Library Collection



The Books

The Library owns over 83,000 items, making it the largest theological library in northeast Ohio.  Its collection of 66,000 books and 6,800 ebooks emphasizes philosophy (particularly that related to St. Thomas Aquinas), scripture, systematic theology, ecumenism, moral theology, spirituality, pastoral theology, religious education, liturgical theology, canon law, Church history, and patristics.

The Catalogs

The SMS catalog is the primary means by which patrons can locate books within the collection.  The catalog is accessible at   It is also available via a link at the Saint Mary Seminary web site at   The catalog can be searched by author, title, subject, keyword, and call number.  Search results will include the location of the book, the call number, and the status (such as available, library use only, due on ____, etc.).  In the case of ebooks, individual bibliographic records will contain links connecting patrons to the full text.

The Library is also a member of a consortium of 117 academic libraries in Ohio called OhioLINK.  Together, the Central catalog of all members offers access to nearly 44 million items statewide.  Students, faculty, and staff can use the OhioLINK Central catalog to find and request materials online and have them delivered to their home library.  The Central catalog is accessible at

And should the search of the OhioLINK catalog not locate a particular item, SearchOhio, the State of Ohio consortium of public libraries, is a third option available for searching.  For convenience, a link to its catalog is displayed in the search results of an OhioLINK catalog search.


The Library subscribes to approximately 200 print journals and owns close to 18,000 bound journals.  Current issues are on display in the balcony.  Back issues of the current year are found in alphabetically arranged boxes behind the display shelves in the balcony.  Bound journals are shelved alphabetically on mobile shelving in the basement.  All journals, both current issues and bound volumes, are “Library Use Only” and may not be checked out.

Links to about 400 ejournals may be found in the journal’s bibliographic record in the SMS Library catalog.  In addition, the EJournal Finder is a tool OhioLINK provides for locating journals that may be accessed online.  Located on the OhioLINK main page under the heading For OhioLINK Users, it may be searched by title, or you can browse by discipline.  The Full Text Access button shows a list of the databases which include the title in its indexing.

All totaled, whether current or archival, whether print or microform or electronic, SMS Library patrons have access to 760 journals which they can consult for their research. (SMS Master Journals List)

Databases (also called Periodical Indexes)

Databases provide access to the journal literature.  The primary databases for the Saint Mary Seminary Library are:  the ATLA Religion Database; ATLA Plus, Religion and Philosophy Collection; New Testament Abstracts; the Old Testament Abstracts, and Academic Search Premier.

To access these databases from Library computers, go to, or click on the desktop icon labeled “EBSCOhost SMS databases”.  Next, click on the first link labeled “EBSCOhost Research Databases”, then scroll through the alphabetic list to find the databases mentioned above.  Using the checkbox next to each title, you can select one or more databases to search at one time.

Other databases of interest are available through OhioLINK.  From the main OhioLINK site, click on the link for “Research Databases”.  Of the more than 140 databases available, a few are of particular interest to SMS students:

Academic Search Complete                          Dissertation Abstracts

Historical Abstracts                                        Humanities International Complete

Oxford resources (4)                                      Religion and Philosophy Collection


These databases include both citations and full-text resources.

Other Holdings


The Library holds nearly 500 media resources, including video recordings in both VHS and DVD formats, audio CDs, and recordings of special events within the Diocese (such as the Mullen Lectures, priesthood ordination celebrations, etc.).


The Library owns a number of resources in microfilm and microfiche format.  Notable among our holdings are a complete run of the Catholic Universe Bulletin on microfilm.  Also available are a microfilm reader and a film/fiche reader/printer.  Please request assistance from the Library staff if you wish to make use of these resources.

Horstmann Collection

Bishop Ignatius F. Horstmann, the third bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, was an avid bibliophile, and made frequent book-buying trips to Europe.  On his death, his library, comprised of volumes dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries, was donated to the Seminary.  Noteworthy among his donation were complete sets of J.-P. Migne’s Patrologiae Graeca and Patrologia Latina.  The Horstmann collection is that which remains of his original library.  Books in this collection are designated by call numbers beginning with “HC”, and are “Library Use Only”.

Electronic Book Center    

The OhioLINK Electronic Book Center (EBC) contains more than 125,000 e-book titles, covering numerous subjects, and includes scholarly monographs, encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference works. Most e-books are permanently owned by OhioLINK. Content is funded through a combination of member library contributions and OhioLINK central funds.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center              

OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) contains over 58,000 theses and dissertations from students at 31 of Ohio’s world-renowned academic institutions. In 2012, Google thanked OhioLINK for making ETD open-access content easier to find by Google Scholar. Theses and dissertations from Ohio’s academic institutions were downloaded more than six million times from researchers around the globe in 2015.

Digital Resource Commons (DRC)  

The OhioLINK Digital Resource Commons is a nationally recognized, award-winning statewide digital platform for saving, discovering and sharing Ohio’s historical and scholarly materials.

The commons represents content from Ohio’s colleges, universities and cultural institutions. The materials cover 500 individual collections and include: 3,000 digital educational films and documentaries, more than 100,000 electronic images, and more than 250,000 stored items. With combined holdings of more than 850,000 unique, scholarly and historical records, the OhioLINK Digital Resource Commons ranks as one of the largest institutional repositories in the world.