Library today: Ireland Memorial Library exhibits growing holy card collection

Catholic prayer cards and holy cards are printed with devotional prayers and images created for and distributed by the Catholic faithful. About the size of a playing card, the prayer cards have been a part of Catholic Church history for centuries. Many Catholics today still pray with holy cards for indulgences and distribute memorial cards at funerals in memory of loved ones. They often are used as bookmarks in Bibles and other religious books.

This holy card is just one of many saved over the years by the staff at John Ireland Memorial Library.

This holy card is just one of many saved over the years by the staff at John Ireland Memorial Library.

For the next couple of months, Ireland Library will highlight its growing collection of holy cards. Both display cases in the Reference Room are exhibiting selections from different eras, countries and styles of some of the interesting holy cards that have come to the library (or were found in returned books) over the decades.

Since a story on this essentially uncollected collection was published in the Bulletin Today  and the St. Paul Pioneer Press in February and March, several dozen more cards have been given to the library, many of them fine examples from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of these choice “new additions” are in display cases now – the rest eventually will become part of the popular online exhibition.

For more information, the library recommends an article on the Religion News Service Web site about collecting holy cards. It presents a concise informative “survey” of this popular pious art form as well as a profile of one of the serious collectors.

*   *   *

Streaming videos available at UST Libraries

As a reminder that UST Libraries has subscribed to a database of streaming videos as a pilot project, note that Films on Demand is the name of the database that hosts these films. Current subjects represented include: psychology, history, literature, languages, engineering, business, art, sociology, sciences and more. These videos are streamed over the Internet in several formats and are available for individual or classroom viewing via the computers’ browsers.

You can locate these films from the link above, via the Libraries catalog, or on the Media Resources Collection Web page. If you have questions or feedback about whether this service should be expanded, contact media resources librarian, Cindy Badilla-Melendez, (651) 962-5464.