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Library Place

A newsletter from the Princeton Theological Seminary Library

Welcome to Library Place

(Donald M. Vorp) Permanent link

Library Place, the newsletter of the Princeton Theological Seminary library, features news about library collections, services for users, events, exhibits, projects, digital initiatives, and outreach activities. Join us as we explore trends and technologies relevant to education, ministry, and scholarship.

Front view of Princeton Theological Seminary Library

As one of the nation’s premier theological centers, the library continues to play a constructive role in education and scholarship by increasing access to knowledge, investing in collections, building relationships, cultivating the use of innovative technologies, and pursuing collaborative solutions.

Donald M. Vorp
James Lenox Librarian

News from the Archives (Spring 2014)

(Kenneth W. Henke) Permanent link

Recent Donations
Pages from an eighteenth century set of the complete works of Isaac Newton donated by Barry H. Downing (PTS Class of 1963)
Pages from 18th century set of the
complete works of Isaac Newton,
donated by Barry H. Downing,
PTS Class of 1963

Among the recent donations to Special Collections is a five volume set of the complete works of Isaac Newton published in London by J. Nichols between 1779 and 1785. Newton kept his personal religious beliefs rather private and refused to take holy orders in the Church of England, something which was normally expected of Cambridge faculty in his day (he had to receive a special dispensation from King Charles II exempting holders of his chair from this requirement). Yet he was known to be a deeply religious person who was convinced that the order and beauty which he found in the universe could not have come about by chance. In addition to his well-known writings in the field of mathematics and natural science, he studied scripture, theology and church history, and this edition of his works contains the first complete printing of a lengthy letter he wrote on the textual history of I John 5:7, as well as his writings on ancient chronology and the prophetic writings found in the Bible, especially the books of Daniel and Revelation. The volumes were the gift of Barry H. Downing (PTS Class of 1963) who after completing his studies at Princeton Seminary went on to complete a doctorate on “The Eschatological Implications of the Understanding of Time and Space in the Thought of Isaac Newton” at the University of Edinburgh.

Handwritten manuscript of a sermon preached by William Frazer, colonial New Jersey preacher, in 1771
Handwritten manuscript of a sermon
preached by William Frazer, colonial
New Jersey preacher, 1771

Another recent gift to the library’s Special Collections was a small collection of nine handwritten eighteenth century sermons from Katie Engstrom of Dallas, Texas. These include sermons preached by Colin Campbell, Rector of St. Mary’s Church, Burlington, New Jersey, and William Frazer, Rector of St. Michael’s Church, Trenton, New Jersey. These colonial and post-revolutionary ministers were among her ancestors, and the sermons were handed down through the family.

Bob Golon Retires

December 2013 saw the retirement of Bob Golon from his position as Manuscripts Librarian here in Special Collections. Bob first came to Princeton Seminary as a Project Archivist to work on the extensive Carl McIntire Manuscript Collection consisting of over 600 boxes of material from the files of this noted 20th century fundamentalist preacher and radio personality. Through diligent concentrated work Bob was able to inventory and arrange this massive collection, making its rich holdings available for researchers. He produced an extensive electronic finding aid, available online, as well as an 80 page illustrated print booklet introducing the collection, its history, and an extended glossary of specialized terms and abbreviations. Since becoming available through Bob’s hard work, the McIntire Collection has become one of the most used collections in the Special Collections area of the library. Among others, Markku Ruotsila, of the University of Helsinki in Finland, made several extended visits to Princeton to work in the collection and is preparing a full-length scholarly biography of McIntire based on his research which it is expected will be published this year. Bob also used his work on the McIntire Collection to interest the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in holding one of its semi-annual sessions at Congress Hall in Cape May, an historic hotel on the South Jersey coast which was once the center of many of McIntire’s activities. Bob worked on the planning committee for the sessions, while Ken Henke, Curator of Special Collections, prepared a talk on McIntire and the collection for those attending the conference.

As Manuscripts Librarian, Bob participated in the ongoing daily work of Special Collections, arranging and describing a number of our collections, including recently the collection of materials related to the organization of Christians Associated for Relationships with Eastern Europe (CAREE). This organization originated from the work of Czech theologian and former Princeton Seminary faculty member Joseph Hromadka and others who sought to promote world peace during the Cold War years by deepening the understanding between Christians in Central and Eastern Europe and those in the United States. Charles West, former Stephen Colwell Professor of Christian Ethics at Princeton Seminary, was active with CAREE and its predecessor, the Christian Peace Conference, for many years, and his donation of papers related to this work was the basis for the collection. Additional papers in the possession of other officers of the organization were also solicited and contributed and together provide a fine overview of the organization’s work during the Cold War years, and in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Researching and installing a new electronic system for monitoring the temperature and humidity in our climate-controlled book boxes was another of Bob’s many contributions, and he will be greatly missed.

