Subject Emphases

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, media studies, religious studies, 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.

Additionally, the Kelly Library maintains and develops a number of Archival and Manuscript Collections and Rare Book Collectionsfor primary source research.

Circulating Collection

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.

All our books and journals are listed in the UofT Libraries’ Catalogue.

Request New Library Materials

The Kelly Library welcomes your recommendations for the purchase of material for the library collection. For detailed information on our selection mandate, you can read our acquisitions policy. Before recommending an item, please search the catalogue to determine if the library already owns it. The library reserves the right to make all decisions on what to purchase but will try to fulfill as many appropriate recommendations as possible.

We want to ensure that the books, DVDs and other library materials which we purchase support faculty research and classroom instruction.

Contacts for Purchase (listed by department)

Book and Media Studies

James Roussain

Celtic Studies

Richard Carter

Christianity and Culture

Noel S. McFerran


Richard Carter


James Roussain


Richard Carter


Remi Pulwer

Mediaeval Studies

Richard Carter


Dave Hagelaar

Slavic Studies

Remi Pulwer


Noel S. McFerran


Dave Hagelaar

Special Collections

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. – 3:00 p.m.  Seating is limited.  To ensure that there is a seat for you, please email us for an appointment.

Visit our Special Collections page for more information.

DVD Collection

The Kelly Library acquires DVDs to support the various programs of St Michael’s College and the Faculty of Theology.

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.

Find out more.

Browse the DVD collection.