history and collections


When Cabrini College was first established in 1957, the library was comprised of fewer than 5000 books and was housed in what is today the office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration in the Mansion. In 1960, the Library moved to Founder’s Hall (known as "Sacred Heart Hall" at that time and built at a cost of $1 million) and in 1962 housed a collection of 11,000 volumes--at which time the student body numbered 300 women. Mother Ursula had advocated the construction of a new Library building even before the college had opened and the present structure was dedicated in 1966 and counted over 20,000 books in its collections; it would be another 19 years, however, before air conditioning would be installed. The original specifications were for a building that would accommodate 60,000 books, seat 120 students and function adequately for 30 years.



Holy Spirit Library contains a Reference Collection of over 1000 print volumes and access to proprietary Internet resources. Print Reference materials do not circulate.  


Materials are classified according to the Library of Congress classification scheme.   Books and multimedia items (DVDs, videotapes, etc.) can be checked out.  Books circulate for three weeks; other formats can be borrowed for three days.  Circulation periods may be different for staff and faculty. 


A special collection of books on FDR and his presidency is located in the FDR Study on the Library’s second floor. The books in this collection can be used only in the Library.


The Autograph collection contains books that have been inscribed by the author or the illustrator. They are housed in the Library Conference Room and do not circulate. Ask at the desk if you wish to use one of these books in the Library.


Old, rare, and fragile books are housed in the Special Collections in the Library Conference Room. These items do not circulate but can be used in the Library with a Librarian’s permission.


Papers, letters, by and about Saint Frances Cabrini and artifacts that belonged to the Saint are maintained in the Cabriniana Collection on the second floor of the Library.  The Cabriniana Room is open by appointment.  Contact Anne Schwelm at 610-902-8536.

college archives

The Library solicits papers, minutes, reports, and correspondence from all departments of the College, as well as items of historical interest. Materials are available for research only. 

education resource center (ERC)

Located on the lower level of Founder’s Hall, the ERC contains a circulating collection of instructional materials and software.  Although not housed in Holy Spirit Library, the ERC materials are searchable in Cavalog.  The call numbers are preceded with the letters "ERC."

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