Kenneth W. Henke
Archivist and Curator of Special Collections

The Working Scholar: Zotero (Spring 2014)

(Library Staff) Permanent link
Zotero screenshot
Zotero screenshot (Click to enlarge)  

Have you heard of Zotero (pronounced zoh-TAIR-oh)? It is an open-source tool used to organize research and generate in-text citations, footnotes, and bibliographies. A project of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, Zotero was a welcome addition to the field of reference management software as it capitalized on Web 2.0 technology.

You may find yourself asking, “Great, so how can this help me?” Well, after completing a paper, you no longer have to type out citations, remember which punctuation marks to use, track down incomplete references, or change repeat citations to Ibid (if following The Chicago Manual of Style). Zotero allows you to store citations from all of your papers, so it’s easy to go back—even years later—and find an article that you cited.

Try it today! Visit

Digital Initiatives: Fusing... (Spring 2014)

(Gregory Murray) Permanent link

Digital Initiatives: Fusing Librarianship and Technology to Serve Researchers

It may be invisible to the end user, but fruitful access to digital content requires lots of work. That is the work that we do—creating digital library assets, identifying and contextualizing them with high-quality metadata, formatting them for efficient searching and processing, and then presenting them through innovative web-based software applications.

Digital Initiatives is a four-person team of librarian-technologists who focus on building the Seminary’s digital library, which is freely accessible online. The web site,, describes the library’s extensive digital collections.

The Seminary’s flagship digital library resource, the Theological Commons,, constitutes a significant contribution to theological research. It is unique because it combines mass digitization with subject-based selection. Also, by partnering with Internet Archive,, a much larger digitization effort, the Theological Commons is able to include not only 29,000 volumes from Princeton Seminary’s book collections, but also 50,000 volumes from other research libraries.

Highlights include:

• Guides to the library’s rich manuscript collections

• Journals published by, or closely associated with the Seminary from 1825 to 2010

Screenshot of the Digital Initiatives landing page
Digital Initiatives:

• The Princeton Lectures on Youth, Church, and Culture—providing access to original scholarship in youth ministry

• The Digital Library of Abraham Kuyper, containing the complete archive of more than 100,000 manuscript pages

• An archive of web sites containing content that is relevant to theological education

• Theological Commons, a fully searchable digital library of close to 79,000 public domain books and periodicals on theology and religion

Building on this important resource, Digital Initiatives is currently undertaking a major expansion of the Theological Commons, thanks to a $1.5M grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. This expansion will provide access to unique audio and visual resources. The cornerstone of this effort involves the digitization of the Seminary’s extensive media archive, which contains close to 9,000 audio recordings spanning the last 60 years, along with hundreds of more recent video recordings. These recordings capture public lectures, interviews, and sermons, given by prominent scholars, pastors, and church leaders. Most of the original tapes are at risk of disintegration, so digitizing this content not only makes it widely available, but also preserves it for future generations of researchers.

Greg Murray
Head of Digital Initiatives

The Research Centers (Spring 2014)

(Kaitlyn Dugan, Gordon Graham) Permanent link

The Research Centers: Barth, Kuyper, and Scottish Philosophy

The library serves as a hub to three research centers, each of which connects scholars and pastors with collections and conferences of international importance: The Center for Barth Studies, Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy, and Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology.

The Center for Barth Studies
Photo of theologian, Karl Barth (1886-1968)
Karl Barth (1886-1968)  

The Center for Barth Studies (CBS), founded in 1997, exists to promote scholarship, conferences, and events related to the theology of Karl Barth. CBS includes a special Karl Barth Research Collection, which is housed in the library and is the largest Barth collection in North America. The goal of the Center is to eventually obtain a copy of every piece of literature written by or about Karl Barth. Each June, CBS facilitates the annual Karl Barth Conference, which places Barth’s theology in constructive and historical conversation with a variety of topics and figures. CBS also supports domestic and international visiting scholars by assisting them with research projects.

Nathan Maddox, Assistant to the Curator of the Barth Collection and Kait Dugan, Curator of the Barth Collection
Nathan Maddox, Assistant to the Curator
of the Barth Collection and Kait Dugan,
Curator of the Barth Collection

CBS is led by Dr. Bruce L. McCormack, director, along with an advisory board comprised of current and previous Princeton Seminary professors. The daily operations of the Center are managed by Kait Dugan, curator of the Barth collection and Nathan Maddox, assistant to the curator as well as two student workers, Tyler Davis and Michael Toy.

