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Special Collections

Pitts Theology Library has over 120,000 volumes in its Special Collections. These items can be identified in the library catalog by the location code "SPECIALCOL" or "SPEC-OVRSZ." Significant collections in this category include:
 

  • English Religious History Collection, a body of about 35,000 items that date from 1660 until 1920 and help the researcher understand the various religious currents in England, Scotland, and Wales during this period; holdings are particularly strong for Anglicanism, English Catholicism, and Methodism.
     
  • Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, a group of over 3,500 titles that relate to the Protestant Reformation in Germany down to 1570; although its focus is on Lutheran materials, it also includes works by other Protestants and by Catholics, as they entered into conversation with Luther and his followers.
     
  • English and American Hymnody and Psalmody Collection, about 16,000 print and microfilm items that range in date from the 16th through the 20th century, one of America's two largest hymnody collections.
     
  • North European Theological Dissertations, about 11,000 titles that range in date from the 16th century until the early 20th century and document the course of theological scholarship in northern Europe.
     
  • Thomas Merton Collection, about 200 early editions and translations of the works of the Trappist monk, Thomas Merton, as well as digital copies of most of Merton's working notebooks.

    While materials in Special Collections do not circulate, they may be used in the library’s designated Special Collections and Archives reading area, Monday through Friday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. These materials may be obtained by presenting a written request form to the Circulation Desk or the reference librarian. Because many of the works in Special Collections are fragile, all photocopying of these works must be approved and done by a librarian.