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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

Whitefriars Hall Order of Carmelites

Address: 1600 Webster Street NE
Washington, DC 20017
Telephone Number: (202) 526-1221
ext 201
Fax Number: (202) 526-9217
Contact Persons: Father Patrick McMahon,O. Carm., Librarian
Alternate Email Address:[email protected]

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Monday--Friday 9:00 a.m.--5:00 p.m.
Open to the public: By appointment only
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: Yes

The library is located in a monastery and is open to the public doing serious research. It is available to users any day during the equivalent of business hours; however, appointments must be made ahead of time for use of the library. Photocopying is conditional on the age and condition of the book. Books must be consulted on site but are also available by interlibrary loan.

Reference Policy:
Telephone, mail reference questions are accepted from any student looking for information on the Carmelite Order and/or Carmelites.

Borrowing Privileges:
Not a lending library, however interlibrary loan is available.

OCLC. The Carmelite Library has a friendly relationship with the Washington Theological Consortium through the Washington Theological Union. Holdings are being added to OCLC. About one-third is now available.

Background Note:
Founded by Joachim Smet in 1940.
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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
The collection holds 12,000 book titles with publications dating from 1502 to the present. The emphasis of the collection is Catholic literature dealing with the Carmelite Order, Carmelites and Catholic spirituality and mysticism. Important figures and writers represented in these works include St. John of the Cross, Edith Stein, and St.Therese of Lisieux.

The card catalog covers this entire collection.

Periodicals and newspapers:
87 current subscriptions; 1,500 bound volumes. Inclusive dates, 1876 to date. The emphasis of the collection is Catholic, exclusively Carmelite.

109 microfilms dealing with the Catholic Church and the Carmelite Order. These include Carmelite registers of priors general and other records. The library is currently working on increasing and expanding their manuscript collections by approximately 100 items per year by obtaining filmed medieval manuscripts on the Carmelite tradition including breviaries, liturgical books and account books of medieval monasteries.

Videos and sound recordings:
100 videotapes with an emphasis on Catholicism and the Carmelite Order. The collection is growing.

Subject Headings

Carmelites; Catholic Church; John of the Cross, Saint, 1542-1591; Mysticism; Spanish Renaissance literature; Spirituality--Catholic Church; Stein, Edith, 1891-1942; Teresa, of Avila, 1515-1582; Therese, de Lisieux, Saint, 1873-1897


Smet, Joachim, and Gervase Toelle, comps. Catalog of the Carmelitana Collection, Whitefriars Hall. Chicago: Carmelite Press, 1959. [2371 titles.]

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  December 19, 2013
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