The Anglican Centre’s library was opened in 1966 by the Rt Rev’d John Moorman, sometime Bishop of Ripon and an instrumental force in the setting up of the Anglican Centre. Bishop Moorman himself was a prominent ecumenist, whose knowledge of Italian, Latin, and Christian history made him the perfect man to be the Anglican observer at the Second Vatican Council. His contribution to ecumenism was great and his most famous work, a 15 volume series ‘A History of the Church in England’ was a hefty contribution to the understanding of Anglicanism. It is fitting, therefore, that this commitment to ecclesiology and ecumenism is continued in the Moorman Library, the largest of its type in mainland Europe. 

From the start this library has had ecumenism at its heart. When the first shipment of books arrived in late October 1966, the students from the North American College helped to catalogue them. Over the next few years Bishop John shipped 6000 volumes to Rome from England. As the library developed Henry Chadwick was to contribute to its catalogue and review its needs. In 1973 Lady Fisher donated 189 of the late Archbishop’s books, and John Moorman’s widow bequeathed near to £100,000 to the Centre. It was in the ‘90s that the Friends of the Centre decided to name the Library after its founder, the name it bears to this day.

The Library, boasting a catalogue of over 15,000 books, is currently used by  Roman Catholics living and studying in Rome, the Centre’s Scholar in Residence, clergy on sabbatical, and visiting students on courses at the Anglican Centre. It has a particular focus on ecclesiology, doctrine, and ecumenism making it ideal for those who wish to explore Anglican Ecclesiology.

Because a large percentage of the Moorman Library was donated in the ‘60s and ‘70s it is lacking a breadth of modern scholarship. This is felt most keenly in biblical scholarship, but the basic tools are there for scriptural study, probably best suited to the writing of homilies, or essays with light reference to scripture, rather than to more rigorous academic research.

Scholars and students visiting Rome are welcome to visit the library. The Centre welcomes information, advice and publications offered to enable the collection to be as up-to-date as possible.

Anglicans in RomeThe Anglican Centre is increasingly a place of meeting not only for Anglicans and Roman Catholics, but for Anglicans of different backgrounds.

At a time when there are not all that many places where it is possible to take time and care to discuss contentious issues in our Anglican family affairs, the Centre is a profoundly hospitable environment for this.

It will help Anglicans understand one another and their common heritage as a necessary aspect of engaging with other Christian traditions and confessions."

Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm.
It is recommended you ring ahead on +39 06 678 0302, especially if you have a specific query.
The Centre is closed during August and between Christmas and Epiphany.