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male student reading at the library

The Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham Library at Georgian Court University provides you with a wide variety of resources to foster your academic excellence and personal growth. Opened in 1993, the 44,000-square-foot facility is open 7 days a week during semesters with librarians and assistants to support all of your research and presentation needs.

The library comprises three floors housing more than 160,000 books; 5,000 media items such as DVDs and CDs; 570+ print journals and magazines; group study areas and seating locations.


Explore the many collections at the library, which are housed with the first floor (Room 117). The Archives collection is secured and housed on the second floor (Room 205).

  • The Merton Collection:
    Located in Special Collections (first floor), the Robert X. and Sharron L. Briden Merton collections consist of books and other materials prepared by Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O., or by others about him. It includes an almost complete collection of Thomas Merton’s major books in first editions and many articles published throughout his lifetime.
  • Special Collections:
    These items are listed in the online catalog with the location designation “SPECCOL” and typically do not circulate outside of the Special Collections room. These can be accessed in the Special Collections room (first floor) by presenting the call numbers of requested materials to the staff members at the circulation desk. Users must sign a visitor register and leave all tote bags, briefcases, backpacks, etc. with the staff member.  Researchers may request up to three items at one time and may take notes with pencil and paper—or use a laptop— only.  Some items may be in fragile condition or in potential danger of exposure to the strong light of the copy machine and therefore, may not be copied.  Circulation desk personnel can assist with photocopying items that can be copied.
  • Children’s and Young Adult Literature Collection:
    These materials are listed in and searchable through the Library’s Discovery Catalog. They may be checked out at the library circulation desk by current students, faculty and staff only.
  • The Map Collection:
    The collection includes political, historical and topographical maps from many areas of the world, but the emphasis is on New Jersey. Our maps are fully cataloged and are located in the online catalog by subject, title, and issuing agency using the location designation “MAPS”. Maps do not circulate outside the reading room, except to faculty members for use in class.
  • The Archives Collection:
    This collection is housed in the Archives Room (Room 205) located inside the Archives Office. The special nature of these resources dictates that they receive special handling, as well as remain in a temperature controlled environment. The materials in this collection focus mainly on primary sources relating to the history of GCU, and publications by and about administrators, alumni, faculty, staff, and students of the institution.  It also houses some materials about George Jay Gould and his family, the Gould estate and its architect and artists, as well as Mother Catherine McAuley, the Sisters of Mercy, and higher education institutions founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.  Access is available by appointment from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Users must follow the same procedures outlined for users of the Special Collections. For more information and to view the digital archives collection, please visit the Archives page.
  • The Matthew J. Sheridan Special Collection of Prison Literature:
    This collection of over 800 volumes traces the rise of the modern penitentiary and its accompanying penology from its nineteenth century beginnings.  Most prison literature has been produced in relative obscurity.  These little-known prison writings are dispersed across many genres, making the works of those incarcerated or employed by prisons challenging to find.  With this collection, the voices of those directly impacted by prisons may be amplified for inclusion in criminological and other scholarly discourses. 

    In this collection, readers will find memoirs as well as fiction based on the prison experiences of convicts, both male and female, as well as wardens, guards, clergy, and others.  There are also diaries, dramas, poetry, and historical fiction which address topics such as the culture of the prison, the death penalty, prison reform, abuse, and corruption.  The majority of the collected works is based on U.S. prisons.  Devil’s Island, formally referred to as French Guiana, is also well represented.  However, there are also volumes from Great Britain, Europe, and Canada, as well as a few from South Africa, Cuba and other countries.

We’re here to help—and happy to assist you. To contact the reference desk, call 732-987-2422. For the circulation desk call 732-987-2419. You also can connect with us on Facebook.

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Library Hours

Mon 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tue 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Wed 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thu 8:00 AM - 6:30 PM
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun Closed