The Library Collections

Downside Abbey has a long tradition of historical research and the great monastic historians, Cardinal Gasquet and Dom David Knowles were members of the Downside Monastic Community.

As the oldest house of the English Benedictine Congregation, Downside holds the central archives of the order as well as important collections that relate to our shared heritage. The collection is the largest single repository of its type in the British Isles and includes the missionary collections of the Benedictine Order in the New World. The collection contains over 60 incunabula, 175 Papal Bulls and a large collection of Vatican State Papers. It is the only library in the world which has a complete collection of Early English Catholic Recusant Publications (1514 – the late eighteenth century).

The library is home to an extensive set of journals and periodicals as well as historic pamphlets.

The Downside Abbey Archives and Library are open for consultation and we would be delighted to welcome you. Please click here to arrange a visit.