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.
The collections listed below are located in our Archives and Research Collection. Access to archival holdings (e.g. paper church records, personal papers, baptism certificates, etc). are by appointment only; please contact please contact the Archivist and Preservation Librarian (617 353-1323 or email@example.com). For access to books in our special collections, please find a full-time librarian on staff during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm) who will be happy to pull the material for you.
This project is an example of the Library’s re-articulation of its pedagogical role. In a world of high speed networks, digital content, and massive search engines, the Theology Library is attempting to build focused collections of digital content in order to enhance teaching and learning. The site provides access primarily to classic writings in the history of Protestant mission thought. Written by cross-cultural missionaries, mission administrators, and mission promoters, the collection contains mission theology, theory, and practice as well as some of the first ethnographic studies of people in primal societies, and histories of encounters between westerners and people from Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Theology Library and the Center for Global Christianity & Mission are aware that they are indebted to the peoples and nations in the global south for much of this body of literature. Digitizing these sources and providing global access through the Internet is, they hope, a way to return this information to those from whom it came.
This site also provides biographical sketches and links to digitized material written by or about specific missionaries, missiologists, and mission administrators in the belief that mission theology, theory and strategy are best understood in their social context.
The Theology Library and the Center for Global Christianity & Mission will continue to scan texts, collect other digital documents in the public domain, and make them available on this website. Special thanks are due to Gerald H. Anderson, editor of the Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, for allowing this site to use biographical sketches from the dictionary, the Overseas Ministries Study Center for scanning and making available their legacy articles, and to the Boston University School of Theology, the DeFreitas Family Foundation, the Kip Knight/Peggy Day Foundation, and the Boston University Instructional Technology Grant for financial support.
A link to the History of Missiology website, a joint project between the School of Theology Library and Center for Global Christianity & Mission.
Bangor Theological Seminary was one of the old Congregational seminaries that sent lots of missionaries at one point. This 2007 acquisition includes some of the old Congregationalist and Baptist classics, which after all, were the works of the original American Protestant missionaries. It greatly enhances the Theology Library’s collection, which is strongest in Methodist missions.The collection includes a wide range of material including tracts, sermons, biographies, and journals.
A link to BU Libraries Search, searching the cataloged items in the Bangor Theological Seminary Collection.
The Library’s Missions Collection has been broadened by recent acquisitions in Catholic missions focusing on the missionary efforts of various religious orders. The strength of the collection lies in its sizeable nineteenth century interests, periodicals relating to world-wide Christianity, and the work of women in missions. In addition, the collection reflects the long-standing tradition of ecumenical work, represented by documents of the World Council of Churches. The African Studies Library provides additional support in the study of African missions.
The nearly 7,000 volumes in this aggregate research collection were acquired by the School of Theology Library in 1999 by Dr. Raymond Van De Moortell, STH Head Librarian. The collections came from various sources, but principally reflect library materials deaccessioned from the Jesuit University in Rochester, New York; the Loyola Seminary Library (now defunct) in Shrub Oak, New York; Xavier High School, New York, New York; and St. Andrew-on-the Hudson, Poughkeepsie, New York. The Collections contain mostly 19th and early 20th century books that cover topics such as Jesuit history, missions, spiritual life, biography, and governance. There is a smattering of 18th works. The Collections are particularly rich in documenting primary sources for Catholic missions, especially those of the Jesuit order, and sundry other religious orders of both men and women. The language diversity reflected in the Collections are also peculiarly rich. While the majority of works in the Collections are in English, nearly 30% of the materials are in French. Materials in German, Italian,and Spanish are nearly 11%, 10%, and 9% respectively. There is a substantive run of titles from the monograph series, Orientalia christiana, and Orientalia christiana analecta issued from the Pontifical Institute for Oriental Studies in Rome.