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"Religion," mural in the North Corridor, Library of Congress Jefferson Building, by Charles Sprague Pearce, 1897.

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

Saint Mary's Seminary and University
The Knott Library

Address: 5400 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21210
Telephone Number: (410) 323-3200 ext. 162
Fax Number: (410) 323-3554
Contact Persons: John Hanson, Director

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Academic Year:
Monday -- Thursday 8:00 a.m. -- 10:00 p.m.
Friday8:00 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m.
Saturday9:00 a.m. -- 4:00 p.m.
Sunday1:00 p.m. -- 8:00 p.m.
Vacations/HolidaysHours are posted
Open to the public: Yes
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: No

While the Library allows the general public to use its resources and to borrow by purchasing a library card, it reserves interlibrary loan services for students and faculty only.

Photocopying is available at 10 cents per page. Besides normal copying, enlargement and reduction of print size is available. The Library will supply copy cards and change but asks patrons to avoid using twenty-dollar bills.

Reference Policy:
Telephone and mail reference questions are accepted, provided such questions are ready reference in nature. Questions that call for extensive research are not accepted given the small size of our staff and the fact that the Library is not automated. There is no distinction made about those who ask the questions.

Borrowing Privileges:
Borrowing is open to the general public with the purchase of a library card, currently fifteen dollars per year, which must be paid for and validated each year on or before the anniversary date of the card. The general public is limited to five (5) books per visit.

30% of holdings are listed in OCLC. Plans are being made for retrospective conversion whereby all holdings will be accessible through OCLC, but there is no projected date for this plan. Interlibrary loan is for students and faculty only.

Background Note:
St. Mary's Seminary and University was founded in Baltimore by the priests of the Society of St. Sulpice from Paris, France in 1791. The original buildings of the seminary were located on Paca Street in the city. The institution moved to its present location at Roland Avenue in 1929. The library can trace its roots to books brought to the new world by those Sulpician priests who founded St. Mary's in 1791. Some of those books can still be found today in the rare book collection which numbers 2500 volumes.

The Sulpician tradition emphasizes community. Consequently, up until the 1970's the library was operated by priests and seminarians. The first librarian with a masters degree was hired in the 1970's and from that point on, the library evolved into what it is today -- a major academic, theological library, fully accredited by Middle States and the Association of Theological Schools.

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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
The collection numbers 103,577 volumes. The rare book collection of 2,500 volumes, although physically located in a separate room, is well represented in the card catalog. Books in the collections range from some in the 1400s (5 books) to those published in the 1990s. In the collection, Roman Catholic materials are emphasized above all others - primarily missions. Other subjects well represented are theology, liturgy, philosophy, and church history. The rare book collection features early Catholic Americana and books in dogmatic, systematic, and pastoral theology from patristic to early modern times.

The collection is growing, with the highest collection development priorities focused on Roman Catholic materials--theology, church documents, and church history. Other areas of growth are ecumenical materials from all faiths, black theology, women's studies, and philosophy.

There is a divided card catalog: author/title and subject.

Periodicals and newspapers:
370 periodicals/newspaper subscriptions and 19,000 bound volumes. Together they represent a collection strong in religious, theological, and philosophical titles.

Titles are represented in the card catalog. There is also a holdings list, continually updated, available on index tables and at the circulation desk.

Videos and Sound Recordings:
The collection numbers 1,974 items, mostly audio and videocassettes. Topics represented are spirituality, retreats, PBS tapes dealing with religion, sociology, ethics, and other topics.

Subject Headings

Biblical studies; Catholic Church--United States--History; Christian theology; Church history; Ecumenical movement; Papal encyclicals; Patristics; Semitic studies

To contact the institution described in this entry, please use the contact information at the top of this page.
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  Home >> Bibliographies and Guides >> Religion
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  September 13, 2011
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