The Catholic University of America

About the Libraries

The University Libraries comprise the John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library, the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives, and campus libraries for Architecture and Planning, Music, Nursing / Biology, and Physics. The Mullen Library, the main library, houses both general and special collections.

The library system houses more than 1.3 million books and print volumes, provides access to tens of thousands of electronic journals and books, and is staffed by professional librarians. Librarians help students, faculty and staff with reference questions by phone, in person, by email, and through instant messaging and are available for research consultations and library instruction.

The University is also a partner in the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), providing the CUA community with access to the library resources of the region’s major universities.

John K. Mullen of Denver

John K. MullenJohn Kernan Mullen was born in Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland, and immigrated with his parents to this country in 1847 when he was 9. At the age of 14, he began working in a flour mill in Oriskany Falls, N.Y. At 20, Mullen went West, leasing a flour mill in Denver, Colo., and soon after buying several more mills. By 1911 he had built the first grain elevator in the state, established the Colorado Milling and Elevator Company, and operated 91 elevators, warehouses and mills in Colorado, Kansas, Utah and Oregon.

Convinced that his wealth was meant to be used to help others, Mullen offered service and financial aid to the Diocese of Denver and numerous other Catholic and secular institutions. In 1924 he pledged $500,000 to The Catholic University of America for the construction of a library, which opened as The John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library in September 1928.

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