Library Collections

Many unique and treasured items have made their way to Ryan Memorial Library, and several collections have been created to showcase these one-of-a-kind books, letters, photographs, and more. Our entire collection database can be viewed here; below are the more expansive collections the library owns.

Catechism Collection

The Catechism Collection comprises catechetical materials published before Vatican II, including texts intended for adults and children. The collection is strongest in English-language materials published in the United States, although there are also works in German, Italian, and Chinese.

Constitution Collection

The Constitution Collection consists of approximately 200 titles, each serving as a handbook of rules and regulations for a particular order of male or female religious. Most of the books in the collection were designed for use by particular local chapters across the United States.

Devotional Collection

The Devotional Literature Collection consists of some 300 volumes of works of Catholic devotion intended primarily for the use of laypeople either during Mass or at home. They may feature meditations, Eucharistic prayers, novenas, and prayers to the saints. The majority of items in the collection were published between 1850 and 1950 and include manuals for a number of sodalities, confraternities, other pious societies, and parish missions.

Fine Arts Collection

This collection of more than 200 paintings can be enjoyed on the walls throughout the Seminary. The Library acts as a storehouse for certain works not on display. In addition, Cait Kokolus ( oversees the arrangement of works on display.

Holy Card Collection

The Holy Card Collection, numbering over 1000 cards dating from the nineteenth century to the present and printed in the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Belgium, and other countries, provides an excellent primary resource for Catholic spirituality. The cards are arranged in broad subject areas and are searchable via a finding aid.

Liturgical Collection

The Liturgical Books Collection consists of some 300 volumes of liturgical texts published between 1850 and 1960. The collection includes missals, breviaries, rituals, pontificals, and other official texts used in the liturgy. These older liturgical books (almost all in Latin) are often of interest not only for their textual content but also for their elaborate leather bindings and beautiful illustrations.