Liverpool Hope University - The Sheppard-Worlock Library

The Sheppard-Worlock Library

The Sheppard-Worlock Library is the university's central library, based at the Hope Park campus. Housed within the Hilda Constance Building, the library offers extended hours throughout the year, including periods of 24 hour opening.

The Library takes its name from Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock. The two men were noted for their work in healing sectarian divisions within Liverpool during the 1970s and 80s. In addition, they shared the ambition for an ecumenical foundation in Liverpool Hope.

On a historic visit to London, Archbishop Derek Worlock and Bishop David Sheppard secured from the Secretary of State for Education permission to create an ecumenical institute of higher education. The story goes that the Secretary of State, Gordon Oaks (who was MP for the nearby constituency of Widnes) was not particularly concerned about the constitution of the new institute as he believed it would not last a year.

In 1997, one of the final acts of Dr. Jim Burke as Rector was to approve the building of a new library at a cost of £5.34million – the Sheppard-Worlock library which opened in 1997.

It is a member of the Libraries Together: Liverpool Learning Partnership (evolved from Liverpool Libraries Group) which formed in 1990. Under which, a registered reader at any of the member libraries can have access rights to the other libraries within the partnership.

In addition to a wealth of publications, research material, extensive computing facilities and stationary sales. The library also plays hosts to a number of commercial activities in the business and education communities. Additionally, the library houses a number of research collections. These include:

  • The Gradwell Collection: This collection, entrusted to Liverpool Hope on the closure of St. Joseph's College at Upholland, contains material covering the following subjects: theology, philosophy, church, secular and local history, ecclesiastical history, art, architecture, sociology, education and works of general reference. It also includes recusant works and early printed works.
  • The Picton Collection: A collection of theology material on long-term loan from the Liverpool City Library Collection. This collection contains many of the classic New Testament works published before 1975, some old but extremely useful linguistic studies including older Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek lexicons, and several sets of theological texts. The Gradwell and Picton collections not only enhance but compliment The Sheppard-Worlock's own collection of theology holdings, both lending and reference.
  • Archbishop Stuart Blanch (1918–1994) Collection: Hope has been fortunate enough to receive materials from the estate of Archbishop Stuart Blanch. These include notes from his student days at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and notes for sermons, lectures, talks and speeches made while Bishop of Liverpool (1960–1966) and Archbishop of York (1975–1983).
  • Professor Andrew F. Walls Centre for the Study of African and Asian Christianity: Materials have been donated to create a library for the Centre for the Study of African Asian Christianity by Professor Walls himself, University of Edinburgh (Centre for the Study of Christianity in the Non-Western World) and University of Aberdeen. The Library offers resources across a range of mission studies, its principal focus being Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. Since missions from the West have had a part in the African and Asian Christian story, the collection has substantial holdings on the history of mission, and on missionary activity in other parts of the world, as well as on mission theology and practice, other faiths, and the history of religions.
  • Education Research Collection: A research collection of books, pamphlets and journals on education and related subjects has been donated by University of Liverpool. The collection contains 30,000 books and pamphlets. These contain books on all aspects of education, particularly from an historic viewpoint and with large sections on special education and religious education. There are also collections of bibliographies, Government publications, Government and other statistical publications, and annual reports of organisations connected with education; 400 journals, with strengths in learning difficulties and special education, educational psychology, and education overseas.
  • The Centre for Millennialism Studies: The Centre for Millennialism Studies is focused on the study of contemporary manifestations of millennialism / apocalypticism; particularly the ‘afterlife' of apocalyptic texts and ideas within popular culture.
  • The Josephine Butler collection: A small collection of materials has been received from the University of Liverpool on Josephine Butler and her work.

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