The book collection holds approximately 45,000 volumes of books in the fields of literature, history, art history, theology, classics, math and science. Approximately 10 on-line services are provided to students. Donations to the collection from the John D. Reynolds, Thomas Moran, Elias D. Mogayzel, William Haney III, Mary Louise Kearney, and N. Young DuHamel book funds are used to augment the library general materials budget.
The art seminar reading room holds about 2,000 art books begun originally from a collection of Dom Hilary Martin and Dom Peter Sidler of Portsmouth Priory. This collection is currently added to each year by donations from the Donald Mc Guire Book Fund, the James Sand Book Fund and others.
The School library subscribes to about 80 magazines, and 6 English and 1 French newspaper. Back files of all major newspapers and magazines are maintained, including a selection of newspapers and broadsides from the colonial era. On-line indexing and delivery of contemporary articles and journals is available.
An alumni donation of 12,000 new classical music CDs has been cataloged for use by the Abbey community. A collection of about 1,400 DVD and videos of curriculum support and entertainment interest is available for faculty and specified student assignment use.
The book collection holds nearly all of the books published by such diverse Portsmouth Abbey alumni authors, such as Vincent Cronin ‘40, Keith Botsford ’44, E.J. Dionne ’69, Christopher Buckley ’70, John Gregory Dunne ’50, Dom Julian Stead ’43, Thomas Mullen ’92 and Michael C.J. Putnam ’50. The faculty reading club often reads books by alumni authors.
The monastery collection of approximately 40,000 volumes is in the process of being electronically cataloged. Most items are of a religious nature and many are in a foreign language. In special circumstances, those items that are uniquely held there may be made available to the faculty and to students by the school librarian’s request to the Abbey monastery librarian.