The giving of the first book

A Short History

In 1943, the Marianists of the University of Dayton founded The Marian Library to commemorate a triple centennial to be celebrated in 1949-50:  the arrival of the Marianists in the United States (1849); the death of Father William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Society of Mary (1850), and the founding of the University of Dayton (1850).

The Marian Library offers its resources to qualified students and to scholars who, in their research, need an extensive and comprehensive academic library centered on studies related to Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. This collection consists of books, periodicals, articles, prints, and religious artifacts which date from the beginning of printing up to the present day. Comprising works in over 100 languages, it includes a general reference collection with resources in patristics, biblical studies, church history, spirituality, social sciences, hymno-graphy, iconography, general and specialized bibliography. The Marian Library is related to Roesch Library, the main library of the University of Dayton, which has a collection of over 1.5 million volumes, more than 4,000 periodical titles, the facilities of extensive on-line database searching and a nationwide interlibrary loan service.

This is why, in 1975, it was seen fitting that an institute be organized that would attract scholars and students to exploit the riches of its holdings through study and research, chiefly in leading to the licentiate and doctorate in theology with specialization in Marian studies. Thus, IMRI was founded in affiliation with the Marianum directed by the Servants of Mary in Rome. Since then, IMRI has offered support to hundreds of scholars, delivered certificates in Marian studies and helped students to gain credits towards a master’s degree in religious studies. Most importantly, it was happy to deliver since 1989, in affiliation with the Marianum, pontifical doctoral and licentiate degrees in theology with specialization in Marian studies. Beginning in 2017, IMRI has suspended accepting new students into its pontifical degree program. It will focus its resources on its certificate and other programs.