Our Lady of the Marian Library

Mission, Vision and Goals

Founded by the Marianists of the University of Dayton as an expression of the Marian character of their religious family, the International Marian Research Institute has the worldwide mission to make the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, better known, loved and served. The International Marian Research Institute serves the University of Dayton campus community, the Marianist family at large and the Church here and abroad. Faithful to the teaching of the Catholic Church and international in its scope and organization, it has a primary commitment to foster sound Marian doctrine as the basis for sound Marian devotion. This global, scholarly and pastoral mission is fulfilled through the operation of its educational program, library, gallery, museum, as well as through research, publication, speaking engagements, and various other forms of outreach, both actual and virtual.

The International Marian Research Institute continues to develop itself as one of the world's premier Marian information and research centers. It strives to be a unique strategic asset for the maintenance and strengthening of the Catholic and Marianist character of the University of Dayton, as the university carries out its mission to connect scholarship and learning with leadership and service to the world. The International Marian Research Institute extends itself locally, nationally and internationally in scholarly and pastoral service to the Marianist Family and the Church.

To fulfill its scholarly and pastoral mission here and abroad, International Marian Research Institute pursues the following goals:

Supports learning and scholarship for a new time by assembling, organizing and making available materials (mainly books and periodicals, but also audio-visual materials, art and artifacts) for information, teaching and research in Marian studies. In applying the principle of tota mariana, the assembling of materials tends to be comprehensive, taking into consideration the many cultural expressions of Marian doctrine and devotion of the past (especially through its rare book collection) as well as of the present. In this digital age, the library engages in both traditional and new methods to meet the needs and expectations of its users.

Promotes studies in Marian theology and on the role of Mary in Christian life by offering a certificate program in Marian studies and courses for a concentration in the University of Dayton's master's degree in theological studies. The courses closely relate the study of Mary to Christology, ecclesiology, theological anthropology, spirituality, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, the arts and social sciences.

Engages in and encourages original research in Marian studies by examining contemporary trends and seeking interdisciplinary cooperation; it facilitates the research and work of scholars.

Provides direct and online reference service as staff members respond to queries and requests for assistance submitted in a variety of ways. The website offers global opportunities for the International Marian Research Institute to present itself and to provide a wide array of Marian resources digitally.

Serves as a clearinghouse for information on Marian topics by critically assessing and evaluating current contributions to Marian studies and culture. IMRI keeps track of new developments, situates them in the context of the Church's Marian tradition and promotes promising ideas and initiatives.

Publishes the results of its research and teaching, as well as that of other scholars and makes them available in its own publications and website or through learned journals and in book form. Its newsletter provides reports on current activities and notices about recent Marian publications and important Marian events.

Promotes Marian art and research in related fields by encouraging the creation of Marian and religious art locally, nationally and internationally. By collecting art and artifactual materials that reflect the religious beliefs and Marian devotion of people of many different ethnicities and cultures and from various times in the Church, it seeks to provide resources for a broad and interdisciplinary spectrum of Marian studies and scholarship. Recognizing the power that art has to communicate beyond words, an art gallery and a crèche museum were inaugurated and are actively maintained. Traveling art exhibits are prepared and offered for loan.

Encourages scholarly and pastoral endeavors by seeking to foster religious and spiritual life and activity. The International Marian Research Institute sponsors lectures or symposiums, holds competitions and hosts tours of its premises. It arranges gallery exhibits (contemporary religious and Marian art) and museum displays (nativity set collection). Through such events and also by digital means, it reaches out locally, nationally and internationally to individuals and communities.

Cooperates with institutions of similar interest and scope, especially the Marianum (Rome) and the Mariological Society of America, and shares information with Marian scholars and scholarly societies worldwide, promoting an international network of friends and collaborators of the International Marian Research Institute.

Gives recognition to scholarly achievement in the fields of Marian studies through publications, both print and digital, and, in a special way, through the bestowal of the Marian Library Medal.