Seminary was an important educational center since the 17th Century in Arequipa, because there was no college (civil or religious) in the surrounding area other than San Marcos in Lima, San Antonio Abad in Cusco and San Francisco Javier in Chuquisaca. It was founded in 1619 by Bishop Pedro Perea Osa. It contains approximately five thousand old books. Most of them are in good condition because weather in Arequipa helps to conserve old book paper. This part of the library is highly restricted to the general public and access is allowed only to people with explicit permission.