Library

Introduction

The National Seminary Philosophate (Department of Philosophy) was established as a separate unit and a house of formation under the recommended reforms in seminary formation introduced in the year 2000, by the special commission appointed by the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Sri Lanka. The result was a paradigm shift in Priestly Formation in Sri Lanka, which was long anticipated. With this the National Seminary functioned with both the Departments of Theology and Philosophy physically separated which was done due to the emphasis on the need for a more gradual accompanied formation with freedom and responsibility. This enabled the formators to co-journey closely accompanying the formatees with much attention. The administration of the Philosophate is vested under a Director who is responsible for its internal affairs whilst closely in collaboration with the Rector who is responsible for the overall seminary consisted of both the departments of Philosophy and Theology. 

The Philosophate Library   

For in depth formation in philosophy as a preparatory aspect of formation in view of Sacred Theology, continuous access to a decent library facility is important. The construction of the new Philosophate was carried out with the support of the Pontifical Opus S. Petro Apostolo, Missio – Archen, Erzbistum Koln-Germany, Aid to Church in Need, Maryknoll Fathers and Missio – Munich, in the year 1998 and completed in the year 2000, the Jubilee year of our Lord. We remember each and every one of them who assisted the realization of this renewal in priestly formation in the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka.
With the physical separation of the Department of Philosophy from the Department of Theology a new library facility was also constructed within the precincts of the Philsophate building. At its inauguration in the year 2000 the books that were in the philosophy section of the main Library of the National Seminary were shifted to the new Philosophate library which was named after the former Rector of the National Seminary Rev. Fr. Harold Panditharatne of revered memory.
At that point of shifting there had been 4700 Philosophy books and 20 subscribed periodicals. Subsequently circa 637 books of philosophy and spirituality were donated by different donors. Hence the new Philosophate library was commenced with 5337 books and 20 subscribed periodicals in the year 2001. 
Following the guidelines given to us by the Pontifical Urban University, the seminary has made attempts to upgrade the library within the limited resources available for this purpose. With the introduction of the third year of philosophy the seminary has managed to procure new books to support new disciplines and to provide students a broad range of material to read and do study and research upon. New Dictionaries, Reviews, Journals, Magazines and Periodicals are among the new additions to the Philosophate library.
The Philosophate has spent approximately USD 5050.55 for the purchase of new books in 2014 with the aid of Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle of the Vatican, in an effort to update the library. In addition to that in 2014 from a local donor the library received 193 philosophical source books of the highest quality. During the time period from 2015 to 2016 some personal individual collections of philosophical books were donated to the seminary library. In the year from 2016 to 2017 a new section of philosophical books was added to the library dedicated to Feminine Philosophy and Women Philosophers, for which approximately books worth of UDS 3000 were donated by different sponsors and benefactors both local and foreign. In addition to that a collection of approximately 2000 Philosophical PDF books were also added to the collection of books in the Philosophate library expanding its e-book facility.

Number of Books in the Library to date (UDC Classification):
Reference Section
Source Books (encyclopedias, dictionaries and other text books of Philosophy)…………….1177
ISSR Library of Science and Religion………………………………………………………….224
Subscribed Reviews/Journals/Periodicals in the Library (by volumes)………………………..296 
Reviews/Journals/Periodicals by Name:

International Philosophical Quarterly
American Philosophical Quarterly
Philosophy East and West
Philosophy—Journal of the Royal Institute 
Mind
Ultimate Reality and Meaning
Journal of Indian Philosophy
The Philosophical Quarterly
Philosophy Today
Philosophy Supplement
Revue philosophique de Louvain
Philosophical Studies
Indian Philosophical Quarterly
Philosophy and Public Affairs
Jnanodaya Journal of Philosophy
Gregorianum
Ethics in Action
Aquinas Journal
Philosophy and Technology
Philosophy and Public Affairs
Living Faith: The National Seminary Journal 
Books in the Lending Section
Philosophy…………………………………………………………………………………….2823
(Introductions, History, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Schools of Phil., Psychology, Logic, Ethics etc.)
Religion………………………………………………………………………………………...555
(Natural Theology, Comparative Religions, Buddhism, Islam, Social Sciences, Political Science)
Practical Science………………………………………………………………………………..518
(Natural Sciences [Physics, Chemistry, Biology etc.], Practical Sciences [Technology, Engineering etc.])
Fine Arts………………………………………………………………………………………..140
(Architecture, Landscape, Sculpture, Drawing, Photography, Music, Performing Arts, Literature) 
World History…………………………………………………………………………………..627
(Geography and History, Biography, Ancient World etc.)
Hagiography and Pious Biographies……………………………………………………………107
(Saints, Fathers of the Church, Mystics, Doctors of the Church, Eastern Sages etc.) 
Spirituality………………………………………………………………………………………727
(Monasticism, Charisms, Consecrated Life, Scripture and Theology in general etc.)

PDF Books and E-Book Facility (Philosophical Book Collection)……………….................. 1438

Total Number of Books……………………………………………………………… 8632

 
Present functioning and Future Plans

At present one librarian is employed for daily maintenance during lecture hours till evening. The work of the library is then taken over by seminarians at off hours. The Philosophate Library at present follows the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) system. 
We hope to increase the number of books in each section and acquire more e-books and PDF books for the E-Library facility. We are aiming at computerizing all catalogues and building up a data base for the establishment of the electronic book search engine.
We hope that the Philosophate library could receive some form of access to the philosophical book section of the Urban University Library in Rome through some form of technological mediation, as in the case of the Theologate Library where the Urban University has already given some form of access to its collection of books through a technological device.