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Lane, Theresa Angela [Sr. M. Claude] (1915–1974)

Kennon H. Garofalo Biography Entry

Theresa Angela (Sister M. Claude) Lane, teacher, librarian, and archivist, was born in Dobbin, Montgomery County, Texas, on February 7, 1915, the oldest of four children of Michael W. and Mary Lou (Pace) Lane. She joined the Dominican Sisters and took the name Mary Claude upon graduation from St. Agnes Academy in Houston in June 1932. Her education included a B.A. in Latin from Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio in 1953 and an M.L.S. from the University of Texas in 1961.

Sister Claude taught and served as librarian and choral director in Dominican elementary and high schools throughout Texas from 1933 to 1960. Upon completion of her graduate studies at the University of Texas, she became the first professionally trained archivist at the Catholic Archives of Texas in Austin, a position she held part-time, full-time, or in absentia from 1960 to 1974; her status was determined by the availability of funds over the years. During her tenure as archivist she expanded the holdings of the archives to include documentation on Catholic clergy, religious communities, and parishes and dioceses throughout the state. She was a tireless speaker on the subject of Texas Catholic history. She contributed articles to Catholic Library World, Texas Library Journal and the Texas Catholic Herald. She also wrote more than twenty articles for the Handbook of Texas Supplement (1976). Her master's thesis was published as Catholic Archives of Texas: History and Preliminary Inventory in 1961.

Sister Claude was a member of the American Library Association and the Catholic Library Association; in the Texas Library Association she served as vice chairman in 1969. She was also a member of the Society of American Archivists and in 1972 served on a subcommittee of the Church Archives Committee (since renamed Religious Archives Section), to investigate discrimination in hiring practices among church archives. Sister Claude was a founding member of the Society of Southwest Archivists in May 1972 and was elected to that group's executive board.

She died after a long illness at the Dominican Retirement Home in Houston on August 6, 1974. After her death a memorial award was established in her honor by her colleagues in the Society of Southwest Archivists. The award is presented annually by the Religious Archives Section of the Society of American Archivists to a person who has made a significant contribution to the field of religious archives.

Catholic Archives of Texas, Files, Austin.


  • Religion
  • Catholic
  • Women
  • Museums, Libraries, and Archives
  • Archivists
  • Librarians

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Kennon H. Garofalo, “Lane, Theresa Angela [Sr. M. Claude],” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed February 25, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: