Library


History

 

The Holy Spirit Seminary Library is a special library with emphasis on materials of theological, philosophical and religious nature. It serves as an information and resource center to support the theological education and training of priests, religious and the laity. The Library officially came into existence in August 1967. It included books from the Seminary in Tai Koo Lau as well as from the Regional Seminary Library which served the needs of the Holy Spirit Seminary. In 1971, the Library incorporated the books of the Catholic Center Library and extended its service to Holy Spirit Seminary College of Theology and Philosophy.


Development

 

With the increasing demand for theological education for the laity and great interest in the area of theology and religious studies, the Seminary College plays an important role in the Diocese of Hong Kong in developing theological education. With the development of the Seminary College, a postgraduate programme in theology was introduced in 1994. In line with the development of the postgraduate programme, the Library was automated and spatially extended. In 1997, the Dynix automated library system, a system used in the public libraries in Hong Kong, was installed. In 2014, with a view to upgrading our library system and improving the library services in this fast-changing world of technology, a new library system called “Aleph” was installed. This system enables users to have a faster and easier access to our Library’s collections, the EIN consortium’s collections and the Internet information world. The Library is now fully automated in the areas of cataloguing, circulation and public online catalogue.

The Holy Spirit Seminary Library has been renovated and extended to occupy also the first and second floors of the existing building, and providing a more spacious and comfortable environment for the users. The ground floor houses extensive collections in Chinese, the first floor contains the Western languages section, and the second floor houses periodicals of the current year.

The Library collections have been growing as a result of gifts, endowments and purchase using its subscription funds. In 1967, the collections contained 6,000 volumes in all, but now there is a Chinese section with about 31,600 volumes of books and a Western language collection with about 47,100 volumes. The Library subscribes to around 107 titles of periodicals in different languages.

In 2003, a Chinese database was created on the web to provide theological information in Chinese for Chinese Church communities all over the world.This webpage contains links to a collection of Chinese documents promulgated by the Popes and the Sacred Congregations of the Roman Curia. Users can also access the full text for a number of Chinese theological journals and reference books of our Library, and perform search via this webpage.

With the advent of computing and information technology, in 2014 our library service was further upgraded with the launch of an online union catalogue called “Easy Search”. This web-based catalogue has greatly enhanced user accessibility to the library service, and enables our users to perform a number of essential tasks such as searching the materials, checking their circulation records, renewing and holding items, receiving pre-overdue and overdue e-mail notices etc. via the Internet.

In order to better serve our users in this digital world, our Library has been enhancing our electronic resources since 2005. We have currently subscribed to seven English (Cambridge Companions, Cambridge Books Online, Digital Loeb Classical Library, Ebook Central, Gale, iG Library and NetLibrary), three Chinese (Super Book City, iRead ebook and HyRead ebook) e-book collections and one e-journal collection (Gale). These collections, comprising more than 24,200 titles, in the areas of religion, philosophy and culture, provide reference sources in addition to the existing “conventional” printed books to our users. Moreover, to enhance our web-based catalogue, we have begun to add the table of contents and the book cover images to some of our core materials.


Ecumenical Information Network (EIN)

 

Besides using the information resources in our Library, users can also access the largest theological library catalogue in Hong Kong by searching the union catalogue of the Ecumenical Information Network (EIN). This network was established in March 1995 in Hong Kong. It is a library automation project aimed at contributing to theological education and church unity by networking the Christian religious and theological libraries in Hong Kong.

This cooperation facilitates the sharing of library and information resources among EIN member libraries. The EIN union catalogue enables users to search through collections of the participating libraries. The union catalogue includes about 547,700 records and is the largest Chinese theological library catalogue not only in Hong Kong, but also in the world.

At present, there are five member libraries in the EIN:
Alliance Bible Seminary Library
China Graduate School of Theology Library
Evangelical Seminary Library
Holy Spirit Seminary Library
Lutheran Theological Seminary Library