Special Collections Services
Special Collections provides standard reference services for scholars,
researchers, and family historians who contact the office via telephone,
email, or postal service, or who visit in person. Users are encouraged to contact Special Collections prior to research
visits. Special Collections complies with the access guidelines of the
Society of American Archivists and users are required to follow standard
access procedures and complete standard access forms during research visits.
For more information, please see Procedures and
Reference service is available during hours of
operation. Scholars who require consultation related to research
in one of our collections are invited to submit their inquiries to the
appropriate staff subject specialist prior to their visit:
- For general information, rare books, personal papers
and manuscripts, Princeton Theological Seminary archives, Korean
Presbyterian Collection, the Abraham Kuyper Collection,
dissertations, and photographs, contact Special Collections.
- For the Karl Barth Collection, contact the Center for Barth Studies, (609)
We are pleased to assist walk-in patrons as we are able. However, it is sometimes
not possible for us to page certain materials, especially personal papers
and manuscripts, during busy periods. We thus encourage researchers to
submit requests for materials in advance—the more specific the request the
better. If you have the call number of a book or the box number/folder
number from a manuscript collection, please submit this information using
the contact form linked below. Thank you very much in advance.
Submit a Request to our Reference Archivist.
Special Collections promotes research and scholarship by encouraging the use of
its collections. A variety of educational services are offered for students
and scholars who are studying at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Exhibits of primary sources, contextual materials, and other items in Special
Collections may be arranged for Seminary courses, seminars, workshops, or
groups. Past exhibits include rare Bibles, publications related to the
Reformation in Geneva, and items that document worship in the Reformed
tradition. Exhibitions are usually scheduled 2-3 months in advance of the
event and are a collaborative effort between the class professor or group
leader and Special Collections staff.
Many items in Special Collections are available for class presentations and
one-day loans may be arranged for Seminary classes or other Seminary
Princeton University Library’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
has prepared an online Research
Tutorial that orients students to the discovery and use of
primary sources. While some of the tools and policies discussed in this
tutorial are specific to Princeton University’s Library, this tutorial
provides a helpful introduction to the types of materials available in
Special Collections and the methods of using them. Research tutorial
sessions also may be arranged for classes or groups of Seminary students in
order to provide an orientation to basic concepts in research or
subject-specific overviews of resources in Special Collection.
Tours of Princeton Theological Seminary and Special Collections: Special
Collections conducts historic tours of the Princeton Theological Seminary
campus and tours of the Special Collections facilities in the Library. Tours
are arranged by appointment.