Pitts Theology Library
Pitts Theology Library
One of the premier theological collections in North America, Pitts combines the holdings of Candler School of Theology Library, founded in 1914, and the book collections of the Hartford Seminary Foundation of Connecticut, founded in 1834 and acquired by Emory in 1975. In 2011 it received almost 90,000 volumes from General Theological Seminary. Pitts Library contains about 630,000 volumes as well as large microform and archival holdings, making it one of the largest theological libraries in North America. Collections include more than 120,000 microform units, more than 4,000 cubic feet of archival material, and more than 145,000 rare books. Annual acquisitions usually exceed 5,000 volumes, and the library receives about 800 periodicals in addition to many online resources.
The library is strong in traditional theological disciplines, as well as in materials from Africa that reflect the globalization of Christianity. The Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection features more than 3,800 original, 16th-century imprints related to the German Reformation and is one of North America’s finest collections of such materials. The Hymnody Collection’s 17,000 items make it second only to the Library of Congress. The Pitts Wesleyana Collection contains more than 2,700 items including manuscripts of John and Charles Wesley and many first editions from these and other important figures in early Methodism. This collection is complemented by a 30,000-plus volume English Religious History Collection that reflects the context for the development of English Methodism.
Pitts Theology Library mounts three major exhibitions each year in its exhibition gallery that draw from the library’s major collections. Exhibitions are accompanied by lectures and programming. Digital views of these exhibitions are available at [http://exhibitions. pitts.emory.edu](http://exhibitions. pitts.emory.edu).
Information technology plays an important role in the library. In addition to the computers dedicated to bibliographic and Internet searches, the library’s learning commons area has 19 workstations, and laptops and tablets are also available for student use. Pitts offers students access to scanning, photography, and video equipment, with staff available to assist with this technology. The library’s digitization programs make a range of materials and resources available for student use. The Digital Image Archive, for example, offers more than 60,000 images—biblical illustrations, portraits of religious leaders, etc.—free to the public and adds about 5,000 images annually from the library’s special collections.
The library staff includes 15 regular staff and many more student assistants. The staff work closely with Candler’s IT staff to support traditional library services and the use of information technology for Candler as a whole. Pitts staff members are well trained in the profession and theological studies, three having professional degrees in librarianship/archival studies, eight with master’s degrees in theology or religion, five with PhDs in religion or theology, and many with fluency in ancient and modern languages found in the collection.
Candler students have full use of all Emory University libraries, the secondlargest private university collection in the Southeast, and access to the most important bibliographic databases for the study of religion and theology. Through the library’s reciprocal agreements with other institutions, Candler students also are able to borrow materials from hundreds of other libraries. For more information, visit [http:// pitts.emory.edu](http:// pitts.emory.edu).
Reformation Day at Emory
Pitts Theology Library annually organizes Reformation Day at Emory, a special program of lectures, music, and worship highlighting some aspect of Reformation heritage. The annual program highlights new acquisitions to the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection.