General Rules

  • No food or drink in the library. This includes water bottles.
  • Cell Phones MUST be silenced.
  • When you exit the library, please take all your things with you.
  • Please do not reshelve books, leave them on the return carts instead.
  • Keep noise to a minimum and maintain a quiet atmosphere. There is a group study room available if a space for quiet discussion is needed.
  • Respect for patrons, staff, and the collections should be maintained at all times.
  • No flash photography is allowed in the library. Cell phones may be used to photograph books (without flash) within the limits of Fair Use. If photography becomes disruptive a staff member may request that you stop.
  • Follow the PFIC dress code:

Faculty, staff, and students are expected to dress in a manner appropriate to the religious and professional character of the Dominican House of Studies environment. Shorts, t-shirts, tank-tops, faded or torn jeans, and other such casual wear is not permitted.

  • Please adhere to the Library’s copying and copyright policies when making photocopies or scans. Do not copy or scan fragile books.

Visiting Privileges

During posted library hours the library is open to:

  • Faculty, staff, and students of the PFIC
  • DHS residents and short term guests of the priory
  • WTC members with institutional ID and current, signed borrowing forms on file
  • HELIN members with institutional ID
  • Faculty, staff, and students of the Institute for Psychological Studies with institutional ID
  • Faculty, staff, and students of the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College with institutional ID
  • All visiting Catholic clergy, religious, and seminarians
  •  Members of lay Fraternities of St. Dominic
  • Special guests with written permission of the librarian

Having visiting privileges does NOT automatically confer borrowing privileges.

All visitors must present their ID card to the circulation desk staff.

Others interested in using the Library may apply in writing for access on one of the following bases:

  • Visiting Scholars will be admitted as a courtesy for specific, short-term research.
  • Patron Membership may be granted to clergy, religious, and academics, who may borrow up to five items at a time. There is a fee of $50 per semester.
  • Guest Membership may be granted to others who wish to use the Library without borrowing privileges. There is a fee of $25 per semester. Guests may not use the Library during PFIC exam and reading periods

Due to our size and space limitations, the number of Visiting Scholars, Patron, and Guest memberships is limited. Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and admittance is not guaranteed. Please address correspondence to the Librarian, Dominican Theological Library, 487 Michigan Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20017, or email  librarian@dhs.edu. Include why you would like to use our collections (such as research interest, specific item, etc), when you would like to visit, and for how long.

Borrowing Privileges

Borrowing privileges are extended to Dominican Friars, staff, and students of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, and faculty and students of the Washington Theological and HELIN consortia.

Only items in the main collection circulate; items in the Reference, Dominican, Dissertation, and Periodical collections are library-use only and may not be checked out.

Renewal Policy

Patrons who need an item longer than the initial check out period may renew an item for an additional loan period according to their patron type.

  • Patrons may renew an item 2x themselves through the My Library Account link on the Discovery catalog page or by calling, emailing, or stopping by the circulation desk.
  • Due to the long nature of our loan period for most patron types, a 3rd renewal will only be granted if a patron brings in the items they wish to renew for a condition check.
  • Renewals will be refused if another patron has placed a hold on the item.

Recall Policy

You may request to recall an item by calling, emailing, or stopping by the circulation desk and speaking with a librarian. Recalled items will be held at the circulation desk for up to 5 business days for pick up.

  • The recall policy applies to all users. It is strictly enforced and is in effect all year long including breaks, sabbaticals, vacations, etc.
  • All checked-out items may subject to recall at any time.
  • Please ensure your contact information with the library is correct.

Fines and Fees

  • There is a fee of 25¢ per day for overdue books; maximum of $5.
  • Fees may be paid in cash at the circulation desk or by credit card via the online “Make a Payment” form. Please be sure to select “Library fee” on the drop-down menu.
  • Books overdue for more than 30 days may be declared lost and billed to the patron’s account.
  • Books determined to be damaged may be charged to the patron upon return of the materials. If you discover a damaged book, please bring it to the attention of a staff member immediately.
  • Patrons are responsible for the cost of replacing lost or damaged books, as determined by the library, plus a processing fee of $20.00 per item.
  • Non-payment of fees may result in the loss of library privileges.
  • Please ensure your contact information with the library is correct.

Copy, Scan, Print


  • Black and White: $0.10/page
  • Color: $0.15/page

Copying and Scaning Policy

This policy covers ONLY the physical integrity of the item to be copied; not whether such copying is permissible under copyright. For more information on copyright, please see the PFIC’s Copyright Policy available online.

Some things to keep in mind while copying or scanning:

  • Some books are tightly bound and it may be impossible to get the entire page to scan. NEVER force a book flat; this will damage the spine, possibly breaking it.
  • The lid on the copier has the ability to pop up to allow for the copying of thicker volumes.

Fragile or damaged items should NOT be scanned or copied, doing so may cause irreparable damage.  Books that fall under the category of fragile include:

  • Older editions, pre-1940s.
  • Books with brittle pages or where the edges of the paper are flaking away.
  • Books with broken spines or broken threads.
  • Books with loose pages.
  • Books with red rot (this may get into the copier or stain other items inlcuding clothing).
  • Books with faded or discolored pages; especially those with colored illustrations.
  • Books where the cover has started to separate or the hinges are damaged.


For information on our donation policy, please see “Does the library take book donations?” under Library FAQ.

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