Press release from the Society of Jesus
Monday 2 July 2018
Heythrop Collection of over 250,000 titles to be listed online and available at Senate House Library following Heythrop College Closure
Heythrop College Library will be closing after the end of the academic year 2017-2018. The collection of over 250,000 volumes of books and bound volumes of periodicals, widely regarded as one of the finest collections of theology and philosophy in the UK, will continue to be made accessible onsite – many discoverable online for the first time - to readers through Senate House Library from October 2018.
The Jesuits in Britain have entered an agreement with Senate House Library, University of London, where members of the Library can access the titles and order via the online catalogue for arrival at the Library on the same or next day.
The books presently located in Kensington Square are being transferred to an external depository in Ruislip used by Senate House Library, part of the University of London, to ensure the collection is properly housed and conserved as a whole.
Heythrop College collection to go online for first time in October
At present, about half of the Heythrop collection is electronically catalogued while the remainder is catalogued on index cards. These cards will be processed in such a way that they will be available online from October making the catalogue of the whole collection visible and accessible in this way for the first time.
Fr Damian Howard SJ, Jesuit provincial, said, “I am delighted that the University of London, an institution with which Heythrop College has had a long and happy partnership, is able to accommodate this significant collection. The Library will be maintained as a valuable and up-to-date resource accessible to members of the Church and of the academy.”
Developing the collection
The Jesuits in Britain have employed Mr Michael Morgan as Head Librarian. He is currently Librarian at Heythrop College. He will be based at 114 Mount Street from 1 October 2018. The Heythrop collection will be maintained and kept up-to-date with books and periodicals ordered and catalogued by the Librarian.
A proportion of the Library’s rare books will, after September 2018, be located at Campion Hall, the Jesuit permanent private hall of the University of Oxford.
Details of how to access the Heythrop collection through Senate House Library will be published on 1 September on the Jesuits in Britain website.
The Heythrop Library dates to the foundation of the English Jesuits’ college of theology and philosophy in Leuven in 1614 and is a specialist library in those two subject areas. It comprises some 250,000 volumes of books and bound volumes of periodicals. About 185,000 volumes are housed in the Kensington Square site of the College; another 70,000 are stored in the University of London’s depository in Egham.
The Library is widely regarded as one of the finest collections of theology and philosophy in the UK. The Library is owned by the Jesuits in Britain who will continue own and develop it. It will continue to be accessible to the academic community and to members of the public interested in the library’s specialist areas.
Senate House Library (SHL) is one of the UK's largest academic libraries for arts, humanities & social sciences with over 2 million books, 50 special collections and1,800 archival collections. The Library and its collections have been continuously developed since the 1870s. The Library is open to the public as well as students and academics of the University of London – membership required. For details see their website.