Darren Poley, Scholarly Outreach librarian and a liaison librarian for the Philosophy, Theology and Humanities team, recently became curator for the Augustinian Historical Institute. The Institute’s previous the director and curator, the Rev. Karl A. Gersbach, OSA, has moved to Chicago. Poley will continue to serve as Scholarly Outreach librarian and liaison team librarian.
Poley originally came to Falvey as a reference librarian and cataloger in 1999. He became an adjunct faculty member in the University’s Dept. of Theology and Religious Studies the following year, where he continues to teach.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College, a master’s degree in religion from the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary and a master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University.
The Augustinian Historical Institute (AHI) is located in Falvey Hall, room 301. It “serves as a resource center for the study of the history of the Augustinian Order.” AHI holds “an extensive collection of materials on the history of the Order” and publishes scholarly works, including studies of St. Augustine. The Institute also collaborates with the International Institutum Historicum of the Order of St. Augustine and other Augustinian institutes.
Villanova University sponsors the Augustinian Historical Institute as a division of The Augustinian Institute. Father Allan Fitzgerald, OSA, STD, is the director of The Augustinian Institute. In his role as AHI curator, Poley reports to Father Fitzgerald. As curator, Poley keeps the collections current and makes materials available to visiting scholars.
The Augustinian Historical Institute was founded at Villanova in 1971 through the labors of the Rev. Arthur J. Ennis, OSA, who served as its first director (1971-1977). The Institute’s collection contained a large part of the collection of the earlier Augustinian Historical Institute founded by the Rev. Francis Roth, OSA, at Riverdale, NY. Villanova’s Augustinian Historical Institute officially opened April 6, 1973. Following Father Ennis’ term as director, the Rev. Joseph C. Schnaubelt, OSA, was director 1977-1995. Rev. Karl A. Gersbach, OSA, served as the third director from 1995 until 2014.
In addition to serving as a repository for Augustinian history and publishing scholarly works on the same, the Institute has sponsored (with Falvey’s Special Collections) three exhibits: “Thomas of Villanova – 450 Years – and Nicholas of Tolentine – 700 Years: An Exhibit Commemorating Two Augustinian Saints” (2005), “Commemorating 500 Years of the Complete Works of Saint Augustine” (2006) and an exhibit commemorating the 750th anniversary of the Grand Union of the Augustinian Order (2006).
Scholars who wish to visit the Augustinian Historical Institute should contact Darren Poley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-519-6371. Poley’s library office is Falvey, room 234, and he is only in the Augustinian Historical Institute (Falvey Hall, room 301) a few hours a week. One may also call the Augustinian Historical Institute (610-519-7686) and leave a message for an appointment or concerning extended access to the collection.
The Augustinian Historical Institute is dedicated to fostering research: however, materials in the collection do not circulate. Records of AHI’s holdings appear in the library’s catalog.
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