Monasteries in Europe are well known for their libraries. Besides containing important manuscripts of antiquity, many were designed with elaborate decoration and paintings. When the monastery in Norcia was supressed in 1810 by Napoleon all the books were confiscated. In 2003, 3 years after arriving in Norcia, the monks rebuilt a modest wooden shelving system in one of the largest rooms to house a new collection. Later that year, then Cardinal Ratzinger came to celebrate the Feast of St. Benedict with us. After the Pontifical Mass, a large Pranzo and a short nap, the Cardinal blessed the new library and gave the monks a short conference on the importance of the foundation in Norcia for the Church.
Essential to the rebuilding of the library and the growth of the collection have been our two American libarians, Ethan Allen and Marguerite Wolf. Over the last 5 years they have made many voyages across the Atlantic to offer their time and expertise in the cataloguing of our new library. To highlight some of the features of the collection the librarians have set up a blog site . There you can find information on special collections, ongoing projects and particular works sought.