Opening Day Collection
In 1815, the Congregation of the Mission was given a contract to establish its first mission and seminary in the United States. Considering a library essential to the success of their seminary, these missionary priests scoured France and Italy to gather up every type of donated book that would be of use: missals, bibles, breviaries, rituals, catechisms, multilingual dictionaries, histories, etc.
The approximately 3,000 volumes published prior to 1818 retained at the seminary and college at St. Mary of the Barrens, in Perryville, Missouri, are known as the Opening Day Collection.
In 1995, when the seminary and college closed, this collection, along with other notable historic and rare titles from their library, were transferred to the Congregation’s descendant institution, DePaul University.