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The Conversation


As librarians at the University of Dayton’s Marian Library, we help curate a collection of religious artifacts that, depending on how you count it, numbers in the hundreds of thousands. It includes postage stamps, wine labels, books, statues and rosaries. Many of the items are Catholic and have been gifted to the library by charitable individuals looking to do the right thing with a family heirloom or the collection of a recently deceased loved one. Donations could include anything from medieval manuscripts to a car air freshener featuring Our Lady of Guadalupe. In many cases, donations are welcome. But we struggle with what to do when donations duplicate items we already have, or if the gifted item is not of particular value. And this happens frequently, especially with mass-produced items such as rosaries or cheap plastic statues.

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Religion, Museums, Libraries, Holy cards, Collections

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