Feb 232015

Here is the ninth in the series of guest posts written by one of SUNCAT’s Contributing Libraries. This guest post has been written by Michael Morgan, Librarian at Heythrop College, which is part of the University of London, and shares a library management system (Innovative Millennium) and library catalogue with Senate House Libraries and a few other libraries in a consortium setting. Senate House Libraries comprises of eight different libraries including those of the Advanced Institute of Legal Studies, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Warburg Institute. Serial records from all these libraries and associate collections, such as Heythrop College and the Wallace Collection, can be found in SUNCAT.


Heythrop College traces its history back to the founding of an English Jesuit College in Louvain, Flanders, in 1614, which moved to Liège in 1624. In 1794, it relocated to Stonyhurst in the north of England. The College takes its name from Heythrop Hall in Oxfordshire, where it was based from 1926 to 1970. In 1970, the College moved to Cavendish Square in London and became part of the University of London. This period saw the College developing from being a theological college mainly for those studying for the priesthood to becoming an institution open to the secular world.

In 2014, the College celebrated its 400th anniversary, culminating in a two-day conference with the theme, “For the Greater Glory of God and the More Universal Good” at University of London Senate House in June. The conference explored not just the history of the College, but also the Jesuit tradition in education, with a final lecture by Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. In mid-October, a book was published on the history of the College by Michael Walsh, who was formerly the Librarian at Heythrop.

To accompany the conference, an exhibition was mounted in Senate House Library of books from Heythrop College, Senate House Library and the Warburg Institute. Heythrop lent several examples of early Jesuit theology, while Senate House Library lent some of their early anti-Jesuit works. The books were not only theological, but also showed the range of creativity and scholarship of Jesuits, such as works on mathematics by Christoph Clavius (1538-1612), and a first edition of the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889).

Image of the periodicals area of Heyhtrop College Library

The periodicals area. Heythrop College Library, 2015.

Heythrop College today is an institution which has staff and students of a variety of religious backgrounds (or of none). The College is proud of its adherence to rigorous academic standards and intellectual inquiry. The Library reflects this with an excellent collection in all areas of philosophy, in addition to its collections in theology, church history and religious studies. As a College with a strong Catholic history, we are particularly strong on Roman Catholic history and theology. We have around 180,000 books in the library – which, given the number of students at Heythrop (less than a thousand), means that we have a high ratio of books to students. We also have a pre-1801 book collection of around 40,000 items.

An image of Heythrop College Library's run of the Botanical Magazine

The Botanical Magazine, Hethrop College Library, 2015.

We began automating various library procedures from the mid-1980s, and in 1990 joined a consortium based at the Senate House Library for our automated library system (which was Libertas back then). We are still in partnership with Senate House Library, and use Innovative Millennium for Circulation, Cataloguing, Acquisitions and Serials, together with our Web OPAC. We currently subscribe to around 180 periodicals, some of which are exchanged for copies of the Heythrop Journal. These are in our specialist subject areas of Philosophy and Theology. One of our most popular resources is our full run of the Tablet magazine, which began in 1840 and is used as a source for British Catholic history.

Heythrop has been at its current leafy campus in Kensington Square since 1993. However, it may be that in the near future we will again be moving as Heythrop is exploring a possible strategic partnership with St Mary’s University, Twickenham.


SUNCAT would like to thank Michael for writing this post. If you would like to write a post on your SUNCAT Contributing Library and its serials collections please let us know.

 February 23, 2015  Posted by at 2:09 pm Contributing Libraries Tagged with: ,  Add comments

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