The master list for Stritch’s Franciscan Center Library contains approximately 7,200 titles — a notable distinction on its own. But recent work within the collection revealed another significant finding.
Franciscan Center Director Sister Margaret Klotz, OSF, Ph.D., ’71, and curator Beata Pawlikowski discovered that the extensive collection contains materials not cataloged anywhere else in the global library database WORLDCAT. Pawlikowski, who is responsible for maintaining the library’s records, created several new catalogs within WORLDCAT because the items were not previously entered.
She credited the scope of the library’s collection with accommodating these unique items.
“We don’t collect for solely theological purposes,” Pawlikowski said. “The scope would be too narrow if it was purely historical.”
In fact, many of the items that are uniquely cataloged in the Franciscan Center Library are children’s books.
“Most of our collection comes from purchases or donations,” Sister Margaret said. “And occasionally, we receive multiple copies of children’s books on St. Francis and St. Clare from elementary school libraries.”
It may seem odd that books produced in such high quantities would not yet be cataloged in WORLDCAT, but according to Sister Margaret and Pawlikowski, this is quite common. Many elementary school libraries do not catalog their collections. Therefore, donations from school libraries may not be recorded until they make their way into more specialized collections, such as the Franciscan Center Library.
With an expanding collection and nearly 1,000 items not yet cataloged, the Franciscan Center Library may continue to discover more unique treasures as it adds to its growing collection, which is one of the nation’s most comprehensive on the Franciscan heritage.