An Overview of the Collections
The holdings of the Library have been greatly enriched by the following acquisitions which have been incorporated into the Library’s open-shelf stacks:
- approximately 2000 volumes acquired to facilitate the “Greek Index Project” in the 1970s, funded by the Stathas family;
- nearly 3000 items from the library of Alistair Campbell on Old-English, Middle-English, and Celtic materials;
- about 1500 works from the library of Walter Muir Whitehill on Spanish art, history, and liturgy in the Romanesque period;
- an extensive library on social and economic history of the Middle ages from the library of the late John Munro;
- about 300 books from the library of the late John Leyerle donated by his widow Patricia Eberle;
- about 500 books, microfilms, and extensive research materials of the late Andrew Hughes, a renowned medieval musicologist;
- about 500 books in various fields of medieval studies donated by James Carley and Ann Hutchison.
The inventory of the Library stands currently at approximately 130,000 individual volumes, with another 20,000 printed and manuscript books in microform. The Library also possess a rich Slide Collection, which includes more than 50,000 slides for the study of art and architecture, archaeology, palaeography, liturgy, and history. 6000 slides from the PIMS collection are available for consultation on FADIS: http://fadisx.library.utoronto.ca/cgi-bin/WebObjects/FADIS.woa
Several important special collections have been made available by gifts of books and funds. Among them, four collections need to be presented separately, as they possess a relative autonomy within the PIMS Library and are even assigned specific call number designations in the general U of T catalogue. These are:
- The Gilson Collection, containing the books and articles written by the co-founder of the Institute (together with Henry Carr), comprises about 1000 items, including the several translations, editions, and reprints of his prodigious works. The items in this collection need to be requested for consultation. Call number designation: IMSG.
- The Maritain Collection comprises several hundred books by and about Jacques Maritain and his followers which were donated to the Library by the late Norah Michener, a graduate of the Institute. The items in this collection need to be requested for consultation. Call number designation: IMSM.
- The Guest Collection, nearly 4,500 books and pamphlets on the history and archaeology of English monasticism, is the gift of Dr. Gerald Guest. Along with 12,000 colour slides amassed during his visits to almost a thousand monastic sites in England over a period of thirty years, they constitute an exceptional resource. This collection is found in a separate room in the library and is freely accessible for consultation. Call number designation: IMST.
- The Roger Reynolds collection, nearly 1,000 books, over 200 microfilms, a few facsimiles, and several pamphlets on medieval canon law and liturgy, were donated to the Institute Library by Professor Reynolds’ widow Luba Reynolds in 2015. This collection is housed in a separate location within the Library and is freely accessible for consultation. Call number designation: IMSL.
In addition to the four featured special collections, the Institute Library maintains in-house inventories of the following collections. These materials need to be requested for consultation:
- Catalogue of Manuscripts held in the Library’s “Joseph Pope Rare Book Room” (43 codices).
- Catalogue of Incunabula in the PIMS Rare Book Room (38 incunables).
- Checklist of Manuscripts on Microfilm. The Library’s materials in microform are kept in a special room called “J. Reginald O’Donnell Microfilm Collection.”
- The Henry Carr Memorial Collection of microfilms and CD/DVDs of letters of the popes that are preserved in the Vatican Archives was initiated over fifty years ago by Father Leonard Boyle and Father Michael Sheehan. The Library has: the Registra Vaticana, the Registra Avenionensia, and the Registra Lateranensia. Henry Carr was a co-founder of the Institute with Etienne Gilson.
- The John Hine Mundy Collection contains about 16 meters of academic papers of the late professor of history at Columbia University. Professor Mundy, late professor at Columbia University, was a specialist in the history of medieval Toulouse as well as the Albigensian/Cathar heresy of the period; in military history and the history of warfare; and in urban history and the history of town planning. Besides the paper material there is also a large selection of maps, slides, photographs, microfilms, and CD–ROMs. A detailed catalogue is available.
- The Pamphlet Collection, assembled and indexed (authors and titles) by Ron B. Thomson, now houses circa 8000 offprints, lectures and pamphlets on topics related to the Middle Ages. Most of these items are not found in journals or other volumes in the Institute collection.