Kristen Mulgrew joined us toward the end of last year during a brief respite between lockdowns. Starting a new position can be daunting at the best of times, but in the midst of a Pandemic, it is quite disorientating. We take this opportunity to welcome her and introduce her to you, and wish her the very best.
“My name is Kristen and I am the new Archivist for the OLA Sisters at Ardfoyle Convent, Cork, assisting Sr Mary Barron, the Provincial Archivist. The OLA Archive is a resource not only in the history of this religious order and its global missionary work but also in local history and the historical narrative of the projects and causes they have contributed to across time here in Ireland, England and especially in Africa.
My professional work has been characterised by immersing myself in the evidential value of how history was lived. I enjoy digging into causes and projects that have positively affected surrounding communities and as such have run the archives of a few different religious orders in Ireland and in England. I am originally from the United States and I obtained my professional qualification in New York City in Library and Information Science with a focus in Archives and Records Management. I started working there in internships to do with social and environmental causes before making the jump across the Atlantic and navigating the differences in archival approaches across international boundaries.
On a personal level, I have always been enthusiastic about living/active engagement with the value of history. I volunteered for many years in the local historical societies in the area where I grew up and I even have a tendency to sew my own clothes using techniques inspired by different historical time periods.
The way this passion for history manifests in my professional work is in the detail archival records provide us about the human narrative in different places across time. Religious orders like the OLA Sisters have had and still have a very hands on interest in fostering positive growth and development in the communities in which they work. Ensuring their story gets told through preserving their records is a huge part of how we remember and value that work.
I am happy and excited to have been welcomed by the OLA Sisters and look forward to supporting their work through maintaining their on-going historical record.”