Special Collections Services

Special Collections Services

On this page: Reference Services, Exhibitions, Loans, Tours, Bibliographic Instruction, and Requirements, Guidelines and Permission to Publish.

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.

Reference 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 maps of and directions to the Princeton Theological Seminary campus, see Maps and Directions. If you are traveling from a great distance, you may contact the Erdman Center for information regarding local accommodations.

  • Contact Special Collections, (609) 497-7953 for general information about rare books, personal papers and manuscripts, Princeton Theological Seminary archives, Korean Presbyterian Collection, the Abraham Kuyper Collection, dissertations, and photographs.
  • Contact the Center for Barth Studies, (609) 524-1981, for information about the Karl Barth Collection.


Students visit Special Collections to view primary sources

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.

In addition, current public exhibits – both digital, curated by Digital Archivist Jackie Rider, and physical, curated by Curator of Special Collections and Archivist Ken Henke are listed here: Library Exhibits


Many items in Special Collections are available for class presentations and one-day loans may be arranged for Seminary classes or other Seminary events.


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

Princeton Seminary ca 1940

Bibliographic Instruction

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.

Requirements, Guidelines and Permission to Publish

Identification and Registration

To gain access to Special Collections, researchers must present a valid photo I.D. (Student I.D., passport, U.S. driver's license, etc.) and complete a registration form upon arrival.

Guidelines for the Use of Materials

Permission to Publish