Jean-Léon-Allie Library and Archives
Welcome to the Jean-Léon Allie University Library and Archives. Our staff stands ready to be of assistance to you in person, by e-mail or on the Web and to offer you a variety of services: reference, inter-library loans, reserve, photocopiers, etc.
Our collection contains over 500,000 volumes, 1,000 current periodicals and some 100,000 microforms. Our patrons can also access the print and electronic resources of the University of Ottawa.
Our staff offer on site lightning tours. These will familiarize you with the many resources available in the Library and will last approximately twenty (20) minutes. The online library catalogue can be consulted on Library computers or at home through our website.
The library began on April 27, 1937, as the library of the University of Ottawa's seminary. The late Father Jean-Léon Allie, O.M.I., was its founder and first Chief Librarian. After occupying that post for more than 40 years, Father Allie continued to devote all his energies to the Library, as Acquisitions Librarian, then as University Librarian Emeritus, until his death on November 26, 1996.
Starting with only four books, the library began immediately to grow through generous donations from other religious institutions, as well as through the founder's judicious purchases, to become the largest of its kind in Canada. The excellent quality of the library has long been recognized by scholars in philosophy, medieval studies and theology. As early as 1963, in a survey conducted for the National Conference of Canadian Universities and Colleges, Edwin E. Williams of Harvard University stated: "Ottawa (i.e. Saint Paul University) has nationally outstanding collections for philosophy and religious history, with advanced research holdings for work in ... medieval studies."
The organization of the collection follows that of the Library of Congress, with some adaptations in the fields of theology, church history and canon law.
As a research library, our institution seeks to embrace the principal languages and intellectual traditions in its fields of concentration (i.e. theology, philosophy, canon law and related topics). Beyond these specialties, the user will also find general works in other disciplines.
A non-circulating research facility, the library serves an international student population with a high percentage of students at the post-graduate level. Our location in Ottawa provides a unique opportunity for our students to partake of the riches of other government and research libraries. To name only a few, these include Library and Archives Canada, the library of the Dominican College, and those of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.