|History and Mission|
|A Short History|
|The Mission of the Marian Library/
International Marian Research Institute
|The Virgin Mary in Intellectual
and Spiritual Formation
In 1943, the Marianists of the University of Dayton founded The Marian Library to commemorate the triple centennial to be celebrated in 1949-1950: the arrival of the Marianists in the United States (1849); the death of Father William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Society of Mary (1850); and the founding of the University of Dayton (1950).
The Marian Library offers its resources to all qualified students and scholars who need an extensive collection of books, periodicals, and other materials centered on studies related to Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. This comprehensive collection which dates from the beginning of printing up to the present day, comprises works in more than fifty languages. It includes a general reference collection with resources in patristics, biblical studies, Christology, ecclesiology, liturgy, spirituality, church history, hymnography, iconography, general and specialized bibliography.
The Marian Library is related to the Roesch Library, the main library of the University of Dayton. Roesch Library offers students a collection of more than 1.5 million volumes, more than 4,000 periodical titles, the facilities of a nationwide interlibrary loan service, and the possibility of extensive online database searching. The Marian Library issues a multilingual periodical, Marian Library Studies (New Series), devoted to the publication of foundational studies, historical research, and comparative studies in such areas as religion, archaeology, iconography, symbolism, theological anthropology, and psychology. It also publishes Marian Studies, the annual publication of the Mariological Society of America. The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute--its full name--communicates with friends and donors by way of The Marian Library Newsletter. Its intellectual and spiritual outreach is achieved mainly through the website, The Mary Page (udayton.edu/mary).
Since The Marian Library is recognized as one of the largest and most comprehensive collections devoted to Marian specialization in the world, it was fitting that an institute be organized to allow scholars and students to exploit its riches through research and study, especially thanks to an academic program leading to the doctorate in theology with specialization in Marian Studies. In 1975, an institute of graduate studies in theology was founded in affiliation with the Pontifical Faculty of Theology Marianum, directed by the Servants of Mary in Rome. The Congregation for Catholic Education approved the International Marian Research Institute (IMRI) on November 5, 1975.
Since 1975, IMRI has organized annual sessions at the graduate level to promote the program of Marian Studies established by the Marianum, and adapted to the needs of students in the United States and abroad. Students can prepare for a licentiate and doctorate in Mariology, earn a certificate in Marian Studies, or gain credit hours toward a master's degree granted in conjunction with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton.
After the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, with its Norms of Application, established new rules to be observed in the preparation for and granting of pontifical degrees, new statutes were developed and approved in 1983. Since that date the IMRI has offered support to hundreds of scholars, delivered certificates in Marian Studies and helped students to gain credits towards a master's degree in religious studies. Most important, it has prepared hundreds of students for higher degrees in Marian studies, and has been happy to deliver since 1989 in affiliation with the
Marianum, pontifical doctoral and licentiate degrees in theology with specialization in Marian Studies. On July 26, 2008 the incorporation into the
Marianum was renewed and approved by the Congregation for Catholic Education for a new period of five years.
In fulfilling its mission the ML/IMRI pursues the following goals by
Supporting learning and scholarship faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church by assembling, organizing and making available materials (mainly books and periodicals, but also audio-visual materials, art, and artifacts) for information, teaching and research in Marian studies.
Promoting studies in Marian theology and on the role of Mary in Christian life. International in scope, it closely relates the study of Mary to Christology, ecclesiology, theological anthropology, liturgy, spirituality, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, the arts, and social sciences.
Engaging in and encouraging original research in Marian Studies. It also examines contemporary trends and seeks interdisciplinary cooperation. Furthermore, it serves as a clearinghouse for information on Marian topics by critically assessing current contributions to Marian studies and culture in the light of the Church's Marian tradition and teaching.
Publishing the results of its research and teaching, as well as that of other scholars. It makes them available in its own publication, namely Marian Library Studies and on its website The Mary Page (udayton.edu/mary).
Encouraging scholarly and pastoral endeavors through lectures and symposiums, gallery exhibits, and the use of its website.
Cooperating with institutions of similar interest and scope, especially the Marianum in Rome and the Mariological Society of America, and sharing information with Marian scholars and scholarly societies worldwide.
Providing direct and online reference service on specific research questions regarding Our Lady.
Giving recognition to scholarly achievement in the field of Marian Studies through publications both actual and virtual, and through the bestowal of the Marian Library Medal.
The following are excerpts from the 1988 letter of the Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education on
The Virgin Mary in Intellectual and Spiritual Formation.
A Comprehensive Approach
Considering the importance of the Virgin in the history of salvation and in the life of the People of God, and after promptings of Vatican Council II and of the Popes, it would be unthinkable that the teaching of Mariology be obscured today: it is necessary, therefore, that it be given its just place in seminaries and theological faculties. Such teaching, consisting of a "systematic treatment" will be:
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