Project Outline


Create a digital archive and oral history of Christian Syriac communities now being displaced from their homelands to benefit the communities in danger of losing language, communal memory, human record, and common human heritage

Concept Definition

Preservation of stable, publicly accessible, digital archive to be maintained at the Institute of Christian Oriental Research (ICOR) at the Catholic University of America

Concept Genesis

Planning for the seventh annual North American Syriac Symposium (June 21-24, 2015). The Project Team presented on the initiative at Symposium and received enthusiastic support from the scholarly community.

Additionaly, our Director is involveed with recordings for Syriac chant albums to be published by Smithsonian Folkways

Project Precedent(s)

Aradin Charitable Trust (Cambridge University)

Collections of other displaced ethnic groups particularly Greek, Armenian, Jewish communities of Middle East

Project Funding

A startup grant of $10k from a private foundation enabled the Project to begin its work in the spring of 2015, with the purpose of developing a collection protocol, identifying a pilot community, and beginning an online repository and searchable database

Project Organization

CUA Project Team plus Digital Humanities course student working on best practices for oral history-collection

Project Connections

Local/CUA: Catholic Relief Services and other organizations (USCCB, church communities), Eastern Christian Communities Effort (ECCE)

National: Other universities (Jack Tannous, Princeton; Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, St. John’s-HHML; David Michelson, Vanderbilt,

International: Amir Harrak, University of Toronto

Current Project Needs

End Project

CCME Project Online Archive

Oral histories, photographs, and digitized personal histories or histories of communities

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