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St Mary’s Library Acquires the Franciscan Studies Collection

St Mary’s University, Twickenham announces its delight in acquiring the Franciscan Studies Collection.

Following the closure of the Franciscan Study Centre in Canterbury, St Mary’s University, Twickenham is pleased to announce its delight in acquiring the Centre’s world-renowned Franciscan Studies Collection.

The collection is believed to be the largest collection related to Franciscanism in Northern Europe, combined with a Holy Land collection, and including over 5,000 volumes, plus 50 runs of periodicals and smaller magazines.

Rev Dr Christopher Dyczek, Order of Friars Minor in Great Britain, reflecting on the new library said, “There is a spirituality of the cross which lessens people’s burdens, and a spirituality of the heart which pours light into their individual lives.

“Communities of peace-makers need both of these. We hope that these substantial texts from Franciscan community guides of the past will continue to be welcomed as effective resources in our modern age.

“This is a rich and diverse tradition. Many items have only very recently become available in edited and published versions. They provide an exciting challenge to modern researchers in the fields of theology, philosophy, social development and institutional innovation.”

Prof Peter Tyler, Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Spirituality and Reconciliation (InSpiRe) at St Mary’s,added, “We are delighted that the Franciscan studies collection will now find a new home here at St Mary’s.

“With our current links with both the Carmelite and Dominican Orders, the arrival of the collection will usher in a new era of spirituality studies at the university.”

Its contents include English and Latin texts of the writings of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, Angela of Foligno, St. Anthony of Padua’s sermons, St. Bonaventure’s collected works, and major writings by Bl. John Duns Scotus and William of Ockham. Among the many writings included are works by Thomas of Celano, Agnes of Prague, Guibert of Tournai, Roger Bacon, RaimundoLlull, William of Rubruck, Angelo Clareno, Bernardine of Siena, and Lawrence of Brindisi. These will be of particular interest to those carrying out primary research on St Francis and Franciscanism.

The previous process of assembling the collection was a joint commitment of the Friars Minor with the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in Great Britain and Ireland, for whose kindness in the transfer St Mary’s is also grateful.

Anne Hutchinson, Assistant Director, Library Services at the Universitycommented, “The Library is delighted to be able to provide a new home for the Franciscan Studies collection, which complements our existing holdings.

“The Collection provides a breadth and depth of primary material together with Franciscan scholarship which we are privileged to be able to make available to scholars and seekers alike.”

Prof Philip Booth, Director of Research at the university, warmly greeted the arrival of the collection, “This new addition to the library provides an excellent resource for PhD students. Overseas PhD students can study remotely whilst visiting St Mary's a number of times a year for supervisions and to access library resources. Both part-time and full-time PhD students can also use the facilities of St Mary's new Doctoral College.”

The University will be holding a colloquium to coincide with the arrival of the collection in the coming months,at which further details of new study opportunities in the area of Franciscan studies will be announced.

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