The Central Catholic Library is a library located in Dublin, Ireland. It was founded by Fr. Stephen Brown, S.J. on June 25, 1922 with the goal of helping the laity to educate themselves. It is a voluntary subscription library (the last remaining in the Republic of Ireland) and open to visitors six days a week. It has a lending section, a reference section and several collections stored in different parts of the building.
The Library now has approximately 70,000 books covering a broad range of subjects from the role of women in the Church to the natural environment, including some old books dating back to the 16th century. It also has a large collection of periodicals and pamphlets.
Stephen Brown Research and Reference Library
This, the main reading room, has sections on Christiology, the Old and New Testament, the Fathers of the Church, moral theology, literature (in particular that of Ireland, England, France, Italy and Spain), philosophy, Marian Studies, history, church music, and the religious orders. There is a selection of current periodical titles, from Ireland, the UK, France and the US, including several Catholic newspapers.
This holds books which came to the Library from the Academy of Christian Art and other sources, to which was added a valuable donation of books on modern and non-European art by a member of the board of the Chester Beatty Library.
This holds a collection of approximately 1,200 books printed before 1850, with the earliest titles going back to the sixteenth century.
This holds the collection of Bishop Kavanagh, which he donated to the Library. It also contains books left to the Library by the late Monsignor Stephen Greene.
The Library holds a substantial collection of pamphlets, which are currently being processed. These include publications by the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland and the Irish Messenger Office, as well as statements issued in pamphlet form by the Irish bishops.
Unique Classification System:
The Library is notable for the classification scheme, drawn up by its founder, Fr. Stephen Brown, S.J.. This scheme facilitates the classification of books on a wide range of topics relating to Catholic and other Christian denominations more comprehensively than a general-use system such as Dewey Decimal Classification. The system has been expanded in recent years to include contemporary issues such as the environment (33B), and refugees and asylum seekers (33C).