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UD celebrates collection, library anniversaries

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

DAYTON DEANERY — The University of Dayton is celebrating the anniversaries of the University of Dayton and the Marian Library — unique repositories of Catholic knowledge and learning located in the University’s Roesch Library.

The U.S. Catholic Collection contains more than 30,000 items that trace the rich history of Catholicism in the United States, according to Nicoletta Hary, collection curator and a driving force behind its development and growth.

The collection was established to support the university’s doctoral program in the American Catholic experience at a time when religious orders were shrinking. Hary said the library initiated the collection by sending letters to hundreds of U.S. women’s and men’s religious orders.

“We were absolutely swamped and surprised at the success of the request,” she said. “Religious orders — especially of women — were reducing or closing their libraries and they were glad to entrust their books to a Catholic university.”

The Marian Library gathers books, rosaries, statues  — even postage stamps and wine labels  — into its expansive collection of all things related to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.

According to Marianist Father Johann Roten, director of the International Marian Research Institute/Marian Library, the collection draws researchers from throughout the U.S. and the world. The library houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of printed materials on Mary in the world as well as extensive holdings of art and devotional items.

The U.S. Catholic Special Collection is open to the public 2 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, visit http://library.udayton.edu/basics/rarebooks/uscath.php.

The Marian Library is located on the seventh floor of Roesch Library. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and evenings and weekends by appointment by calling 937-229-4214. Visit http://www.udayton.edu/mary.

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