The annual 2014 Karl Barth Conference titled “Karl Barth, the Jews, and Judaism” will take place on June 15–18. Plenary speakers will include Victoria Barnett, Eberhard Busch, Ellen Charry, George Hunsinger, Mark Lindsay, David Novak, and Peter Ochs. The conference will also host the first-ever concurrent speaker sessions, which will include a variety of papers to be given by professors and graduate students throughout the world. The conference is free for PTS students. To learn more about the conference, please visit CBS exists to assist with practical and introductory tips for demonstrating how to navigate and understand Barth’s theology as well as to provide a wealth of primary and secondary resources for academic research projects. If you have any questions about Barth’s theology or need help locating Barth materials, stop by CBS during Seminary business hours or email [email protected]

Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy
Library of Scottish Philosophy book cover: Scottish Philosophy of Rhetoric
Publication edited by the Center for
the Study of Scottish Philosophy

Throughout the year, the Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy (CSSP) manages and edits the Journal of Scottish Philosophy (JSP), published by Edinburgh University Press. Now in its twelfth volume, the JSP has established a reputation for innovative scholarship, often from younger scholars, on all aspects, authors, and periods of Scottish philosophy, from the 17th to 20th centuries. In addition, the CSSP edits the Library of Scottish Philosophy, a book series published by Imprint Academic. The purpose of the series is to make expertly edited selections affordable and easily accessible to teachers and students. Recent volumes include selections from Thomas Reid, whose philosophical writings greatly influenced The College of New Jersey in the early years of the 19th century, and Scottish Philosophy in America, which documents much of that influence. The fifteenth volume in the series, The Scottish Philosophy of Rhetoric, was published on February 1, 2014.

In the spring of each year, the CSSP organizes a small conference, which attracts participants from all over the world. The March 2014 conference drew presenters from Singapore, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium, as well as Scotland and the United States. In addition, there have been three larger conferences organized in collaboration with other learned societies. The CSSP’s first conference in 2007 led to a long-term project—a two-volume, multiauthored history of Scottish philosophy. That project is nearing completion and the two volumes will be published by Oxford University Press in 2015. More information about CSSP can be found at

Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology
Kuyper Center Review, Vol. 3: Calvinism and Culture
Kuyper Center Review, Vol. 3:
Calvinism and Culture

Abraham Kuyper, a hugely influential theologian, church leader, and politician in 19th century Holland, gave the Stone Lectures at Princeton in 1898. Titled “Lectures on Calvinism,” they brought to the English speaking world Kuyper’s brilliant renewal of Calvin’s theological vision, and thereby created “Neo-Calvinism” as a powerful Christian voice. The Abraham Kuyper Center for Public Theology arose out of the centenary celebrations of those lectures organized at Princeton Seminary in 1998. Its work is now greatly assisted by an advisory board that includes Seminary faculty and external experts.

The Center’s most well-known event is the Abraham Kuyper Lecture and Prize, delivered by the recipient of the Kuyper Prize. This prize is awarded to someone who has excelled in his or her chosen sphere, and as a result won recognition for the continuing cultural relevance of the Reformed tradition. The Abraham Kuyper Lecture and Prize opens the annual conference on a theme related to the winner’s work.

The Kuyper Center Conference has steadily become a major event in the neo-Calvinist calendar and attracts participants from many parts of the world. Generous donations by Dr. Rimmer de Vries have made it possible to support participation by a new generation of scholars. Since 2010, revised and edited versions of a selection of the conference papers have appeared in the Kuyper Center Review.

The library now possesses a very extensive Kuyper Collection of primary and secondary material: Additions are regularly added to the collection, which promises to be the finest in the world. A Kuyper Center visiting scholar scheme has recently been inaugurated to facilitate the use of this collection.

What We're Reading (Spring 2014)

(Library Staff) Permanent link
Andy Newgren and Kate Skrebutenas
Andy Newgren, Director of Academic Technology; and
Kate Skrebutenas, Director of Access, Research and Outreach

Discover the reading habits of PTS faculty and staff.

Andy Newgren
Director of Academic Technology

He is drawn to books that reveal both the best and worst of humanity

Just finished readingThe Flamethrowers, by Rachel Kushner; Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter; and The Circle, by David Eggers.

Often consults the National Book Award and Man Booker Prize lists for titles

He trusts Jonathan Franzen

"These windows into fictional characters…help me clarify what it means to be human, to struggle, to rejoice, and to live life." – Andy Newgren

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