The General Theological Seminary announces plans to increase access to its rare books and archives

The General Theological Seminary
Posted Apr 5, 2024

The Keller Library at The General Theological Seminary

The General Theological Seminary (GTS) today announced plans to move a selection of its rare books and archives to Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) to increase access for scholars and enhance their preservation.

A total of 6,500 rare books and 13 archival collections will be moved from GTS’ Keller Library to the Rare Book Room at VTS’ Bishop Payne Library later this month. Among the items being moved are the Canon J. Robert Wright Estate Book of Common Prayer Collection, the Early English Theology Collection, some incunables, Anglicana, pamphlets, and early printed Bibles, as well as selected historic archival collections. Everything being moved will remain the property of GTS.

The move was authorized by the GTS Board at its November meeting to ensure ongoing professional librarian curation and preservation, and to increase scholarly access to the books and archival material, as the Keller Library is not open outside of intensive weeks for GTS’ hybrid Master of Divinity students.

The books and material being moved were selected according to their value to scholars. More than 20,000 rare books and the entire circulating collection remain on site at the Keller Library in New York. These books are currently stored securely under climate-controlled conditions and are checked regularly.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, President of The General Theological Seminary, said: “VTS has an exceptionally qualified library staff who will assist researchers in utilizing these historic resources in scholarship and publication. Making these books and archival materials accessible again honors the legacy of the generations of GTS librarians who curated and preserved this remarkable collection.”