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Divinity Library Celebrates Volume 400,000

Students Aaron Harrison, Adam Darragh (left) and Barbie Izlar (far right) join Library Director Roger Loyd, Dean Richard Hays, and Assistant Professor of American Christianity Kate Bowler, whose essay is included in the library’s 400,000th volume.The acquisition of the Encyclopedia of Religion in America , the Divinity School Library’s 400,000th volume, likely made the Divinity Library 10th in size among theological libraries in North America, Roger Loyd told faculty, staff, and student guests at an October reception during the last week of Theological Libraries Month. In terms of quality, he added, the library’s collections rank even higher.

“My predecessor, Donn Michael Farris, described us as ‘one of the top seven such collections,’” said Loyd, who in 1992 followed Farris as director of the Divinity School Library. While Loyd said he would agree with that ranking, he added, “With electronic collections being such an important part of our work, it is more difficult to compare.”

In 1950, when Farris became librarian, the Divinity School Library had approximately 30,000 volumes. By June 1995, the collections had grown tenfold.

“Today we celebrate the addition of 100,000 more titles in just 15 years to reach 400,000,” said Loyd, adding “Onward to 500,000!”

Assistant Professor of American Christianity Kate Bowler’s essay “Positive Thinking” is included in the Encyclopedia of Religion in America , a comprehensive reference source on the historical development of faiths in North America and religion’s intersection with political, social, and economic life. Professor of Christian History Grant Wacker served as an editorial adviser for the reference set, which the library also offers as an electronic resource.

The reception included the announcement of the winner of the “Top 10 Reasons to Visit the Divinity School Library ,” an annual competition among first-year students. Kathy Randall won with the entry, “At night, when it is quiet, you can feel the other readers who have gone before you in the stacks.”