The A.T. Wehrle Memorial Library serves nearly 225 students and faculty within the Josephinum’s college of liberal arts, school of theology and pre-theology program. Open to the public, anyone in Central Ohio can access the library’s vast and unique resources. Additionally, the Wehrle Library provides access to over 120 higher education institutions through OhioLink and Ohio Private Academic Libraries (OPAL).
The Josephinum was founded in 1888 as the Collegium Josephinum by Msgr. John Joseph Jessing and recognized as the Pontifical College Josephinum by the Holy Catholic Church in 1892. The Roman Catholic seminary’s mission is “to prepare men for the ordained priesthood through human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation.” With 145,000 items in books, periodicals, Catholic publications and diocesan newspapers, archives and rare materials, the Wehrle Library provides an essential service required for intense research.
The current location of the Josephinum was finished in 1931 and the library’s current location was created in 1982. Library patrons enjoy comfortable spaces and generous meeting rooms.
The library fields a variety of questions from a number of sources. From within the college, staff are asked for commentaries and information on Vatican documents, church positions on challenging issues, English translations of Latin or Greek primary sources and research materials for student theses. The general public has asked for resources regarding Catholic Church teachings and practices.
The library holds many unique and rare resources. Numerous manuscripts dating from the 1800s when the college was founded are available upon request. In addition, the library owns a well-preserved, Complete Works of Martin Luther from 1555, highly detailed and colorful illuminated manuscripts and Vatican ephemera possibly not collected anywhere else but at the Vatican.
Associate Librarian Beverly Lane, Library Assistant Michelle Brown and Director Peter Veracka enjoy the versatility of a small library. Beverly thrives on having multiple projects and is excited to start digitization initiatives. Michelle loves the Wehrle Library’s environment and always learning. And Peter finds the partnership with faculty to assist with students’ path to human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation rewarding. Furthermore, serving students from all across the world, including China, Uganda and Myanmar, enriches the library’s word view, provides the library an opportunity to affect change across the earth and demonstrates the universality of the Catholic Church.