Collection Development Policy - January 2005

1. Profile of the Library

St Paschal Library is the provincial library of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor (OFM) and is under the authority of the Provincial Curia of the Order. It is the main resource centre for Franciscan studies within Australia. In 1971 the Yarra Theological Union (YTU), an institute of priestly formation and theological education was formed, and the Franciscan order was one of the inaugurating religious orders. In 1973, the YTU became an Affiliated Teaching Institution (ATI) of the Melbourne College of Divinity. Course related material was provided separately by the YTU Library until 1995 when its collection was integrated into St Paschal Library. In 1988 the Missionaries of the Divine Word (SVD) amalgamated its missiology collection for the benefit of Union students. Hence, the library now houses three collections:

  • Franciscan collection
  • Yarra Theological Union collection
  • Missionaries of the Divine Word missiology collection

This Collection Development Policy refers only to the Franciscan holdings within the combined collection. The Yarra Theological Union still purchases course related material, and the SVD library is an autonomous body having its own policy. St Paschal Library is responsible only for processing and accommodation of material. It is understood that should either body disassociate, then the respective material returns to that body.

St Paschal Library has always served the Franciscan community and since 1975 has been the main library of the Yarra Theological Union. As the combined purpose of the three collections is towards Catholic theological education, the combination enriches the overall endeavor.

2. Relationship to Mission

The library collection reflects the objectives of the Franciscan Order over the period of its presence within Australia. The library assists in the theological training of students to become Friars in the Franciscan Order. Whilst the number of applicants has diminished, the Order has maintained the Library with consistent commitment. The Library Committee, responsible for the general management of the library, meets twice each year and consists of three Franciscan Friars, a member of YTU faculty and a student representative, and the librarian. The librarian is responsible for the day-to-day running of the library.

3. The Purpose of the Collection Development Statement

The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is to act as a guide to users of the collection, identify strengths and weaknesses, and establish continuing collection management. It should enable users to know what may and may not be expected within the collection, and enlighten other libraries, in order to encourage participation in cooperative programs of resource sharing and to avoid duplication of resources.

4. Clientele served

The main people served by the collection are students and researchers in Catholic theology and Catholic church history. They are members of the Franciscan community and members of affiliated institutions of the UD, especially the YTU. The library is also available to members of the public.

5. Access to the Collection

The Franciscan community and faculty of the YTU are entitled to full membership of the library without charge. The Melbourne College of Divinity pays fees for students enrolled through the UCD. Other YTU students and members of the public pay fees either through YTU or directly to the Library. Borrowing conditions vary between the different membership groups.

Inter-library loans may be arranged for any group of borrowers. There is no library charge to the Franciscan community. Others are required to follow the contractual obligations of the national inter-library loan system and pay the recommended charges.

Remote access to bibliographic records is available via the Internet.

6. Description of the Collection

St Paschal Library has the largest general collection among the YTU libraries. The collection consists of monographs and periodicals and some non-book material. Multiple sets of monographs are not usually acquired, though some core texts may be duplicated. As most of the YTU collection consisted of class copies considerable duplication of older texts has occurred and is to be rationalized. Duplicate subscriptions to periodicals were cancelled on amalgamation. Non-book materials consist of online and CD-Rom indexes and databases, online periodical subscriptions, audio cassettes, videos, microfiches and CD-ROMs.

A major section of the collection is the Franciscana (see 9 below) which is designed to support study and research projects of the Franciscan order. The general collection contributes primarily to the needs of undergraduate students of the Yarra Theological Union. It is also relevant in selective post-graduate work and research. As previously stated, the collection is most suited to research in Catholic theology and Catholic Church history.

The Order of Friars Minor is a learned, scholarly order and the collection illustrates this in languages represented. There is no restriction on language in regard to monographs. As the price of international journals has increased in the 1990s, English language has become a criterion for selection of serials.

Cataloguing and Classification

All monographs are classified under the Dewey system, using the Walsh modification in the 200 class. Cutter/Sanborn tables are used for the author's name, and then various in-house numbers and letters so that each item has a unique call number. Library of Congress and ABN subject headings are used throughout the collections. Minimum AACR second level of detail is used in the description of the collection.

Serials are entered into the online catalogue on arrival and are shelved in alphabetical order.

The card catalogue is almost completely converted to the automated system (Softlink Australia's Liberty3).

A union catalogue of the monographs and journals held by all libraries of the nine member religious orders which constitute the Yarra Theological Union is available to users via OPAC (Online Public Access Catalogue).

The library is not a member of Kinetica.

7. Budget

St Paschal Library is primarily supported by the Holy Spirit Province of the Franciscan Order. Subsidies are also received from the Divine Word Missionary order and the YTU. Some fees and scholarship grants are contributed by the University of Divinity.

It is a requirement of the Province that Acquisition to Running Expenses ratio is 40:60.

8. Selection Principles and Procedures

Principles which determine selection involve relevance of material to Franciscan studies, literary merit, enduring value, continuing relevance, authoritativeness, importance of the subject matter to the collection, scarcity of material on the subject and lack of availability elsewhere, and financial aid from the Province. Quality and suitability of the format are also considered.

Suggestions for purchases come from Franciscan scholars, members of YTU faculty, the Librarian and Reference Librarian and students, and are considered in relation to these principles. Members of the Library Committee are ultimately responsible for overall development of the collection.


The library welcomes gifts of books, periodicals, and other library materials providing they support the collection development policy and needs of the library. Gifts of materials other than those mentioned are considered on an individual basis.

Upon receipt, gifts become the possession of the library. As owner, the library reserves the right to determine retention, location and all other considerations relating to use or disposition.

Should the donor require an evaluation of the gift for tax purposes, the library will be pleased to provide names of appropriate professional valuers to consult.

