Joan D. Chittister Archive collaboration includes Penn State

February 28, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Sister Joan D. Chittister, internationally renowned writer and lecturer and one of the most articulate social analysts and influential religious leaders of this age, has established an archival collaboration for the preservation of her accumulated works.

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State, Mercyhurst University in Erie and the Benedictine Sisters of Erie will work together to preserve and make accessible the books, articles, reviews, presentations, speeches, homilies, interviews and newspaper columns that represent the Joan D. Chittister Archive. For more than 30 years, Chittister has dedicated herself to advocating for universal recognition of the critical questions impacting the global community, and she has received numerous awards and recognition for her work for justice, peace and equality, especially for women in church and in society. Courageous, passionate and charged with energy, she is a much-sought after speaker, commentator, counselor and clear voice across all religions. She currently serves as co-chair of the Global Peace Initiative of Women, a partner organization of the U.N. that facilitates a worldwide network of women peace builders. In this capacity, she has addressed interfaith gatherings in Egypt, Denmark, India, Lebanon, Taiwan, Switzerland, Norway, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Japan, Turkey, Australia, Kenya and throughout the United States.

Chittister is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pa., and has written more than 50 books, winning 13 Catholic Press Association awards. She writes a regular online column, “From Where I Stand,” for the National Catholic Reporter newspaper and for The Huffington Post. A Distinguished Alumna with a doctorate in speech communications theory from Penn State, a bachelor’s degree from Mercyhurst University and a master’s from the University of Notre Dame, she was an elected fellow of St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge University. She has also served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, representing leaders of more than 57,000 Catholic women religious in the United States, as well as president of the Conference of American Benedictine Prioresses. She was prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie for 12 years. Currently, Chittister is the executive director of Benetvision (, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality located in Erie. The Joan D. Chittister Archive will be physically housed in The Eberly Family Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, as part of the Penn State University Archives, the University Libraries. The Benedictine Sisters of Erie, at Mount St. Benedict Monastery will maintain a permanent archives room with access to her books, articles and other memorabilia. Public events and exhibitions documenting Chittister’s career will be hosted at Mercyhurst University. This unique collaboration will afford the Joan D. Chittister Archive exceptional exposure and distribution across a variety of institutions and communities.

Questions about the Joan D. Chittister Archive should be addressed to Jackie R. Esposito, Penn State University Archivist, 814-863-1793,; Sister Susan Doubet, research assistant,, 814-4590314; or Mary Snyder, chair of Mercy and Catholic Studies, Mercyhurst University, 814-824-2502,

  • picture of Sister Joan D. Chittister

    Sister Joan D. Chittister is an internationally renowned writer and lecturer.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated March 04, 2013