The Library of Holy Cross Monastery has grown organically with the community, and represents its many interests over the 125 years of the Order’s existence. The Library presently contains approximately 15,000 volumes in four collections:
The main Monastic Library contains the bulk of the collection.
- The Rare Book Room contains printed before 1900, the original library of the earliest days of the community.
- The Guest House Library is an eclectic collection for the use of guests during their stay at the Monastery.
- The Monastic Studies Library is a select collection of books fundamental to monastic studies, principally for the Novitiate.
The principal strengths of the collection are in spirituality, scripture, monastic studies, Anglican studies and religious biography.
The Monastic Library is a congenial place for study and writing, and it is equipped with wifi as well. If you have a writing or study project, why not consider a Library Retreat? Contact the Guest House office to book your time with us.
The collection is cataloged according to the Dewey Decimal system, with some modifications for our own special needs. Books acquired before 2007 are cataloged in the old-fashioned card catalog. Since then we have been using ResourceMate to computerize our new holdings.
The collection grows principally through individual acquisitions by the brethren, and by gifts of books. Because of this, the Library is itself an intellectual history of the Order through the years. Gifts of books are often made when a friend of the Community retires or dies. Such gifts help solidify the Library’s holdings.
Since we do not have the financial resources to purchase new books systematically, we depend on donations to make new acquisitions. Many new publications, particularly academic and scholarly books, are now very expensive. Your gift to the Library Fund will make possible the purchase of new books. In addition, there are many books which are now out of print or not easily available which would make important additions to the collections. Perhaps you have one or more of these books in your own collection and would like to donate them. Please check the acquisions page for books we are particularly interested in adding to the collection. All gifts to the Library are tax deductible.
Library Volunteers begin by participating in a scheduled library retreat in which they acquaint themselves with the Library, help with special projects and learn our systems, and then may help in the Library when they make an individual retreat or are otherwise able to.