DePaul University Libraries > Special Collections > Policies > Vincentian Collection Development Policy

Vincentian Collection Development Policy


The Vincentian Studies Collection (VSC) is a multidisciplinary collection of resources pertaining to the study of St. Vincent and the Vincentian Family. Strongest in the liberal arts and social sciences, the VSC has a specific focus on Catholic and religious studies, history, philosophy, and social justice. It also encompasses a broad spectrum of subjects in other academic disciplines, including health sciences and law. The primary constituency of the VSC comprises the students, faculty, and staff of DePaul University, while the collection most directly supports the ongoing work of the Office of Mission and Values, a DePaul University body that collaborates with university departments and constituencies in ways that measurably enhance their understanding and support of DePaul University's distinctive Catholic, Vincentian, and urban identity.

The VSC also supports the research needs of the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity, and the lay organizations of the Vincentian Family, as well as the curriculum and research of students and faculty from member institutions of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI) and the Catholic Research Resources Alliance (CRRA).

The worldwide network of Vincentian scholars represents another important constituency of the VSC, which includes research fellows, recipients of a Vincentian Studies Institute Grant or a Vincentian Endowment Grant, and visiting scholars.

The VSC is a DePaul University Library collection. Operation of, and staffing for, the collection is funded by DePaul University Library.​


The VSC is comprised of a number of smaller Vincentian-themed collections. They include:

  • The Vincentian Research Collection
  • St. Vincent's Reading List Collection
  • The Vincentian Ephemera Collection
  • The St. Lazare Collection
  • Vincentian digital collections


The VSC includes monographs, serial publications, newspapers, photographs, catalogs and bibliographies, maps, archival material, illustrations and art objects, holy cards, postcards, and other ephemera. It also features digital objects such as digitized texts, maps, photographs, illustrations, and ephemera. All formats are collected in an effort to demonstrate the spectrum of media devoted to the Vincentian legacy.


Materials in the VSC reflect the international history of the Vincentian Family, and collection materials are therefore in multiple languages. While the bulk of the VSC is in English and French, there are also materials in Spanish, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, German, Polish, Chinese, and Tagalog. Works in other languages are collected selectively because of particular research value.


The VSC contains materials reflecting its global interest and influence, with a focus on the life of St. Vincent in France, and the development of the Vincentian Family in Europe, North America and Asia.


Both historical and current materials are represented in the VSC, with focus devoted to the historical and rare materials relating to St. Vincent and the Vincentian Family. Publication dates of VSC materials range from the early 17th century through the present.

General Subject Boundaries by Call Number

The majority of the materials in the VSC are housed in the following Dewey Decimal System classes:

  • Philosophy-Serial publications of philosophy (105): Includes serials relating to Catholic philosophy
  • Religion-Missions and religious education (207): Includes Vincentian mission directories
  • Christian theology (230): Includes histories of Vincentian academic institutions
  • Christian theology-Jesus Christ and His family (232): Includes theological tracts; materials on miracles; journals of Catholic religious figures; histories of Catholic religious locations
  • Christian moral and devotional theology-Devotional literature (242): Includes devotional writings of Catholic religious figures
  • Christian orders and local church-Religious congregations and orders (255): Includes Vincentian serial publications; annals and conferences of the Vincentian orders; constitutions and statues of Vincentian orders; rules and regulations of the Vincentian orders; tracts on holy vows; necrologies and personnel listings
  • Christian social thought (260-269): Includes theological tracts; history of the Church and ecclesiology; missals and liturgical calendars; materials on missions; materials relating to missionaries; missionary journals and correspondence; materials relating to Vincentian lay groups, including rules and regulations; devotional meditations
  • Christian church history-Religious orders in church history (271): Includes writings of important Vincentian figures; histories of the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity; biographies of St. Vincent; biographies and autobiographies of other important Vincentian figures
  • Christian church history-Heresies in church history (273): Includes materials on Jansenism
  • Christian denominations and sects-Roman Catholic Church (282): Includes writings of St. Vincent de Paul; writings of important Vincentian figures; biographies of St. Vincent de Paul; biographies and autobiographies of important Vincentian figures; histories of the Catholic Church
  • Sociology-Social groups (305): Includes materials on the historical poor
  • Sociology-Culture and institutions (306): Includes materials on slavery
  • Social services-Social welfare problems and services (362): Includes materials on poverty; hospitals; orphanages; other charitable organizations
  • Social services-Penal and related institutions (365): Includes materials on prisons
  • Medical sciences (610): Includes materials on the history of nursing and hospitals
  • Architecture-Buildings for religious purposes (726): Includes materials on church buildings; other religious buildings
  • Geography and travel-Europe (914): Includes historical travel guides; street guides of Paris; pilgrimage routes
  • General history of Europe-France and Monaco (944): Includes materials on the history of France
  • General history of North America-North central United States (977): Includes materials on the history of the American Midwest


The VSC is the primary responsibility of Special Collections and Archives staff​, though the collection is a joint effort of DePaul University Library and the Divsion of Mission and Values. DePaul faculty members, staff, and students are encouraged to recommend and to request the acquisition of specific titles. While this policy statement enumerates library intentions and actions, cooperation between the Library and DePaul faculty, staff and students is seen as a precondition for success. Therefore, students and faculty members are considered part of the VSC collection development team.

Access and Location

The VSC is primarily housed in DePaul Special Collections and Archives in the John T. Richardson Library. The access and viewing of these materials are subject to the policies of Special Collections and Archives.

However, materials judged to fit within the parameters of the general circulating library collection are shelved in the main library stacks. All item locations can be determined from DePaul Library's catalog records.

Approved, 2012. Edited and updated, 2021.

For more information, please contact Special Collections and Archives.


Call 773-325-7864

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