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The Archimandrite John Memorial Library is dedicated to the founder of Saint Nicholas Monastery, Schema-Igumen John (Lewis), of blessed memory, whose personal library of Eastern Orthodox texts comprises the core of the collection. Since Archimandrite John’s repose in 2007, the Library’s collection has continued to grow, by the grace of God, and through gifts and bequests from individuals and from monasteries around the world.
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The Library has also been blessed with many advances in cataloging, equipment and technology acquisition, book restorations, space modifications, and training for its volunteer workers.
The collection is currently being classified with the Library of Congress system, with nearly 4,000 books classified as of mid-year, 2012. At a later date, a catalog of the library’s collection will be searchable online via our website, as well as on the WorldCat. A number of journals are also in the collection, representing most Orthodox jurisdictions.
Of special interest in the collection are Eastern Orthodox service and liturgical books in multiple languages. Also, materials focus on:
Books are in many languages, reminding users of Archimandrite John’s command of fourteen languages. The collection of Russian titles, an important part of the collection, numbers approximately 500 monographs, with emphasis on pre-Russian-revolution theological works and devotional literature. Significantly, Orthodox menaia are available in English, Slavonic, Greek, Romanian, and French.
Audio/visual materials are substantial, but are not usable at present as a skilled library volunteer is needed who can organize materials, and transfer and preserve them onto usable formats. The a/v collection includes cassette recordings of an Orthodox radio talk show hosted by Archimandrite John, and of Orthodox conferences of various jurisdictions; microcassettes of Archimandrite John’s sermons; CDs of spiritual talks by holy elders and of liturgical music; DVDs and videos of Orthodox liturgical services around the world, lives of the saints, holy Mysteries explained in various traditions, and pilgrimages; LPs of liturgical chant and relevant cultural music in many languages; reel-to-reels and other assorted formats that are not yet defined as to their content; pictures and slides of monasteries, Orthodox shrines, people, and places; and maps of monasteries and holy sites.
The Library’s non-circulating collection serves the needs of the resident monastics as well as visiting clergy, pilgrims to the Monastery, religious studies students, seekers, people from around the world who are doing research via the internet, and the local community. There are also a number of cataloged books available for circulation. The Library is open by appointment.
The Library is an institutional member of the Southwest Florida Library Network (SWFLN).