special Collection is extensive, and its contents come in a variety of forms; from official church documents and limited editions of Catholic theology books, to tools of worship and other sacramentals. The collection also includes the nun figurines on the sixth floor of Roesch Library.

The US. Catholic Special Collection is managed by Stephanie Shreffler, who came to the University of Dayton in August of 2014 after working at the Tyrrell Historical Library in Beaumont, Texas. As a Collections Librarian/Archivist, Stephanie is responsible for selecting the items the collection purchases, as well as investigating the contents of potential donations to the collection. She also arranges the published and archival contents within the collection. In addition to managing the Special Collection Stephanie also leads instructional sessions at the library, and acts as the library liaison to the Departments of Teacher Education, Educational Administration, Counselor Education and Human Services, and Religious Studies.

Stephanie was first introduced to library work through a part-time student job as an undergraduate at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan. After finishing her bachelors degree in history, she attended the University of Michigan where she received a Master of Science in Information with an emphasis in Archives and Records Management, and Preservation of Information. Stephanie maintained an interest in Catholic history throughout her education, and enjoys the fascinating items she gets to explore for the collection. One of her favorite items in the U.S. Catholic Special Collection is a book that was previously owned by Maria von Trapp, the author of The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, which ultimately served as the inspiration for the musical The Sound of Music. The book featured biographies of famous American Catholics (von Trapp lived in Vermont near the end of her life), and had been sent to von Trapp with an inscription by the author. Stephanie also expressed excitement about a recent selection of writings by Thomas Merton that the collection recently acquired.

Because of their limited hours the U.S. Catholic Special Collection often gets overlooked by students, but it exists as one of the great features of our campus. Stephanie noted that since starting here four years ago the collection has gotten busier, but that students should feel encouraged to drop by and view all that the collection has to offer. The staff also works with professors to facilitate assignments that involve interacting with the materials of the collection. The U.S. Catholic Special Collection is open Monday-Friday from 11:00 a.m- 4:00 p.m and by appointment.

— Tyler Campbell works at the Knowledge Hub and is a doctoral student pursuing a PhD in theology

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