The Charles L. Souvay Memorial Library Collections

The Collections 

The Charles L. Souvay, C.M. Memorial Library at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary serves the Church by preserving its textual traditions in both print and electronic form for the current and future education needs of faculty and students. The collection supports primarily the theology and philosophy programs of the institution. The collection consists of over 80,000 monographs and journals with considerable concentrations, in addition to philosophy and theology, in canon law, history, biography, and the arts.  The library subscribes to print and online journals yielding several thousand journal titles available in full-text.

To further enhance its offerings, the library is a member of MOBIUS (Missouri Bibliographic Information Users System). This membership allows faculty and students to link to other academic libraries throughout the state to request volumes. The MOBIUS catalog contains over 23 million volumes available for request. Delivery of books occurs during the work week; usually requested books are available within three working days.

Other non-print materials include an extensive music collection on compact disc and a DVD collection which provides films of religious inspiration, biographies, church and secular history, theology, and light entertainment.

The library also includes various special collections which includes more than 3,000 titles. The largest of these special collections is the Rare Books Collection whose rarest and oldest item is a late thirteenth century French canon law manuscript. An incunabulum Bible from 1495 is included in the collection. There is also a collection of catechisms dated prior to the Second Vatican Council.

Four other collections complement the library’s holdings. The Code Collection holds important volumes of Catholic Americana. The Merton Collection consists of all the published books, periodical literature, and audio recordings of Thomas Merton. Important to the history of the liturgical movement is the Hellreigel Collection which is made up of books and memorabilia gathered by Martin Hellriegel, a Saint Louis priest and liturgical music pioneer. Finally, the Charles-Francois Jean, C.M. Cuneiform Tablet Collection consists of 92 clay tablets catalogued by the Department of Near East Languages and Literature at Yale University. These tablets can be accessed electronically via the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative.

The Kenrick-Glennon Seminary archives are located in the library. The archives include most of the works of Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick of Saint Louis and of his brother, Francis Patrick Kenrick, Archbishop of Philadelphia; photographs of seminarians and seminary events dating back to the early 1900s; and student publications and events throughout the years.

Contribution to Teaching, Learning, and Research

Currently, the Office of Curriculum Support in conjunction with the Souvay Library provides an introductory program in reference services, information technology, and bibliography and research methods as part of the course Graduate Writing and Research. All first-year theology students are required to take this course. In addition, the library’s membership in MOBIUS (Missouri Bibliographic Users System) helps assure patrons of success in their research efforts.

Partnership in Curriculum Development

Faculty regularly consult with library staff to ensure that the library supports the current curriculum and research needs of the degree programs. The Information Resources Committee is a standing committee of the faculty designed to assist this support.

The Director of the Library, a full-time member of the faculty, attends all faculty meetings and in that forum participates in long-range curriculum planning.


The professional staff of the Souvay Library consists of the Director of the Library, who is a voting member of the faculty, and three Assistant Librarians. Additional staffing is provided by students in a work-study program.

The Souvay Library facility is located within the physical plant of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, occupying over 18,000 square feet of space on three levels in the southeast wing of the building.