Theological Resources in the Melbourne College of Divinity

Divine Word Missionaries, Box Hill

Patrick Murphy Memorial Library

Collection Policy

1. Library Profile
The Patrick Murphy Memorial Library is the private in-house library of the Divine Word Missionaries in Melbourne. The Divine Word Missionaries are an international religious order of the Catholic Church. The Library was established in the early eighties to meet the needs of the Order's seminarians, who were completing their degrees at the Yarra Theological Union. It was named after Fr. Patrick Murphy, a Divine Word Missionary priest who was killed in a plane crash in Papua New Guinea in 1978.

As no other residence of the Divine Word Missionaries in Australia has any library of significance, the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library has taken on the role for the order of collecting a wide range of books on Missiology. The aim of this collection is to support priests’, seminarians’, and academics' studies and research, and to help prepare them for their work as missionaries.

During 1988 the Divine Word Missionaries combined their specialist collection with the Franciscans in the St. Paschal's Library at Box Hill. This was to enable wider access to the collection by students, staff, and researchers. The main subject areas that were deposited in St. Paschal's Library were Black and Liberation Theology; Christianity and Culture; Mission of the Church; Missiology; Non-Christian Religions; Sociology and Social Change, as well as a smattering of books on languages, ethnology, description and travel, and modern history and civilization. A total of 1243 books were placed in the library. All bound journals relating to the mission area, about 35 titles in all, more than half of the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library's journal collection, were relocated to St. Paschal's Library. Today the number of books housed in St. Paschal's Library belonging to the Divine Word Missionaries would be closer to 5000.

The Patrick Murphy Memorial Library is staffed by a professional Librarian one day per week. The librarian's chief role is maintaining the library, ensuring that it meets all the standards of an academic library. The librarian answers to a member of the Order responsible for the library and its development. This person is generally an academic, and has a good working knowledge of the subject area so that he is able to advise on book selection, and make recommendations.

2. Relationship To Mission
The aim of the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library, apart from supporting the study needs of its seminarians, is to develop a collection of research standard in the area of Missiology, and other related subject areas such as sociology of other cultures, comparative religion, and non-Christian religions. This collection is to aid the members of the order of the Divine Word Missionaries in their preparation for life as missionaries, and to provide materials for those priests who are pursuing an academic path, either in postgraduate studies or as lecturers.

3. The Purpose Of This Collection Development Policy
The purpose of this collection development policy is to provide the librarian and library owners with some concrete guidelines for the development of the library particularly in the area of book selection. Having a written collection development policy will ensure that the library's focus is not lost.

4. Clientele Served
The Patrick Murphy Memorial library, housed at Dorish Maru College, the residence of the Divine Word Missionaries, is primarily used by resident lecturers and seminarians working or studying, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, at Yarra Theological Union, There are also non-English speaking students within the community studying English and learning about Australian culture. The library is also used by the resident priests for their own self-education and spiritual development. The library is open to students from the Yarra Theological Union.

The specialist Missiology Collection of the Divine Word Missionaries, housed at St. Paschal's Library, serves the needs of undergraduate and postgraduate students and faculty at Yarra Theological Union. Books in this collection are available for loan to researchers attached to other institutions through the inter-library loan system.

5. Access To The Collection
As the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library's primary focus is to meet the needs of the Divine Word Missionaries, it does not receive any outside funding, the contents of the book collection are not available to the wider community through means of electronic access such as Kinetica. However journal holdings are recorded in AULOTS.

Within the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library there is a card catalogue which covers the period from the early eighties up to 1992. These records are gradually being added to the computerised catalogue as time permits. Catalogue records after 1992 are accessible on the computerised catalogue (Db Textworks). The library's holdings are also recorded in the Yarra Theological Union catalogue housed in St. Paschal's Library.

The specialist Missiology Collection is included in the St. Paschal's online catalogue. This collection is available as per St. Paschal's policies.

All Divine Word Missionaries and students of the Yarra Theological Union can borrow the collection in the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library. The general public may gain access to the collection and work in the library with prior permission from the librarian or from a staff member of the Divine Word Missionaries. A photocopier is available for copying of materials.

The Patrick Murphy Memorial Library does not charge a membership fee as it is an in-house library and primarily aims to serve the resident Divine Word Missionaries. Members of the Yarra Theological Union are also given free access to the collection. However, the recommended ALIA rates are charged for inter-library loans to people outside the Divine Word Missionary and Yarra Theological Union communities.

