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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

Washington Theological Union Library

Address: 6896 Laurel Street NW
Washington, DC 20012
Telephone Numbers:
Library Director: (202) 541-5208
Reference/Circulation:(202) 541-5204
Fax Number: (202) 726-1716
Contact Persons: Alex Moyer, Library Director

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Monday--Thursday 8:00 a.m.--10:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m.-- 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:30 a.m.-- 4:30 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.-- 5:00 p.m.
Open to the public: By appointment only
Photocopying:: Yes
Interlibrary loan: Yes

Use of the Library of the Washington Theological Union is restricted to its own students and faculty, as well as the students and faculty of the member schools of the Washington Theological Consortium. Others may use the library by appointment only.

Reference Policy:
Serious research questions are accepted by telephone, mail, and e-mail.

Borrowing Privileges:
Not a lending library beyond its primary constituencies.

OCLC, Washington Theological Consortium.

Background Note:
Founded in 1968 by a coalition of Roman Catholic religious orders of men (e.g., Order of Friors Minor, O.F.M. Conv., Augustinians, Carmelites), it was legally incorporated in Maryland in 1969. It relocated to Washington, DC in 1996 and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, District of Columbia Department of Education, and the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
The collection holds approximately 75,000 volumes with inclusive dates from 1751 to the present. An ecumenically Catholic theological collection, its subject emphases include Franciscana, Carmelitana, Augustiniana, and Newmaniana. Beyond this, the Library houses the separate, non-integrated, 30,000 volume (books and journals) collection of the American Academy of Franciscan History, which specializes in documenting the activities of Franciscans in the Americas and covers broader political, economic, and historical developments in that area as well. Finally, the library also houses and is in the process of integrating substantial selections from the 100,000 volume library of the now closed Conventional Franciscan seminary, St. Anthony-on-Hudson, in Rensselaer, New York.

A computer catalog covers the core collection and most items from the other two libraries noted above. A card catalog temporarily covers the unconverted records and a complete computer catalog will soon be available.

Periodicals and newspapers:
475 current subscriptions, and over 25,000 volumes of serial publications from the 19th and 20th centuries. The profile of the periodical collection is the same as that of the monograph collection: ecumenically Catholic, with strong coverage, in many languages, of Franciscana, Carmelitana, and Augustiniana. Journal titles and holdings are also found in the computer catalog. In addition, the library maintains in its book depository substantial bound backfiles of journals from the St. Anthony-on-Hudson collection. These backfiles will not be integrated into the collection, but are readily available, and will be documented in a computer catalog.

Video and sound recordings:
The Library maintains a small collection of non-print media which serves the teaching activity of the faculty.

Vertical files:
Three, four-drawer cabinets of vertical files which date from 1950 to the present. This collection includes pamphlets and small books on Catholicism and current activities and interests within the modern Church: missions, peace and justice, abortion, etc..

The collection is organized alphabetically by subject. It is not cataloged, except for additions made after 1993.

Databases, CD-ROMS, and other machine-readable resources:
ATLA Religion Database on CD-ROM; Catholic Desktop Library; Catholic Periodical Index on CD-ROM; Oxford English Dictionary; Quickverse; and several dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Subject Headings

Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo, 350-430 A.D.; Augustinians; Carmelites; Catholic Church; Catholic Church--History; Francis, of Assisi, Saint, 1182-1226; Franciscans; Newman, John Henry, Cardinal, 1801-1890; Newmanians

To contact the institution described in this entry, please use the contact information at the top of this page.
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  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  February 13, 2013
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