At a time when religious communities are increasingly scarce, important challenges must be faced. Among them is our desire to leave a concrete legacy, to highlight our work that has spanned decades, both locally and internationally. But how can we transmit our knowledge? How will it be received by the respective apostolic milieu or by society in general? How can we continue to perpetuate the Gospel’s message of love and faith? There is much to think about, both in terms of what we’ve already accomplished, and what we still need to do. The Virtual Center of the MIC Historical Missionary Memory might be the answer.
Founded in 2015, the Center is non-profit; its mission is to ensure the protection and accessibility of all print magazines distributed by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Institute from 1920 onwards. Thanks to the digital technologies of our age, the historical heritage of Le Précurseur (French version) and the MIC Mission News (English version) will be showcased on our website in order to perpetuate the memory of this religious community of women whose origin is Canadian. Here and elsewhere, the pages of our 1004 issues will attest to their influence and social contribution, dating back to 1902.
Pressemic.org is the result of a long collaboration between many individuals. Each issue had to be digitized and adapted to the site’s newly designed interface. A “hybrid” format was adopted during its creation to make the magazine accessible to our regular readers, as well as to researchers, students, and casual Internet browsers.
A few points of clarification should be mentioned. Our website design choices were dictated by a desire to make the reader’s experience as pleasant as possible, bridging the practicality of PDF downloads (for those who want to keep and annotate the texts) and the fluidity of page-turning (for those who want a more natural experience). We therefore needed to compromise between the image size and image quality.
We should also mention that keywords typed into the Virtual Center search engine only access the table of contents (article titles, authors, and countries). The site’s type of digitization makes it impossible to recognize the text’s individual characters. In order to facilitate the use of the archives portal, an aid module provides detailed explanations of each function.
Without a doubt, these decisions have allowed us to provide complete and affordable access to our collection of print magazines; each one has been produced by the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. Those who wish to discover their written stories will also discover their ministries around the world.