The library of Maredsous was created in 1872 at the foundation of the abbey. At first it was established in one large room with galleries (see picture opposite), but that was too small and in 1947 it was transferred to a new building (see picture below). This building has a bookshop (5 floors), a reading room, catalogue rooms, different office spaces, a precious reserve collection (manuscripts, incunabula, ancient books), several small rooms (engravings, coins, medals, etc.) and archives.
The contents (books and periodicals) total about 400,000 items. The most important department concerns religious science : the Bible, Theology, Liturgy, Patrology, ecclesiastical law, the history of the Church, monastic history. We also provide other sections about the activities of the Abbey. Thanks to the school (since 1881), we have developed subjects such as Greek, French, and Latin literature. Thanks to the school of Art (1903-1964), we have developed history of art, painting, sculpture and architecture.
The library is a private establishment serving members of the monastic community. But people such as teachers, specialists, students, can use it if they ask. Thanks to this library, the monks can undertake certain publications (books and reviews). Among those are the Revue bénédictine with the Bulletin d’histoire bénédictine and the Lettre de Maredsous.
The Centre Informatique et Bible (centre of computing and the Bible) can also use the resources of the library.