The Caroline Chisholm Library was founded as the Central Catholic Library in 1928, and has been serving Catholics and the wider community for nearly ninety years.
Located in the heart of Melbourne, Australia’s cultural capital, our mission is to engage both with the issues of the day and with the eternal things, informed by the patrimony of Catholic thought and of the wider Western culture.
Our community consists of those who want deeper insight into a truly human life and culture. It extends beyond Catholics to include anyone of goodwill. Accordingly, our mission extends beyond religion to encompass the arts, history, society and the law, but with a distinctly Catholic sensibility.
What we do
The Library is centrally located at 358 Lonsdale St in Melbourne. We provides a space for reflection and discussion that is unique in the Australian Catholic community.
We run regular talks, and support other Catholic and related groups by providing meeting premises. We can promote your event to our mailing list and on our website.
Members have access to nearly 30,000 volumes of Catholic and Christian literature, specialising in church history, philosophy, theology, patristics, hagiography, spirituality and mysticism. There are substantial volumes of works by John Henry Newman, Thomas Aquinas, G.K.Chesterton, Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson, among others.
Another of our specialties is our Irish collection comprising works on many facets of Irish history and a large range of biographies of notable figures in Irish historical and religious circles. This includes a number of works in Gaelic.
The library is an independent and voluntary organisation. It is registered under the Incorporated Associations Act and its formal name is Caroline Chisholm Library Incorporated. It is run by a committee of management elected at the Annual General Meeting.
The library depends on member subscriptions, bequests and donations for its funding and is staffed and managed on a voluntary basis.