HomeArticlesThe Creation of the Goold Special Collection at Mannix Library

The Creation of the Goold Special Collection at Mannix Library

by Kerrie Burn, Library Manager, Mannix Library

Discovering Goold at Mannix Library

If you had asked me in early 2016 whether Mannix Library had any books that previously belonged to Archbishop James Goold, my answer would have been “perhaps?” The reality was that we had no way of knowing at the time. No information indicating Goold provenance had ever been included in any library catalogue records. Involvement with the ARC-funded project A Baroque Archbishop in Colonial Australia: James Alipius Goold, 1812-1886 has therefore acted as a catalyst for the library to identify all items in its collection that were originally part of Goold’s personal library. The unexpectedly large number of Goold books identified at Mannix library has influenced its decision to create a separate Goold Special Collection.

The origins of Mannix Library’s collection date back to 1923 when a library was founded as part of Corpus Christi College, the provincial seminary for the Catholic dioceses of Victoria and Tasmania. The seminary and the library were located at various times in Werribee, Glen Waverley and Clayton. When Catholic Theological College (CTC) was established in 1972, library services were also extended to CTC staff and students. In 1999 the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne assumed responsibility for the funding of the library. This coincided with the library being renamed the Daniel Mannix Library and its relocation from Clayton to its current site in East Melbourne.

The discovery of Goold Books at Mannix Library supports earlier reports and anecdotal testimony that theological books from the Archbishop’s home next to St Patrick’s Cathedral (known as “the Palace”), went to the seminary library in the early 1970s. The Corpus Christi Seminary campuses at Werribee (1923-1972) (for philosophy studies) and Glen Waverley (1960-1972) (for theology studies) were being wound down around the same time as the Palace was demolished, and so Mannix Library may have received books with Goold provenance from all three of these locations. A 1962 Corpus Christi Seminary publication that refers to the theology library at Glen Waverley notes, “Many notable benefactions have come to the bookshelves. From the Archbishop’s library at St Patricks Cathedral His Grace sent a number of valuable works, some bearing Archbishop Goold’s signature.” The new Corpus Christi College seminary and library located in Clayton opened in 1973, the year that the 40th International Eucharistic Congress was held in Melbourne. A later College publication from 1984 refers to the librarian making inroads on the ‘Raheen’ collection, and mentions the Cardinal Knox bequest encartoned along the east wall. Cardinal James Knox (1914-1983) was Archbishop from April 1967 to July 1974. The historic 19th century Raheen mansion in Kew was the official residence of several Archbishops of Melbourne from 1917-81, most notably Archbishop Daniel Mannix, who was Archbishop from May 1917-November 1963. It seems likely that some Goold books would have found their way to the shelves of the Archbishop’s Library at Raheen. When Raheen was sold in 1981 these books may then have gone to the seminary library in Clayton and eventually found their way to Mannix Library in East Melbourne.

The Goold Project initially began when Chief Investigator Jaynie Anderson received a grant from the Arts Faculty at the University of Melbourne. This grant enabled Jaynie to commission research to identify Goold books held by the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission archives. Researcher Paola Colleoni was employed by the project and after her work at the archives she came to Mannix Library in early 2016 to determine whether any Goold books might also be held by the Melbourne Archdiocesan library. Initially all books in the library’s Rare and Early Imprint collections were examined for evidence of Goold’s signature, and to see if any items were listed on an inventory of Goold’s library that had been compiled in the mid-1860s. Since this initial research was completed, many additional Goold books have been identified by Mannix Library staff from other areas of the collection.

This initial work at Mannix Library came at an opportune time. Library staffing levels had been increased in 2016 making it possible to commence the large task of sorting and cataloguing material located in the library’s large compactus storage area. This project was well overdue; many older items had never been unpacked from the boxes they arrived in when the College and library relocated to East Melbourne from Clayton in 1999. In early 2016 Mannix Library also commissioned a preservation report on the rare material held in the compactus. As a result of this report many rarer items (including the Goold Collection) were subsequently relocated to a separate lockable section of the compactus and fragile material was rehoused in appropriate archival quality storage boxes. All items in the Goold Collection are now housed together in the same area of the compactus apart from 4 very large items that are held in the Library manager’s office. As part of the sorting process the library has also identified many items that belonged to other former Archbishops of Melbourne, in particular Daniel Mannix, but also Thomas Carr, Justin Simonds and James Knox. As a result, in addition to the creation of the Goold Collection, the library has also created a second separate special collection known as the Archbishops’ Library.

Both of these collections have grown steadily since the project commenced as new items have continued to be identified by library staff. As items are catalogued, records are being enhanced with added notes and provenance information. This information is also included in records uploaded to Libraries Australia, which has increased the discoverability of the Goold books held by Mannix Library. A spread-sheet has also been created by library staff which contains all items in the Goold Collection. This includes fields for language, general notes, contents notes, Cited in (e.g. Goold Library Inventory or English Short Title Catalogue), provenance, identifying markings, and binding (e.g. calf, cloth, paper, vellum). The spread sheet also includes library call number, making it possible to analyse the library’s Goold collection according to Dewey subject area, giving an indication of the diversity of Goold’s library collection. Once all of the Goold books held by the Mannix Library and the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission archives have been identified, it would be interesting to determine the percentage of items that had been located from the 1866 inventory, and which items remain unaccounted for.

The number of bibliographic records in the Goold Collection at Mannix Library currently stands at 136. Because many are multivolume works, this 136 equates to a total of 602 discrete items. We anticipate that there may still be a few items yet to be discovered.