Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award: Mary Grace Kosta

Mary Grace Kosta, congregational archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada, is the 2021 recipient of the Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in conjunction with the Society of Southwest Archivists. The award honors an archivist who has made a significant contribution to the field of religious archives.

In nine years of working as a religious archivist, Kosta has contributed greatly to the growth of the Sisters of St. Joseph archives, the public’s understanding of the congregation’s history, and—more broadly—the field of religious archives. During her tenure as congregational archivist, Kosta consolidated four separate archival repositories while implementing new digital tools and technologies that enhanced the management of the archives as well as its outreach to the public.

In addition, Kosta has served in leadership positions with SAA’s Archivists of Religious Collections Section, Archival Resources for Catholic Collections, the Archives Association of Ontario, the Catholic Archives Group in Canada, and the US-Canada Joint AtoM (Access to Memory) Users Group. Kosta is a frequent contributor to archival newsletters and was instrumental in the publication of four works related to the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada. She also developed and shared, under a Creative Commons license, a policy manual covering seventeen aspects of archival administration and a processing manual for archives. Kosta regularly presents at workshops and conferences and is active in supporting new archival professionals through a practicum program that delivers instruction in archival methods and museum registration.

Kosta’s willingness to share her expertise and knowledge with other religious archivists is but one of her many outstanding qualities. One supporter wrote that her leadership in the ongoing discussion of the future of religious archives reflects her deep commitment “to excellence in the field of religious archives, in both Canada and the United States.”

Created in 1974, the award honors Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., a Dominican nun who was the first professionally trained archivist at the Catholic Archives of Texas in Austin.