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A black and white view down the middle of the library stacks of the old Woodstock Library.

Old Woodstock College Library

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History of Woodstock Library

interior view of the shelving levels and artwork and the decorated ceiling of the old Woodstock Library

The Woodstock Theological Library is one of the oldest and most notable collections of Catholic theological resources in the United States. Originally serving as a library for Woodstock College (1869-1974), a Jesuit seminary, the collection was gradually formed from smaller collections of books and manuscripts that belonged to some of the earliest houses of Jesuit formation in America. It gained in renown through the work of one of its earliest librarians, and former confessor to Pope Pius IX, Charles Piccirillo, S.J. (1821-1888), who used his deep connections to obtain all four of the great polyglot bibles, a first edition of the Book of Mormon, and over thirty incunabula.  With the eventual merging of Maryland and New York Province libraries, the collection became an incredible trove of rare books and archives that reflects and embodies four-hundred years of Jesuit existence. 


After Woodstock College closed in 1974, the library moved to Georgetown University, and became the Woodstock Theological Center Library, serving as a research source for the Woodstock Theological Center, a Jesuit thinktank. With the closing of the Center in 2013, the library continues in its other missions as a theological resource for Georgetown University and for the central Atlantic theological communities. It is now located in the lower level of the Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library.