Avila Archives

Martha Smith, CSJ, Ph.D. Archives & Research Center

Located in the Hooley-Bundschu Library and Learning Commons, Martha Smith, CSJ, Ph.D. Archives & Research Center’s mission is to collect, arrange, preserve, and make accessible the permanent records of the University as well as rare and unique collections that support the University’s administration, teaching, research, and service. The Archives is currently comprised of three collecting areas – the Women Religious Special Collections, the CSJ Heritage Center Archives, and the Avila University Archives.

Research Support

All materials within the Martha Smith, CSJ, Ph.D., Archives and Research Center are non-circulating. However, we welcome researchers, visitors and questions.

If you would like to schedule a visit, have materials we might be interested in, or would like further details about the Archives, please contact the Archivist at 816-501-3620 or via email at amy.moorman@avila.edu.

Archive Services

Fee Schedule for Research and Reproduction Services

Research Services
Requests may be made via email, telephone, fax, or mail. Archives staff will provide up to 30 minutes of research for any patron at no charge. For more in-depth research performed by Archives staff, there is a charge. Patrons will be informed of the cost if any before research is conducted. All search and commercial fees go toward the support of the Archives. There is no charge for researchers to use materials on-site.

Research fees for non-profit and general public:
30 minutes+ of research by archives staff
, $25.00 per hour

Reproduction Services
All reproduction from collections is handled by Archives and Special Collections staff. By reproducing materials, the Archives and Special Collections is not granting permission to publish. For permission to publish, quote, broadcast, perform, or exhibit, please contact the Archivist. Additional publication fees may apply.

Onsite request (any size paper): $0.10 per page
Offsite request (any size paper): $0.50 per page
For large orders an additional fee of: $5.00 per every 50 pages over the first 100 pages will be charged

Digital Scans
Avila affiliates: $5.00 (new) , Free (existing)
All others: $10.00 (new), $5.00 (existing)
Scans can be emailed free of cost provided they are less than 10 MB
CD-R: $5.00 each (researcher can provide CD with request)
DVD:  $5.00 each (researcher can provide DVD with request)

For items that need to be mailed, the Archives will charge the cost of the postage to researcher plus a handling fee of $5.00.

Audio & Video
Check with Archives for availability and pricing.

Publication Fees
Publication fees are charged per work and are over and above those fees charged for the cost of reproduction, according to the following fee schedule.

  • Avila University faculty, staff, students, or departments: No charge
  • Other scholarly or not-for-profit uses: $25.00 per image / per use (fee may be waived if a copy of the published work is desired by the Archives)
  • For-profit uses: $75.00 per image / per use

Please contact the Archivist to obtain permission to publish.

About the Archives

The Martha Smith, CSJ, Ph.D. Archives & Research Center was officially named and opened to the public in August 2014, following a major renovation of the Hooley-Bundschu Library into a modern, state of the art learning commons. A space was specifically designed for the archives as part of the renovation plans for the new learning commons. This new space includes a research/reading room, a processing workroom and ample onsite, climate controlled, closed stack storage for our archival collections.

The archives is named in honor of Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Martha Smith, a lifelong Kansas Citian, a graduate of St. Teresa’s Academy, and the College of St. Teresa (which became Avila University), who entered religious life in 1947. She later earned a doctorate in modern European history and received a Fulbright scholarship to India to study Sanskrit and learn about Indian history and culture. Sister Martha was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowship and the Sears Award for Excellence in Teaching. She was an educator and author who served as history professor at Avila from 1965-1995. In 1997, as professor emerita, she began work on the Women Religious Special Collection then housed in the university’s library. During this time she also co-authored the book, Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836-1920. Sister Martha died in 2011.

About Our Staff

amy morrman, archivist
Amy Moorman is the archivist for the Martha Smith Archives and Research Center and is responsible for overseeing all of the operations and functions of the archives and special collections. Most recently, she was the archivist for the Wartburg College Archives and Archives of Iowa Broadcasting in Waverly, Iowa. Other previous employers include the Missouri State Archives, Missouri History Museum, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis Archives. She has a Master’s in History from the University of New Hampshire and is a Certified Archivist and Digital Archives Specialist. Amy is currently a member of several professional organizations, including the Midwest Archives Conference, Society of American Archivists (where she serves as lone arranger representative for Iowa), and the Association of Moving Image Archivists (where she is a member of the Regional Audiovisual Archives and News, Documentary, and Television Committees).

Carol Coburn
Carol K. Coburn, Ph.D. is a Professor Emerita in Religious Studies at Avila University.  Over the last thirty years, she has published two books in American religious history and women’s history, including Spirited Lives: How Nuns Shaped Catholic Culture and American Life, 1836-1920 (co-authored with Martha Smith).  Researching on the topics of Catholic sisters, religious history, and peace and justice, she has published numerous articles, essays, and book reviews, and presented over 40 papers at national and international venues.  She has served as a consultant for three independent filmmakers on the topic of American sisters and social justice, including the PBS documentary Sisters of Selma: Bearing Witness for Change.  Additionally, Professor Coburn worked on the Consulting Team for the Smithsonian Exhibit: Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America and as a historian/consultant for the Sisters of St. John of God in Wexford, Ireland.  During the last four years, she has served as Senior Evaluator for a four-year global grant project, Cultural Diversity, and Conflict Management, sponsored by the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph.  Currently, she is the director of the CSJ Heritage Center located in the University Archives.

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