Lists of donated materials are not normally provided. Appropriate acknowledgement of all gifts will be made by the library.

9. St Paschal Library Collections

The Franciscana Collection (referred to in 6) is a continuing compilation of international Franciscan scholarship from the time of St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) to the present day, with an emphasis on source material. Among the very important works it contains in critical editions are the Summae Theologicae of Alexander of Hales who wrote the first Summa, Bonaventure, William of Ockham, John Duns Scotus, Bernardine of Siena, and Laurence of Brindisi. There is a photocopy edition of John Capistrano's Opera, and the edited and published writings of Peter John Olivi and John Peckham.

Although he was not a Franciscan, the library also holds the published works of the English scholastic, Robert Grosseteste (ca 1168-1253). Grosseteste is of particular interest to Franciscans as he was engaged to lecture in the Oxford Friary during the years 1232-1235 and set a tradition of solid scholarship. Critical editions produced by the International Franciscan Research Centre of Saint Bonaventure formerly at Quaracchi and now at Grottaferrata, Italy, and from the Franciscan Institute at Saint Bonaventure, USA, are also held.

Modern Franciscan scholars of the Summa represented in the collection include Paul Sabatier and the Anglican scholars W. J. Knox Little and John Moorman, Bishop of Rippon. Arnaldo Fortini's great work on the life of St Francis is also included.

Source material for the Order comprises:

  • Wadding's (1588-1657) multi-volume Annales Minorum, the chronicles of the Order from 1208 to 1540 listing 1,919 Franciscan writers
  • Sbarelea's Supplementum et Castigatio ad Scriptores Trium Ordinum S. Francisci a Waddingo aliisque descriptos, 2 nd ed. A. Nardecchia, 1908-1936 listing 3,583 Franciscan writers
  • Bullarium Franciscanum 1218-1492, a collection of Papal documents relating to the Order.

The research tool into the writings of St Francis and St Clare as well as the early writings about St Francis Corpus des sources Franciscaines: Concordance, Index, Listes de Frequence, Tables comparatives in five volumes is also present.

Among the Franciscana serials covering theology, philosophy, history and spirituality are the following journals: Analecta Franciscana, Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, Franziskanische Studien and Collectanea Franciscana containing the work of great modern Franciscan scholars.

As well as theological and philosophical material, Franciscana also comprises an extensive biographical and historical collection (including some incunabula) relating to the Order and a comprehensive covering of all aspects of Franciscanism and the Order of Friars Minor.

As well as Franciscana there are two closed special collections and a Rare Book Collection. The closed collections are the Celsus Kelly Collection and the Australiana Collection.

The Celsus Kelly Collection consists of material collected by Fr Celsus Kelly OFM and concerns the Spanish and Portuguese explorations in the Pacific. It comprises many original documents as well as gifts to Celsus Kelly from the Portuguese Government in recognition of his work. [This collection is now available on TROVE.]

Australiana Collection contains resources relating to Australia from the beginning of the 1800s and covers a wide range of subjects. Material is assorted and includes monographs, journals, government publications and pamphlets.

The Rare Book Collection includes manuscripts and incunabula, the most valuable of which is the Franciscan manuscript Missal, the Codex Sancti Paschalis ca 1275. It was acquired by Fr Celsus Kelly for St Paschal Library in 1949 and is now on permanent loan to the State Library of Victoria.

The Special and Rare Book collections are accessible by special arrangement with the Librarian.

10. Limitations

Theological materials relating to religions other than Catholic are not generally acquired by the Library, e.g. non-Catholic theologians are limited to major authors.

11. Cooperative Relationships with Other Libraries

Cooperation with other theological libraries in Melbourne exists through consortia of online resources and regular communication through the ANZTLA forum and LIAM (Librarians of Institutes Associated with the UD). LIAM was formed to promote the "desirability of further cooperation ... between theological libraries in Melbourne which are available to students of the University (UD), both undergraduate and post-graduate". Members of LIAM meet regularly to facilitate cooperative ventures.

Libraries of religious orders within the Yarra Theological Union share resources without charges.

12. Collection Evaluation

A significant project was undertaken in 1999 by libraries associated with the UD and which was subsequently published. It involved an extensive evaluation of the collection in which a number of weaknesses were identified and were subsequently addressed. Evaluation is now an on-going task and adjustments are made where necessary.

13. Preservation Activity

Monographs: Minor repairs are performed in-house. Extensive repairs are professionally made when replacement is not possible or cost precludes. Damaged paperbacks are usually replaced.

Serials: Each year an amount is set aside for binding.

14. Weeding

As a research library, weeding is not a priority. Original and earlier editions are necessary for reference and are retained. Subjects, titles, or authors not currently preferred are maintained for historical and chronological value. Generally, items which are damaged and not considered relevant to the collection and duplicate copies which are not being used, are weeded. If needed, members of YTU faculty are asked to weed specific areas of the collection. Franciscan friars with suitable knowledge of the collection give final approval.

Withdrawn material is offered for sale to second-hand booksellers and users of the library, after which the balance is disposed.

15. Review of the Collection Development Policy

The Library Committee is responsible for review of this policy. It is the policy of the Committee to revise and reevaluate annually in the light of any changes which may impact upon St Paschal Library.

Now incorporating a union of nine religious orders: The Carmelites (OCarm), Franciscans (OFM), Passionists (CP), Redemptorists (CSsR), Pallottines (SAC), Dominicans (OP), Missionaries of the Divine Word (SVD), the Discalced Carmelites (OCD) and the Blessed Sacrament Congregation (SSS).

Kerrie Hunter et al (eds), Theological Library Resources in the Melbourne College of Divinity: a collaborative report (Melbourne: ANZTLA (Vic. Chap.) with the MCD, 2000).