Some of our other unique general collections, including the A. David Lewis Religion and Graphica Collection and Power, Privilege, and Prophetic Witness (which began with the class gift from the Class of 2016) are available among our circulating collections.
The School of Theology Library holds extensive Bible collections, including the vast Massachusetts Bible Society Collection, containing approximately 4500 items covering 1500 languages into which the Bible or parts have been translated. These combined collections contain nearly 75% of the early Bible editions cited in The Book of a Thousand Tongues. The Kimball Collection contains our oldest materials, including a Latin Bible from 1497.
Due to our institution's origins and affiliation with the United Methodist Church, the library has a strong collection on Methodism. The archival depository for the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church is located at the library (see our archives page, too, for more information). Our collections include 18th-century Wesleyan publications, and books in our Heritage Collection date back to our institution's founding.
From the middle of the nineteenth century, the School of Theology has educated missionaries. The library reflects one hundred and fifty years of world-wide missions interest. The collection supports advanced graduate research in missiology and comparative theology. The missions collection focuses on the history of Christian missions, and contains a sizeable collection of early missionary writings and histories. There are numerous missionary journals, diaries, and biographies.
Our hymnological collections are one of the strengths of the School of Theology Library (arguably, among the best in the nation!) Among these extensive collections is the Nutter-Metcalf Collection, which total more than 2500 volumes and form the core of the hymnological resources in the STH Library. The Hymn Society of United States and Canada Collection contains approximately 900 volumes.
Introducing the School of Theology Library's Special Collections
This Special Collections page introduces and explores some of the unique collections accumulated by the School of Theology Library beginning with the institution’s founding in 1839 to the present day; these collections include many rare and not-widely owned or accessible materials. Among those collections is our biblical collections (including the vast Massachusetts Bible Society Collection covering over 1500 languages into which the Bible or parts have been translated); hymnological collections; and Methodist and missions collections that echo the ethos of the School of Theology’s founding in 1839. As these collections include rate and not-widely held or accessible material, these special collections are located in our closed-stack Research Collection and are in-library use only. All items in the research collection are accessible during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm); simply approach Kara Jackman, our Archivist and Preservation Librarian, or another full-time librarian.