Presbyterian Historial Society begins work on Katie Geneva Cannon digitial archive

March 22, 2021
Katie Geneva Cannon
Katie Geneva Cannon. Photo courtesy of Center for Womanist Leadership / upseminary.

The Presbyterian Histori­cal Society has embarked on a collaborative effort to create a digital archive of more than 1,600 pages of womanist theologian Katie Geneva Cannon’s personal records.

Working alongside the Katie Geneva Cannon Center for Womanist Leader­ship at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, and the Cannon family, PHS—which serves as the national archives for the Presby­terian Church (USA)—hopes to create a single, online location where people can find Cannon’s writings, interviews, and records.

According to PHS, staff members are currently in the process of making images of Cannon’s writings. Through­out the next year, they will be adding gigabytes worth of her public appearances, lectures, and PowerPoints.

Cannon, the first Black woman or­dained in the United Presbyterian Church, died of acute leukemia in 2018. She is considered to be one of the foundational influences on womanist theology.

In a blog post, David Staniunas, PHS’s lead archivist, said that financial support for the project has been provided by donations to the denomination’s African American Leaders and Congregations collecting initiative.