New Research Guides

Did you know that Pitts Theology Library offers guides to help you with your research on a range of subjects from Biblical Studies to Ministry? Research Guides are available here or by clicking on the Research Guides link on the library homepage.

Over the past year, librarians have created 12 new guides on a variety of topics, including Church Statements and Governance, Bioethics, and Religions in Atlanta. We have also enriched our offerings in Biblical Studies, with new guides on the Book of Acts, the Bible in English Translation, and Paul the Apostle, as well as tools like the Thesaurus Linguae Graeca and the Perseus Digital Library. You will also find helpful new guides on Reading/Editing Wikipedia, Audio Transcription, and Online Resources for Research.

Explore these great resources, and let us know if you have any questions! You can receive email alerts when new research guides are published, by signing up here.

Welcome Course of Study Students

We welcome all Course of Study students to Candler this July!  COS students are welcome to check out materials from Pitts while they are on campus this July, and reference librarians are available  for your research and ministry resource questions.  While the library will be moving during July, Pitts will remain open for study during its general summer hours of 7:30 AM – 5 PM as long as possible, and we are happy to seek out materials that may have moved for you to pick up at the Circulation Desk–call us at 404.727.4166 with your requests.  We do ask for up to a 48-hour turnaround in order to account for the re-shelving process, although we are pulling materials each weekday from their new homes. Please stop by and let us know how we can help!

Move update

As of July 6, all circulating general collections, all periodicals, and many reference materials have moved to their new locations in the Phase II building.  Until Pitts staff are also able to move to the new building and set up services there for you to browse and check out materials (the building must receive its permanent certification for occupancy before we can do so), we are happy to pull materials for you and make them available to you for check-out and/or to use in our current location (depending on your circulation privileges for the items selected).  Please give us a call at 404.727.4166 to place your requests in advance of your visit to the library; we ask for up to 48 hours to locate items, and we will notify you directly once the materials you’ve requested are available for use in Pitts.  Thank you for your understanding during this move– we are excited about showing you the new spaces once they are complete!

Independence Day Hours

Pitts Theology Library will be closed this Friday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. We will re-open with our regular summer hours (7:30 AM – 5 PM) on Monday, July 7. Happy Independence Day!

Howard Thurman Audio Digitization and Transcription

In 2010, the Pitts Theology Library received a large gift of materials from the estate of the late Dr. Howard Thurman, the influential 20th-century author, preacher, educator, theologian, and philosopher, and longtime Dean of the Chapel at Boston University. Included in this wealth of materials are hundreds of cassette tapes and film reels. These materials capture recordings of Dr. Thurman’s weekly radio show, sermons delivered throughout his career, and interviews about this work, his theology, and his philosophy of education, many of which do not exist elsewhere. In 2013, the library embarked on a project to digitize and transcribe these materials, to make these resources available to students, researchers, and anyone with interest in Dr. Thurman’s work. This digitization project involves the use of open-source software (e.g. Audacity, Omeka, and Scripto), and support of Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship. In addition to the digitization work taking place here at Pitts, we are partnering with other institutions to crowdsource the transcription process, recruiting volunteers with interest in Thurman’s work to listen to the audio and produce searchable transcriptions, without having to be physically in the library. The Thurman project is not only providing access to materials for those with interest in Thurman’s work, but it is also helping Pitts explore what a theology library, its collections, and its volunteer base look like in the digital age. We hope to have a selection of the Thurman materials open to researchers soon. For questions about the project, the collection, or the future of digital work at the Pitts Theology Library, contact Bo Adams or ask a reference librarian at Pitts.

Moving Ahead: Collections and People

As we ramp up the work of moving into our new space adjacent to the Rita Anne Rollins Building, collections and people will soon begin shifting locations.  Below is a general guide as to what and who will move when.  As always in a move like this, there will likely be a few changes in process.  Moved collections will not be accessible to the public until all staff have moved into the new location and we officially open in that location, likely in mid-August.  Until then, staff will be at the Circulation Desk in the current building and you can call us at 404.727.4166 with any questions–we are happy to locate sources for you to pick up at the current Circ Desk or use in the library.

Collections will begin moving on June 30.  We anticipate that they will move in this order:

1) Special Collections

2) General Circulating Collections

3) Periodicals

4) Reference Works

5) Course Reserves

Staff will begin moving into the new location as soon as we obtain a permanent certificate of occupancy.  Cataloging, acquisitions, and finance staff will be the first to move. Other staff will move following the move of specific collections.  Public services staff in circulation and reference will move last.  We anticipate that all staff should be moved into the new building by August 11.


Volunteer Opportunities

Are you looking for opportunities to get involved at Emory, develop new skills, and work with an outstanding team? Did you know that Pitts Theology Library has a vital and growing group of volunteers, who work both at the library and from home?

Volunteers make a great contribution to Pitts Library by creating metadata for images in the Digital Image Archive, transcribing archival records, digitizing rare book and manuscript materials, and assisting with special events and the annual book sale. As we prepare to move into the new building this summer, we are also developing a guild of docents who will lead tours of the library and exhibit gallery.

If you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at Pitts Theology Library, please contact Rebekah Bedard by email at or by telephone at 404-727-5094.

Archives and Manuscript Processing at Pitts

The Archives and Manuscripts Department has been working diligently to complete the backlog of unprocessed archival material available to researchers by the end of the summer.  Additions to the American Academy of Religion Records, the William Ragsdale Cannon Papers, and Candler School of Theology Records have been the focus of this summer’s processing efforts.  Hundreds of linear feet of new material are also being added to the holdings which will soon available to researchers.

The library’s collection of archives and manuscripts comprises of nearly four thousand linear feet of unique material.  Located within the Archives and Manuscripts Department, the holdings include a large selection of Reformation-era manuscripts, including a significant number of books of hours and other illuminated manuscripts. Also maintained are collections relating to 18th and 19th century British religious history, Methodist history and missionary records from South Africa, Korea, China, and Japan, the papers of nineteenth and twentieth century British clergy, and manuscripts related to hymnody, psalmody, and other religious music.

The department also serves as the repository for the records of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

Summer reading

Now that summer is here, you may have a little more time to delve into a new type of book or one that’s been on your “to-read” list for awhile.  Check out our new books list for recent acquisitions that may be of interest.   For incoming Candler students, summer is a great time to read a few books that will help you make the most of the content you’ll delve into while a student here.  We recommend spending some time with books that discuss how to read effectively, how to plan a research projecthow to write with style, and how to evaluate arguments.  If there’s a particular topic you’d like to explore but aren’t sure where to begin, Pitts’ reference librarians are happy to help you identify some good starting points.

Memorial Day

Pitts Theology Library will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 26. We will re-open with our regular summer hours at 7:30 AM on Tuesday, May 27. For a full listing of the Library’s hours, please see