6. The Collection

The main collection of the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library reflects the courses taught at the Yarra Theological Union. The collection aims to support the students in their studies. The library also aims to provide students with sufficient materials to assist them during their practical work placements, both pastoral and parish.

The library has a good basic undergraduate collection of books. The strengths of the collection lie in New Testament Studies, Theology, Christology, Christian Experience and Life, Local Church and Parishes, Social Theology and Church History. Being a Catholic order most of the books have a strong Catholic bias. The Devotional Literature and Christian Experience and Life collection is continually growing.

The Patrick Murphy Memorial Library has a small reference collection. The strength of the reference collection lies in the areas of Biblical studies and theology. The collection includes the German publication Lexicon für theologie und kirche in 14 volumes; this was donated to the library. There are also a number of Catholic dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

The specialist collection of books located in St. Paschal's library has its greatest strength in the area of Missiology. The collection includes some foreign language material, and is supported by about 35 journal titles. It aims to meet both undergraduate and postgraduate needs. Books are purchased from all around the world. There is a bias towards Asian materials, as this is where a lot of the Divine Word Missionaries' work takes place, and the largest area of seminarian intake.

The Divine Word Missionaries also have a strong collection of books in the areas of Comparative Religion and Cultural Anthropology, Third World Theologies, Liberation Theology, and Feminist Theology housed in St. Paschal's Library. As our books are inter-shelved with St. Paschal's books, and are indistinguishable on the shelf from St. Paschal's books, they have been included in St. Paschal's conspectus as part of their records, adding to the overall strength of their collection in these areas.

All books housed in the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library are classified using the 20th edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme and the 9th edition of the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Books are catalogued using the fields outlined for second level cataloguing in the 2nd edition of the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. All records are entered onto the computerised catalogue (Db Textworks) and most fields are searchable. CIP data and the Library of Congress catalogue on the Internet are consulted when cataloguing books. Divine Word Missionary books housed in St. Paschal's Library are classified by the St. Paschal's staff according to their cataloguing policy. This is so the books can be inter-shelved with the St. Paschal's collection.

In conclusion the Patrick Murphy Memorial Library's specialist Missiology collection is its outstanding feature. It is this collection which would be of interest to students of the Melbourne College of Divinity pursuing advanced studies. This collection is housed in St. Paschal's Library.

7. Budget
The total budget allocation for the library in 2004 was $28, 000 which includes a payment of $11, 000 to St Paschal Library to house the Divine Word Missionaries books, and to process them (cataloguing, labeling, shelving).

More than half of the acquisitions budget is spent on Missiology books, as this is the order's primary focus. Many of these books are purchased from overseas.
Money is allocated to serial subscriptions so that current subscriptions may be maintained and any relevant new titles may be added.

8. Selection Principles and Procedures
Library materials are selected from publishers' catalogues, book reviews in journals, and by recommendation. Books are mainly selected in the area of missiology, with a particular interest in Asian materials.

Books are occasionally acquired through donation, generally from departing students and priests. Donated materials are checked for relevancy to the collection. However, any books written or edited by Divine Word Missionaries donated to the library are automatically accepted.

New journal subscriptions are occasionally added to the library. If a new journal title in the area of missiology is published, and it receives favourable reviews, and is published by a known or reputable publisher, the library will subscribe. If an existing title is recommended by the assigned priest or a visiting Divine Word Missionary academic the library will subscribe, provided that no other libraries within the Yarra Theological Union subscribe.

9. Cooperative Arrangements
The Divine Word Missionaries' residence, Dorish Maru College, is located next door to St. Paschal's Library, and the Yarra Theological Union. The students living at Dorish Maru College generally study at the Yarra Theological Union. As Divine Word Missionaries they automatically have borrowing rights at St. Paschal's Library. There is a good professional relationship with the staff at St Paschal Library.

The proximity of St. Paschal's Library does not affect our purchasing decisions in the area of students textbooks. Our aim to support our student's theological degree studies, making sure that they have access to the books they require.

10. Weeding
The library does not have any formal weeding policy although relevance, age and condition of the book are considered.

11. Review of the Collection Development Policy
If this collection development policy is to remain a useful working document it must be reviewed on a regular basis. The library's main focus of missiology is unlikely to shift. However, as new visiting lecturers with subject knowledge strengths in different areas arrive in the Dorish Maru Community, it would be advisable for the library to review its policy at these times, particularly if particular weaknesses of the collection are identified by these experts. Otherwise, an overall review of the policy every three years would be sufficient to meet the Divine Word Missionary communities changing needs.

Updated May 2005