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Kyle Roberts , Loyola University, Chicago

Digital platforms, sources, and tools have changed the way we study libraries over the past few decades. The Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project ( at Loyola University Chicago is a collaborative digital research project that uses these digital affordances to write a new history of nineteenth-century American Catholic libraries and, in so doing, rethink American Catholicism. The Provenance Project brings together students, faculty, and librarians to uncover the ambitious, co-ordinated movement by European-born Jesuits to found a network of Catholic colleges across the United States in the century following the restoration of the order in 1814. At the heart of these colleges were libraries. The libraries they created remind us of the centrality of print to nineteenth-century Catholicism and the transnational, hybrid identities of American Catholics, balancing allegiances to the state, homeland, and the global Catholic Church.