The Kelly Library Collection is particularly strong in the areas of philosophy, the history of Ireland, Celtic languages and literature, British and Canadian history, book history, English literature, and the history of the Middle Ages. The Catholic theological collection, perhaps the strongest such collection in Canada, emphasizes patristics, early and medieval church history, Thomism, the Bible (especially Canon, Johannine literature, and the history of criticism), liturgical renewal, religious education, and ecotheology.
The Kelly Library actively collaborates with the main university library in the selection, maintenance and delivery of one of the worlds most extensive collections of electronic scholarly resources.
Books which can be borrowed are shelved on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Books are organized A-Z using the Library of Congress Classification system. For theology, religion, psychology and philosophy, you’ll likely need books beginning with B on the 3rd floor. The rest of our circulating collection—from C-Z on the 2nd floor—contains books on such subjects as history, social science, law, education, art, music, language, literature, and science.
Most of our journals and magazines are non-circulating and can only be used in the library. Back issues are organized by call number and are inter-shelved with the books on the 2nd and 3rd floors. R recent issues are on the 2nd floor and arranged by title.
The Library’s Special Collections include rare books and archival fonds.
The Rare Books Collections include most works owned by the Library which were published before 1850 as well as later works which are exceptionally valuable, are numerically scarce, or have significant provenance. The collections are strongest in Catholic history and theology and in French literature. There are significant collections of the works of John Henry Newman and G.K. Chesterton. Many items in the collection are useful for a study of various aspects of book history (printing, binding, illustration techniques, etc.)
The Archival and Manuscript Collections include the papers of spiritual writer Henri Nouwen, Canadian author Sheila Watson, Irish politician Patrick O’Neill, and French dramatist André Antoine. Among the corporate collections are the records of Toronto newspaper The New Catholic Times, community organization Faith and Sharing, and the University of Toronto Zola Research Program.
Items in Special Collections can only be used in the Special Collections Reading Room, open Monday to Thursday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Seating is limited. To ensure that there is a seat for you, please email us for an appointment.
See also: University Archives
The collection currently numbers over 3500 titles, second in size at the University of Toronto only to the DVD collection at the UofT Media Commons. There are documentaries on art, history, science, and literature, as well as classic movies (especially foreign films) and some current releases. The Friends of the Kelly Library have been generous in donating funds to support acquistions for the collection.