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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives: Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

Mount St. Mary's University Phillips Library

Introductory Information

Mount St. Mary's Phillips Library External

Address: 16300 Old Emmitsburg Road, Emmitsburg MD, 21727

Telephone number: 301-447-5244

Contact information External

Online catalog External

Digital Collections link External

Access Policies

Hours of service External

Open to the public: Yes

Interlibrary loan: Yes

Reference policies External

Statement of purpose: The Hugh J. Phillips Library at Mount St. Mary’s University supports the curricula and research needs of the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs through its information resources, engaging spaces, archival collections, and user services, in order to develop ethical leaders who passionately use information resources to learn and to lead lives of significance.


Books and monographs
The Library has approximately 100,000 volumes in the discipline of theology and religion. 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 North America 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 1,500 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 250 periodical print subscriptions relating to religion with inclusive dates from 1879 to the present. Serial highlights mirror those of the book collection with a particular focus on Catholic spiritual formation.

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, correspondences, and/or 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.

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 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.

Databases and/or electronic resources External

Digital collections External (materials the institution has digitized)

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