Without a doubt, the NACMS library has the largest number of Marianist-oriented books, periodicals, and unbound material in the English-speaking world.
The collection of over 3,000 volumes is divided into two sections:
- The Marianist Collection consists of published works on Marianist history and Marianist life. Some are primary documents (for example, the letters of Father Chaminade and Mother Adèle); some are chronicles of various time periods of Marianist history. Biographies, menologies, works on Marianist spirituality, and Marianist published works in French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese are also part of the local collection.
- The Adjunct Collection consists of works on subjects that have influenced Marianist growth and development -- works on the French School of Spirituality, the French Revolution, and materials on contemporary theology and Church life which affect the ways Marianists go about our work in today’s world.
The library is a reference library, not a circulating collection. Many of the volumes are “rare”; others are scarce, acquired from bookstores in Europe and from used bookstores, both in the United States and abroad. Members of the Marianist Family are encouraged to come to the library and use its collection. Over the past few years, several religious have scheduled part of their sabbatical for directed reading at NACMS, and lay members of the Marianist Family have come to conduct specialized research for Marianist projects in which they are involved.
NACMS owes a special debt of gratitude to Brother Lawrence Cada, SM, who put this collection together. He has often been assisted by Brother Timothy Phillips, SM, who shops in European bookstores for material to augment the Adjunct Collection. Also, Father George Abmayr, SM; Sister Marie Abmayr, FMI; and more recently Teresa Trimboli, Dorothy Keyes, and Joanne Beirise have worked to catalogue the collection and put it into Alexandria, an on-line library catalog.