New partnership between the Carmelite Library and the University of Divinity

The Prior Provincial of the Carmelites, Fr Bruce Clark O.Carm, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Peter Sherlock, are pleased to announce the appointment of the University of Divinity as the Managers of the Carmelite Memorial Library of Spirituality and Mariology (the Carmelite Library).

The Library, currently based at Middle Park, houses a unique collection dedicated to study and research in the areas of Carmelitana, Spirituality & Mysticism, and Mariology. It also hosts a significant collection of rare books, dating back to 1538.

The University has allocated a staff team who will manage the Carmelite Library from OCT 2023 until DEC 2024. During this time the University team will work with the Carmelite Library Interim Board to collaboratively develop recommendations as to the most appropriate long-term structure for the library operation. This ongoing and evolving discussion will include consideration of the following key issues:

  • “Right-sizing” the collection by relocating materials that are not part of the three key focus areas of the Carmelite Library
  • The appropriate protection and housing of the rare books collection
  • The potential role of digitisation in preserving and extending the availability of library resources
  • The most suitable long-term home for the core collection (i.e. that is compatible with the Carmelites’ vision for this ministry, is cost-effective, professionally managed, secure and highly accessible).

The Carmelite Library collection will remain the property and spiritual patrimony of the Carmelite Province. Maintaining access to the collection for Carmelites, scholars, students and members of the public is acknowledged as a key priority moving forward.

In order to allow time for the University team to prepare for this project, the Carmelite Library will be closed to the public from THU 28 SEP 2023 until the end of January 2024.  Borrowing and returning books from the Carmelite Library collection during this period can be organised via the Mannix Library in East Melbourne.

Quotes attributable to Fr Bruce Clark O.Carm:

“The Carmelite Library is a significant resource for spirituality students and seekers. We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the University as we seek to extend the reach and impact of the Library into the future.” 

Quotes attributable to Professor Peter Sherlock:

“The University of Divinity works collaboratively in support of 16 different specialist library settings. We appreciate the confidence of the Carmelite Fathers in our specialised expertise and we look forward to exploring new opportunities for the future of the Carmelite Library” 


Carmelites – Fr Paul Cahill O.Carm – Member of the Interim Library Board – 0419 136 030

University – Kerrie Burn – University Librarian – 03 9853 3177 or email kburn@divinity.edu.au

Add comment

About VOX

VOX brings members of the University, especially academic staff, into conversation with churches, the community and you. It publishes original material and may republish or link to items from blogs, social media and news media.