Metadata Editor Profile: Barnaby Hughes
February 17, 2023
A fundamental strength of Atla’s research tools is the applied expertise of Atla’s team of metadata editors and analysts. Atla’s metadata analysts and editors synthesize research from a wide range of academic resources and make decisions about the most relevant subjects to include in the records in our databases to support discovery by our community of researchers and students.
The staff has graduate degrees in theology, religious studies, history, anthropology, philosophy, literature and languages, and the social sciences. Many also index areas of personal interest or research, such as sacred music or archeology. The team indexes titles representing research in more than forty-five languages from seventy countries. Their depth of knowledge ensures that Atla’s research tools support the successful discovery of relevant research from a highly diverse range of academic sources. This month, we feature Barnaby Hughes, who currently works as a Metadata Editor.
Barnaby spent his childhood in Long Beach, California. While attending college, he developed a strong interest in medieval history and church history. He spent a year studying abroad at the University of Bristol in England, an experience that deepened his interest in these subjects. He returned to the University of Bristol to earn his master’s degree in Medieval Studies. Once he completed this degree, Barnaby moved to a monastery full-time to live as a Benedictine monk and continue his studies, where he remained for the next five years.
Eventually, Barnaby earned his Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. Hoping to remain in England, he took a summer teaching job at Oxford and then returned to the University of Bristol to begin work on a Ph.D. Facing a challenging job market during a recession and the increasing costs of pursuing a doctorate, he returned to California. With a strong educational background, yet an uncertain career path, Barnaby took a position as an editorial assistant for a lifestyle website, where he mainly wrote about wine, beer, and spirits.
During this time, Barnaby returned to school to earn his Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree at San Jose State University. He spent a one-year term serving as the managing editor of the Student Research Journal for the School of Library and Information Science.
In 2014, while continuing to earn his MLIS, Barnaby joined the staff at Atla and moved to Chicago. He was hired as our first full-time dedicated indexer of Roman Catholic content. Barnaby’s work at Atla focuses on various aspects of Roman Catholicism, including theology, education, monasticism, church history, liturgy, music, art, and architecture. He also indexes content related to religious orders, including Benedictines, Dominicans, Jesuits, and Christian Brothers. As one of the Atla staff’s foremost experts on Patristics, he also covers material on the writings of the Church Fathers. He indexes works in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Latin, German, and English.
In Barnaby’s view, one of the greatest impacts Atla makes in the fields of religion and theology is serving as a trusted tool for users to discover content they may not have encountered previously. He is excited by Atla’s recent initiatives to expand globally, which has allowed him to add support for research from the Philippines, India, Africa, and Latin America.
While Barnaby will happily discuss any and all of the titles he indexes, we asked if he could share with us two journals he especially looks forward to indexing for the Atla Religion Database:
- Dilatato Corde, published by Monastic Interreligious Dialogue, is an international, multilingual journal to record, reflect on, and examine interreligious dialogue at the level of spiritual experience. This scholarly resource provides a vehicle for monastic men and women to share dilatato corde (which means “with an expanded heart”), what is important to them in dialogue with others.
- IHS, Antiguos Jesuitas en Iberoamérica, published by Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios sobre la Cultura y Sociedad, is a digital scientific journal covering various historical subjects related to the Jesuits and their actions in America between 1549 (arrival of the first Jesuits in Ibero-America) when they arrived on the continent and 1814 (restoration of the Society of Jesus), when after the expulsion the Order was reincorporated into the Catholic world. The journal’s main objective is to publish original contributions from research on the relationship of the Jesuits with the Ibero-American world in all its disciplines.
Barnaby also spent three years working as a Section Editor for Theological Librarianship, Atla’s open-access journal. He especially enjoyed having the opportunity to commission articles and shepherd them through peer review and eventual publication.
In addition to his work with Atla, Barnaby serves on the editorial committee of Catholic Library World. He lives in Chicago with his wife, who works as a prosecutor, and their two young children. He is an avid reader and runs Atla’s Science Fiction Book Club. He also writes book reviews for various academic journals and has published over 100 reviews of theater and opera.
We look forward to offering future spotlights highlighting Atla’s research tools. We invite you to let us know about subjects you’d like to read about in the future.
More information about coverage and how to access Atla’s trusted research tools on religion and theology: https://www.atla.com/research/
Full title lists, updated monthly: https://www.atla.com/research/title-lists/
More information on how content is evaluated and how to recommend a title for inclusion in Atla’s research tools: https://www.atla.com/for-publishers/evaluation-rdb/
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