Project Contract


  • Collecting and organizing past documentation and research formed about the Abbey of the Genesee, with a specific concern for the changes that have taken place at the abbey over the years. We expect the entry of technology into the abbey to be a main point of both contention as it may impact the daily lives of the monks and disrupt the original interpretation of the Rule of St. Benedict. We will also be expanding upon the work that was done by outside researchers in past years, examining how the community may have changed, how its members have evolved since they were last interviewed, and what struggles or successes the abbey has experienced. We want to pursue the project with hopes of educating the outside community about the inner workings of the monastery, as well as how the members live their daily lives of contemplative prayer. The abbey has extensive documentation and we want to preserve it in an accessible and digitized fashion through a coherent timeline. We hope that people can learn about the history of this 76 year old monastery, whether they are newer members of the monastery, students at the college, or outside community members.


  • Scanners: scan documents in both the Abbey’s archive and Milne Library’s archive
  • Still camera: website photographs
  • Video camera: interviews of members and site itself
  • iMovie: edit the interviews and organize them by topic
  • YouTube: upload interviews and site videos
  • GoogleDocs: prepare and edit interview questions 
  • Zoom: share project updates with peers and professors
  • Slack: get support from the professors, Leah, and other classmates who have insight on an issue
  • TimelineJS: record the history of the monastery since 1953 

Division of Labor:

  • Whereas Cody is comfortable focusing on internal communication with the monks, Dana is interested in looking at the technical/digital side of the project. For instance, Dana can record interviews while Cody asks the questions. On a day that one of us cannot go to the monastery, one of us can stay on campus and look through the archives for more research to scan and catalogue. Dana is comfortable using iMovie and WordPress to complete the project and Cody is willing to collect materials for the Timeline feature on our website.


  • Friday, September 29: Met with Father Isaac at the monastery at 1:30PM. Cody recorded notes from the meeting. First time engaging with the monastery and we plan on exploring their personal archives as well as tours of the abbey.
    • We agreed shortly after that our project would be primarily documenting aspects of the monastery.
  • October 4: Have briefly accessed previously documented (online) information (ie. news stories, YouTube videos, blog posts).
  • October 11: Have made contact with individuals who have done extensive research on the monastery in the past. Two that we know of so far (undergrad Geneseo student and PhD student).
  • October 18: Visit monastery’s archive and scan whatever is accessible. Question for monks: what are we able to take with us and what is off limits?
  • November 1: Have interviewed same monks as were interviewed 43 years ago and a representative sample including novitiates and priests.
  • November 15: Complete iMovie edits to interviews. Post on site. Present working draft of site.
  • November 22: Complete Timeline feature on site.
  • November 29: Practice presenting site to class.
  • December 4: Present site.

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