About the Library

The Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua Research Center at the Ryan Memorial Library provides the resources which respond to the curricular, informational, and research needs of the Seminary faculty, staff, students, and lay patrons. In addition, the Library makes its resources available to priests and deacons in parochial and other ministries, other parish ministers, teachers of religion, and interested lay persons. It also preserves and promotes the Church's cultural heritage by collecting and organizing historical materials and makes them available to scholars.

The Library's History:

As the research center of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, the official seminary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Ryan Memorial Library serves the students in the college, theology, diaconate and graduate divisions. It contains over 145,000 volumes, A/V materials and 2000 current and digital periodicals. Subject strengths include philosophy, patristics, systematic and moral theology and Sacred Scripture. Historical materials are found in the Library's 35,000 volume rare book collection, along with special collections of Catholic devotional literature, liturgical books and catechisms.

The Ryan Memorial Library, an Italian Renaissance-style building, had its beginnings with the foundation of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1832. The Library building, opened in 1911, is named for Archbishop Patrick J. Ryan, second Archbishop of Philadelphia. Its vaulted ceiling and arched windows create an atmosphere inviting research and serious study.