Facts About the Woodstock Center Library

  • The Woodstock Theological Center Library was founded in 1869 as a library for young men studying for the Jesuit priesthood.
  • Located at the Woodstock College outside of Baltimore from 1869-1970, and in New York City from 1970-1974, it was moved to its present location in 1974.
  • It is one of the leading Catholic theological libraries in North America. It has been said that Woodstock's collection of Catholic Americana is surpassed only by the collection of Americana in the American Antiquarian Society Library in Worcester, MA (1812) and the John Carter Brown Library in Providence, RI (1846).
  • Its Jesuitica collection--Jesuit spirituality, history, educational philosophy and documentation--is unparalleled in the United States.
  • Its Biblical studies collection is one of the finest in any one library.
  • It has over 190,000 volumes.
  • The library acquires annually 750 periodical titles.
  • Its rare book collection of over 17,500 titles is one of the outstanding theological rare book collections in the United States; some of the rare volumes are:

A first edition of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola (1548)--the only other copy in the United States is at the Library of Congress;

A complete set of the catalogs of the provinces of the Society of Jesus dating back to the restoration of the Society in the early 19th century;

A complete set of the four best known 16th and 17th century Polyglot Bibles;

Riccioli map of the moon

A first printing of the map of the moon in a book by Italian Jesuit Riccioli (1656);

Two block books from the early days of the Society of Jesus in China (1670, 1700);

A first edition of Pseudo-Martyr, the first book published by John Donne (1610);

Seven first editions of books by Cardinal John Henry Newman; and

A first edition of The Book of Mormon by Joseph Smith.

  • Its Judaica collection includes not only a wealth of basic scriptural texts, reference books, and other background reading but rare items such as an illuminated Jewish marriage document (1790) and an early 19th-century Torah.
  • Funding of the Woodstock Theological Center Library:

Beginning in fiscal 1992, over a graduated three-year period, Georgetown University has accepted responsibility for the acquisition of books and periodicals for the Woodstock Library.

Beginning in 1993, the University allocated $100,000 for acquisitions and, thereafter, the acquisitions budget increases by the same percent as the University's Lauinger Library budget. The University provides the space, employs the staff, and funds supplies and facilities.

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