In 1996, the Board of Trustees established and named the Special Collections and Archives, in honor of Dr. C. Benton Kline, Jr., who served the seminary from 1969–2004, in numerous roles, most notably: President, Academic Dean and Theology Professor.
The mission for the Columbia Theological Seminary Special Collections and C. Benton Kline Archives is three-fold:
a) Serve as the repository for the documentation of the Seminary’s administrative activities and educational programs, its publications, memorabilia, photographic records, and the occasional memoirs and personal papers of the Seminary’s faculty.
b) Collect and care for personal and organizational materials relating to the activities of the “Southern Stream” of Presbyterianism. The “Southern Stream” of Presbyterianism includes PC (USA) churches and presbyteries in the southeastern United States and significant historical events such as slavery, the civil war, and the evolution debate. In addition, Presbyterian women’s histories from across the United States are collected and cared for in the archives.
c) Provide records management services to churches and presbyteries located in states that were part of the “Southern Stream” of the Presbyterian Church.
In 2006, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to move a significant portion of the archival collections of the Church, which were formerly located at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Montreat, NC to Columbia Theological Seminary. The collections include primarily materials from the Southern Stream of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and its predecessor bodies. The Southern Stream is identified as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Virginia.
The C. Benton Kline, Jr. Special Collections and Archives is located in the library on 3W. Access to the collections is by appointment.
Archives reference service is temporarily closed. Archives reference includes in-person visits, phone calls, and emails.