Sarah B. Cahalan

Associate Professor; Director of the Marian Library

Full-Time Faculty


Email: Sarah Cahalan
Phone: 937-229-4203

Roesch Library 713


Sarah B. Cahalan manages the Marian Library, the world's largest collection of printed materials on the Virgin Mary. She oversees operations and services, including collection development, reference, outreach, preservation, and access. The Marian Library serves the scholars of the International Marian Research Institute, which grants theological degrees in partnership with the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the Marianum in Rome.

The Marian Library contributes to life on campus by providing opportunities to learn skills of interrogation and contemplation. Unique collections include printed books dating back to the fifteenth century; over 100,000 prayer cards and pamphlets; and an extensive collection of artwork, rosaries, medals, and music. The library is dedicated to providing online access to as much of this material as possible, with an understanding of its value both to scholars and to the general population. Outreach efforts include digital initiatives, exhibits, and social media, as well as creating opportunities to collaborate with faculty and students at the University of Dayton.



  • B.A., Harvard University
  • M.A., Courtauld Institute of Art
  • M.L.I.S., Simmons

Selected Publications

  • Batsaki, Yota, Sarah Burke Cahalan, and Anatole Tchikine, eds. The Botany of Empire in the Long Eighteenth Century. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 2016.
  • Cahalan, Sarah Burke, Jasmine Casart, and Deirdre Moore. The botany of empire in the long eighteenth century: highlights from the Dumbarton Oaks Rare Book Collection. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, 2013.
  • Cahalan, Sarah B. and Jason W. Dean. “S. Fred Prince in Space.” Presented at the 2014 RBMS Pre-Conference, Las Vegas, NV.
  • Vega, F. E., T. Willis, S. Burke Cahalan. “Edward Rudge’s Plantarum Guianæ rariorum icones et descriptiones hactenus ineditæ: suppressed preface.” Archives of Natural History 43.1 (April 2016).

Research Interests

  • Book history
  • The history of science
  • The history of illustration methods
  • Library preservation and security
  • Pedagogy in/with special collections

Professional Activities

  • RBMS (Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL)
  • CBHL (Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries)
  • ARLIS/NA (Art Libraries Society of North America)