About the Dalton McCaughey Library (DML)

About the Dalton McCaughey Library (DML)

The Library, known since 2007 as the “Dalton McCaughey Library “ (DML), came into being at Ormond College in 1971 when Ormond College and Jesuit Theological College merged their libraries together: “The Joint Theological Library.” Ormond had a theological collection as it housed the Theological Hall of the Victorian Presbyterian Church. The Joint Theological Library (JTL) shared space with the Ormond College students’ library until 1981 when the two entities were given separate floors in the Ormond library building.

The Joint Theological Library, when it moved to its present location at 29 College Crescent, Parkville, was renamed The Dalton McCaughey Library in honour of Fr. Bill Dalton, SJ, first rector of Jesuit Theological College and Rev. Dr. J. Davis McCaughey who founded the library in the early 1970s. The library was co-funded by the Australian Jesuits and the Victorian and Tasmanian Synod of the Uniting Church in Australia.

The Library gained a larger faculty and student audience when, first, the Presbyterian and Methodist theological halls at Ormond and Queens Colleges respective, came together to form the United Faculty of Theology (UFT) in 1969. They were also joined by the Anglican theological school at Trinity College at that time. When the Uniting Church was formed in 1977, the Library gained many books from Queen’s College and from Congregational Church sources. And in 2003, the library incorporated the philosophy collection of Jesuit Theological College.

Today, the Dalton McCaughey Library operates on the basis of an Agreement between the Victorian and Tasmanian Synod of the Uniting Church and the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus and an Agreement between the Uniting Church, the Jesuits, and Trinity College. The DML is also signatory to a University of Divinity Libraries Agreement.


The collection offers research-level support for the teaching programmes of Pilgrim Theological College and Trinity College Theological School (both members of the University of Divinity), and for the Australian Jesuits. The collection encompasses a broad range of theological and philosophical scholarship with particular strengths in Biblical Studies, Systematic and Practical Theology, Church History, and Jesuit history and Ignatian spirituality.

The library currently houses 143,465 monographs (including rare books holdings) and subscribes to over 40 print journal titles. The DML has extensive resources in electronic format including eBooks, e-journals, and databases. Members currently have access to the ATLA Religion Database with ATLAS Serials Plus, the premiere theological database, along with other specialized databases.

From the start of 2017, the University of Divinity has been an important ally to the Library in the provision of electronic resources. At that time, the University established the UD Library Hub and made available a significant number of specialized databases to the University community. The DML currently subscribes to a few key databases ensuring that library members who are not a part of the University community have access to specialized resources.

The DML is the official depository of print theses for the University of Divinity (formerly, the Melbourne College of Divinity).

Every acquisition is deemed the property of one of the parties to the Library Agreements, but taken together, they comprise the Dalton McCaughey Library. The multi-denominational and ecumenical character of the Dalton McCaughey Library distinguishes it among Australian theological libraries and underpins its ability to maintain research collections in many areas.

Donations to the Collection

Library donations are currently on pause. That said, you are welcome to provide the library with a (printed) list of titles with the corresponding author(s) and date of publication for library staff to assess for possible inclusion in the DML’s collection. Thank you for your consideration.