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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives:
A Guide to Resources in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Table of Contents - Preface/Acknowledgements - Abbreviations
Lists of Entries: District of Columbia - Maryland - Virginia

Mount St. Mary's University:
Hugh J. Phillips Library,
Special Collections and Archives


16300 Old Emmitsburg Road
Emmitsburg, MD 21727

Telephone Numbers:
Library: (301) 447-5244 Fax Number: (301) 447-5099
Archives: (301) 447-5426
Contact Persons:

Kathleen Sterner, Reference Librarian
Julie Shenk, Information Technology Librarian

Archives: Jessica Whitmore, Archives Manager
Library Catalog: Phillips Library

Access Policies

Hours of Service
Monday -- Thursday 7:30 a.m. -- 2:00 a.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. -- 10:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. -- 9:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. -- 2:00 a.m.
Open to the public: Yes
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: Yes
Monday -- Friday 8:00 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m.
Open to the public: Yes, appointment is strongly urged
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: No

The public may use the library. Interlibrary loan is available to those who have a library card. These cards are available to students, faculty and local townspeople. The Library also provides two scanning stations.

The Archives is open to the public, but researchers are strongly urged to call ahead for an appointment.

Reference Policy:
Library: Telephone and mail queries are accepted. Reference desk hours are:

Monday--Friday 8:00 a.m.--4:00 p.m.

Archives: Research requests, by phone, mail, or e-mail, are accepted from researchers unable to conduct their own research due to geographical, physical or other limitations.

Borrowing Privileges:
Library: Only faculty, students and residents of Maryland.

Archives: Items in the Archives and Special Collections are not loaned out, except for exhibition in museums.

Mount St. Mary’s is a member of both OCLC and the Maryland Independent College and University Association (MICUA).
Background Note:
Phillips Library supports the curriculum and research needs of the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs through its physical collections, digital resources, document delivery/interlibrary loan, research and instruction services. The library also provides a variety engaging spaces including individual and group study rooms, classrooms and casual gathering areas that support learning. The library contains the University’s archives and special collections, which include rare historical material connected with early American Catholicism and the state of Maryland.

Our aspirations for Hugh J. Phillips Library are:

  • A library that is perceived by students as a welcoming, convenient and comfortable environment that meets their expectations and fosters the development of a community of learners.
  • A library whose information resources adequately support each of the University’s academic divisions and thereby enhances our students’ learning and academic success.
  • A library that provides expert research assistance and promotes student engagement with scholarly resources.

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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
The Library has approximately 48,000 volumes classified in BL-BX with inclusive publishing dates from the early 19th to the 20th century. This is the single main collection using LC classification. The collection supports the curriculum of all three student bodies (undergraduate, graduate and seminary). General theology is collected to support the undergraduate and graduate programs.

The Theological Seminary is one of the largest Catholic theological seminaries in the country. The particular strengths of this collection are works on patristics, American Catholic history and Catholic spiritual formation. Also of importance is a good collection of works on and representing early 19th century Catholic history in Maryland.

Special Collections has approximately 700 books. Highlights in Special Collections include Catholic Church history, the history of Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary, prominent Catholic American families, Catholic religious institutions, missions and some religious art. Geographically, these Special Collections relate to Maryland, the United States, Europe, and Latin America.

Periodicals and newspapers:
The Library has approximately 1,000 periodical subscriptions relating to religion with inclusive dates from 1879 to the present. They also subscribe to Project Muse and Expanded Academic ASAP, both of which have scores of full text religion periodicals online. Serial highlights mirror those of the book collection with a particular focus on Catholic spiritual formation.

The Journal of Moral Theology is peer-reviewed and focuses on Catholic moral theology. The journal is published by Mount St. Mary’s University.

The Archives has several important newsletters relating to Mount St. Mary's University. These include Pipeline, Mt. Echo, Vineyard, Mt. Briefing, Lighted Corners and Monocacy Valley. Finding aids are available in the Archives for some of these newspapers, newsletters, and journals.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
The Archives holds approximately 842 linear feet of manuscripts and archives, some of which predate the founding of the College and Seminary in 1808. Areas of interest and subject highlights include missionary work; women religious; prominent American political and religious leaders; slavery; Mount St. Mary's College and Seminary history; religious formation of alumni as seen from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, WWI and WWII; Elizabeth Seton; Sisters of Charity; including notes, diaries, and letters relating to United States missions in South America; and diaries, journals, oral histories of Mount St. Mary's alumni, showing the spiritual development of these former students; and correspondence from members of religious communities (e.g. priests, brothers, women religious, bishops, cardinals and popes). Geographical scope is global; denominational scope is Roman Catholic.

There is a card catalog indexed by author, subject, location, and names of individual. The catalog is cross-referenced chronologically.

The archival collection includes academic, administrative and alumni records, Board of Trustees minutes, and correspondence; departmental reports; development, financial, governmental, and faculty records; litigations; personnel and Mount St. Mary's Presidential records; public relations; pamphlets; Seminary information and various studies. Some of the subject areas covered are the integration of women into Mount St. Mary's in 1972, control within the church and religion versus the secular in this century.

The Archives has a few maps pertaining to the land acquisition in the development of Mount Saint Mary's campus.

The card catalog contains records of these items.

Audiovisual Materials:
There are approximately 144 audiovisual materials relating to religion. These titles support the curriculum of the Library.
Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
The Archives holds a large number in this category representing two centuries of the Catholic tradition. Religious artwork dates to the medieval and Renaissance periods and is both European and American in origin. Artwork includes such topics as the ancient Church, Church hierarchy, Church history, famous historical figures, portraits of Mount St. Mary Presidents, prominent alumni, Roman architecture and sacred art. Specific items include religious vessels, vestments and objects. This collection also contains over 50,000 photographs of art, priests, the Seminary, seminarians, and staff as well as many photographs of life and architecture on the campus of Mount St. Mary's.
The Library has 18 databases related to theology resources.

Subject Headings

Catholic Church--History; Catholic Church--United States--History; Jesuits; Missions and missionaries; Monasticism and religious orders for women; Mount St. Mary's Seminary and College; Papacy; Papal encyclicals; Seton, Elizabeth Ann, Saint, 1774-1821; Sisters of Charity; Slavery and the church; Spirituality--Catholic Church; Sulpicians

To contact the institution described in this entry, please use the contact information at the top of this page.
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  Home >> Guides >> Religion
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  June 22, 2017
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