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Collection Development

Collection Development

The Collection Development Policy of the Msgr. James C. Turro Seminary Library


Immaculate Conception Seminary of Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, is the center for theological education, pastoral and spiritual formation of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.  Immaculate Conception Seminary was established in 1860 for the formation of men for priestly ministry in the Catholic Church.  While that aim is still the primary goal of this seminary, in recent years the work of this seminary has expanded to include the preparation of both men and women for various types of ministry in the Catholic Church.  Some of our students are here for preparation for priestly or diaconal ministry, others for a teaching ministry in Catholic parishes or schools.  

The Mission of the Turro Library 

It is the mission of the Turro Library, named for long-time (1959-2004) director of the library Msgr. James Turro, to support the educational and formational goals of Immaculate Conception Seminary by making readily available to both faculty and students educational resources.  

The Purpose of this Development Policy

The purpose of this collection development policy is to inform the members of this seminary community, administrators, faculty and students, and visitors who might want to use this library, of the principals upon which the contents of this library are selected and maintained.  This development policy also provides the library director and staff with guidelines that will make for their cohesive and consistent work regarding priorities and criteria for collection development.  The standards set forth here will also serve to assist the administration of this seminary regarding the adequacy of budget allocations for its library and serve as a tool by which accountability of the library’s stewardship of financial resources can be measured.  

Clientele Served

The principal clientele served by the Turro Library at Immaculate Conception Seminary are the students and faculty of this seminary.  However, since Immaculate Conception Seminary is a part of Seton Hall University, our collection is open to all administrators, students and faculty at Seton Hall University, undergraduate and graduate.  Upon presentation of their university identification cards, all administrators, students and faculty of Seton Hall University can, not only enter, but also borrow from our collection.  We also allow entrance to our collection by students and faculty of other seminaries, colleges and universities, as well as pastors and staff of churches and even enquiring visitors.  These must however, sign and identify themselves and their interests in our guest book.  Moreover, such visitors do not have lending privileges.  Instead, students and faculty of other educational institutions are encouraged to apply formally at their institutional libraries for inter-library loan of materials they find exclusively in our collection.  

Collection Development Goals

Our principal goal is the collection and organization of educational materials that support the degree programs offered by this seminary and thus the pedagogical and research needs of this library’s principal users, its faculty and students.  To that end we conduct periodic review of the collection by faculty members, occasional de-selection or “weeding” of the collection with regards to redundancy, usage and poor condition.  Yet another goal is the employment of knowledgeable professionals on the staff, the implementing of the latest technological resources, as well as the training and assisting of patrons regarding their responsible use of our resources.  


The Turro Seminary library at Immaculate Conception Seminary is responsible to several people.  Besides our responsibility toward our accreditation overseers, the Association of Theological Schools, we are also responsible to several more local authorities.  For example, since this seminary is sponsored by and funded by the Archdiocese of Newark, we are responsible to the Archbishop of Newark.  We are also responsible to the Dean of Libraries here at Seton Hall University.  

Levels of Collection Intensity

In several regards, our collection is intentionally a limited, that is, very strategic, narrowly focused collection.  For example, since this seminary has as its primary goal the preparation of men and women for ministry in the Catholic Church, our collection aims to include, almost exclusively, such resources as help to document that Christian tradition.  More precisely, this means that while we do include several sources from the Jewish tradition, we, for the most part, do not aim to collect sources that document non-Christian religious traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, and general religious phenomena such as animist cults.  Instead, we direct any clientele who are interested in those areas of study to explore the resources of our neighbor (only five hundred yards away), the Walsh Library, the Arts and Sciences Library, of Seton Hall University which has significant collections representing those non-Christian traditions. 

However, even with regard to the Christian tradition, our collection is limited by the modest level of the degree programs which we support.  Our current collection of approximately 75,000 volumes serves the needs of a small seminary (17 faculty members and 150 students) offering three intermediate level degree programs:  Master of Arts in religious studies, Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, and Master of Divinity. 

These considerations help to explain the collection level goals in the following section of this policy statement, “Levels of Collecting.”  

Levels of Collection Density

The Turro Library of Immaculate Conception Seminary uses "collection level codes" to express our desire and strength of commitment to collecting material in various disciplines.The purpose of these collection level codes is to provide an objective method for describing the desired sizes and "depths" of library holdings in a specific subject area.Level 1 indicates a minimal commitment, a commitment to acquire only basic works in the designated area.Level 2 indicates our desire to attain more than just the basic information level.Level 3 is the instructional support level or our commitment to insure we have those works that support the subjects and levels of instruction we offer.Level 4 is the advanced study level which indicates our commitment to acquire material needed to support not just our degree programs but independent study especially by faculty.

Collection Levels


LC Class Description Collection Level
B-BJ Philosophy and Psychology 3
BL Religions, Mythology, Rationalism 2
BM Judaism 3
BP Islam, Baha'ism 1
BR Christianity
Early Christianity
Early Modern Period
BS Bible:
Text and Versions

Works about the Bible:
Bible Commentaries & Criticism

Old Testament
New Testament


BT Doctrinal Theology 4
BV Practical Theology
Pastoral Theology
BX Denominations and Sects
Eastern Churches
Orthodox Eastern Church
  Roman Catholic Church



C Auxiliary Sciences of History
(Biblical Archeology, Symbolism, Genealogy)
D World History 1
E-F American History 1
G Geography, Anthropology 2
H Social Sciences
Family, Marriage

J-K Law
Canon Law
L Education 1
M-N Fine Arts 1
P Language 1
Q-R Science, Medicine 1
Z Bibliography, Library Science 1
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