Rate theological libraries

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Greektim, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    So I have experience with 3 libraries. Piedmont International University, Liberty University, and SEBTS. SEBTS by far is the best, although their stairwell has a funny smell and the carpet needs to be replaced. But they have a good collection and selection. They 99% of the time have what I need.

    LU's library is not so much. Since they don't specialize in biblical studies, then they are not going to have certain things (that are essential for me unfortunately). They really let me down these past few weeks.

    PIU... well, they are a small fundie school. They do well for their size, but they do not have what it takes for PhD research (although they keep awarding the degree).

    Tell me about your library experience.
     
  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    I've been at a number of theological libraries at seminaries, universities, and private libraries. Some are clearly better than others. Liberty's library is terrible. It has more volumes on theological studies than other disciplines but it is still thin and unusable beyond undergraduate work. When I was attended Liberty for my undergrad I would frequently go to UVA or another school in the area to utilize their library.

    As for the other two, I've never been to (or really heard of) PIU, but SEBTS library was okay. It wasn't the best of the six SBC seminaries. I found that SWBTS' library was quite thorough and really had a good time working in that library while I was doing my MDiv. Often I would go over the TCU's Brite Divinity School library, which was okay, but only because they were open until about 3 am whereas SWBTS closed at 11 pm. Sometimes I'd head over to DTS and check out their library occasionally and found it to be a decent library. However I'd stay at SWBTS primarily for research. With the addition of the IBR on campus it has deepened SWBTS library.

    SBTS also has a great library. Though I've only occasionally used it, when I have it has always been thorough and helpful.

    If I am looking for a good theological library in Atlanta I've gone to Emory's Candler School of Theology and their library. It is also rather good and has a good layout. Due to the nature of Candler theologically they'll have a broader array of resources than others.

    One private theological library which I've visited twice now is located northwest of Houston and is the Lanier Theological Library. It occupies a sizable piece of land outside the city and is relatively close to the major international airport for Houston. It is a good private library that focuses on biblical studies and has a lot of Jewish literature as well. The beauty of the library and its adjoining buildings cannot be underestimated. It is a must visit for anyone interested in checking out theological libraries.

    Other schools who have really great theological libraries abound, honestly I was still impressed at Harvard's library. Princeton Theological is really outstanding as well.

    If I were doing a PhD and wanted to have an excuse to travel beyond the school I was anchored at I would certainly go off and visit these various schools libraries.
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    I am curious, do you know how many volumes SWBTS has in their library? The library in Prague has something over 70,000 volumes and is said to be the largest English language theological collection in Europe. The oldest book I remember was published in the 1600's. It is on infant baptism and the author is against it.
     
    #3 Crabtownboy, Jul 27, 2012
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  4. Deacon

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    My daughter is at Liberty, I have to say their library is spotty.

    Philadelphia Biblical University (now Cairn University) is even smaller.

    I'm spoiled though - Princeton University's Theological Library is vast.

    Rob
     
  5. preachinjesus

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    The hope for Liberty's library is that they are building a new (it is going to be massive) facility that will overcome their current limitations.

    However I can only hope they hire better trained librarians to administrate the holdings. The challenge for any school and library is ensuring you have requisite funds to pay for journals, new texts, and electronic subscriptions. Liberty's institutional myopia (I am an alum) often has been a hindrance to bringing quality work to their students. We'll see if the new library will handle proper volumes of theological study.
     
  6. Crabtownboy

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    As the rector and academic dean at IBTS in Prague says, "The library is the heart of the institution. Without an excellent library the institution will never achieve academic excellence.

    I hope Liberty will improve. I have no first hand knowledge of that library. But from what you say it would seem they need to concentrate on the library. It will be a very expensive task.
     
  7. Greektim

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    I've heard nothing but good things about DTS's library. As far as conservative evangelical seminary schools go, it probably has one of the best (from what I keep hearing; even from my SEBTS profs).
     
  8. John of Japan

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    I love looking at special collections. SEBTS has the John R. Rice papers (eventually to go to Southwestern) and the Francis Shaeffer papers.

    Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary in Lansdale, PA, has an excellent collection of old Bibles and old books and journals (some back to the 18th century, I believe) with articles about the Bible, translation, etc.
     
  9. Deacon

    Deacon
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    Whhhaaaaa - - - Lansdale, why that's almost in my backyard!

    I've never heard of it - I've gotta look that one up and go there someday soon.

    Rob
     
  10. Crabtownboy

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    Quite a number of old and ancient theological books are available on the Net free.

    Here is a good place to start your search:

    http://library.fuller.edu/library/research_help/online_books_journals.asp
     
  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    It's an accredited independent Baptist school. My son got his M.Div. there.
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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