Did you know Candler is home to one of the premier theology libraries in the world? It’s true. Pitts Theology Library is the second largest theology library in North America at over 520,000 volumes and 1300 active periodical subscriptions. Scholars and researchers come from around the world to use the resources, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. The Special Collections, for instance, has over 100,000 volumes of rare and special books and materials.
Here are just a few highlights of Pitts.
- Martin Luther’s September Testament from 1522
- The first five editions of Erasmus of Rotterdam’s Greek New Testament (1519 and following) and 70 other works by him
- Sub-Saharan African Periodicals Collection, the largest in the world at over 800 theological publications from over 40 countries (the Pitts website lets you search by country)
- Thomas Merton Collection, containing over 200 first and early editions of the American Trappist monk’s books, as well as digital facsimiles of hundreds of pages of Merton’s unpublished notebooks.
- Digitized versions of over 500 Ninteenth Century American Thanksgiving Day Sermons
Along with great text resources, Pitts hosts bi-monthly Wednesday Workshops for faculty, staff, and students. The workshops focus on some aspect of technology and ministry or research. Topics range from Statistics for Religious Studies and Bibleworks for Beginners to Developing Church Websites and hosting Podcasts.
Pitts maintains an archive of over 19,000 images of biblical illustrations, portraits of religious leaders, printers’ devices, engravings of church buildings, and other theological topics. The entire archive is searchable by Scripture Reference or Topic. With proper citation, the images can be used for church bulletins, presentations, or sermon illustrations.
Ask A Librarian
The Pitts website allows you to send an Instant Message to one of our Reference Librarians from anywhere in the world! So if you’re having trouble with a search for a book or if you’ve got a question about where to look for a resource, send an IM and someone will get back with you quickly.
When I was a student at Candler, I foolishly neglected to take advantage of many of the amazing resources Pitts has to offer. The books and periodicals are world-class. The classes are informative and keep you up to date with the very latest in technology. And the staff. The staff of twenty is fantastic, often times going well beyond what I would normally expect from a library staff. Many staff members have advanced degrees in theology/divinity as well as library science. So don’t be afraid to ask Natalie or Myron questions at the front desk about reserves or circulation. And check with Pat or Tracy in the Periodicals Room—Pat for all things Blackboard-related and Tracy about the vast periodical collection. John in the Reading Room is the Head of Public Services and an expert on just about everything at Pitts. Debra up on the second floor handles all of the Special Collections—I’ve been working with her on access to some of the Thomas Merton materials. And Pat Graham is the Library Director, Old Testament scholar, and Margaret A. Pitts Professor of Theological Bibliography.