Rare Books and Special Collections

The mission of the C. Benton Kline Special Collections and Archives Rare Books area is to support the mission of Columbia Theological Seminary by providing rare and historic materials that support the institution’s curriculum and research and preserve the history of the Seminary, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the broader Reformed tradition.

The collection is divided into three main areas: Rare Books, CTS History & Faculty publications, and CTS Advanced Degree Theses. The collection is open for use by advance appointment. This process is necessary so that materials can be pulled and the items’ condition evaluated for access. Requests for photographs or copies will be made to the Rare Books Librarian and permission granted on a case by case basis depending on the condition of the item and the nature of the research. Requests to use Rare Book materials can be made by contacting the Rare Books Librarian or phone 404-687-4615.

Rare Books:
The Rare Books collection is composed primarily of titles concerning the history and theology of the Reformed tradition published prior to 1831. Exceptions are made for materials published during and about the antebellum era through the Civil War and Southern Presbyterianism. Strengths in this collection include reformed history, theology titles, missionary accounts, the covenanters/dissenters movement, Confession(s) of faith, and sermons. At this time, materials are not completely accessible through the library’s catalog. Please contact the Rare Books Librarian for assistance if you have questions about a certain topic.

CTS History & Faculty publications:
Materials about the history of Columbia Theological Seminary, books published by Columbia’s faculty, selected works by seminary administration and alumni, and the Columbia Series in Reformed Theology compose this section of the collection.

CTS Advanced Degrees Theses:
The Rare Books area collects the dissertations, projects, and theses created by students in the institution’s advanced degree programs: Master of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, Doctor of Educational Ministry and Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Care and Counseling. More recent theses are available in print and electronic format.