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A History of The Styberg Library: 1855-2020

Welcome!

This guide is a celebration of the rich history of The Styberg Library, a product of mergers and institutional agreements. The 400,000+ volume collection of today is the product of many diligent and dedicated librarians and library supporters. The libraries of Garrett Biblical Institute, The Chicago Training School, Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary all helped the library become what it is today. We seek to honor their legacies and celebrate our outstanding theological library, while we look toward the future of what we can accomplish together because of their excellent stewardship and faithfulness!

Library Directors

Francis Dana Hemenway

(1880-1883)

Garrett Biblical Institute

 

Charles F. Bradley

(1884)

Garrett Biblical Institute

Charles W. Bennett

(1885)

Garrett Biblical Institute

Milton Spencer Terry

(1886-1903)

Garrett Biblical Institute

 

Doremus Almy Hayes

(1904-1928)

Garrett Biblical Institute

 

Samuel Gardiner Ayers

(1911-1931)

Garrett Biblical Institute

 

Edwin Francis George

(1918-1953)

Evangelical Theological Seminary

Mabel F. Gardiner

(1924-1957)

Garrett Biblical Institute

 

Raymond Philip Morris

(1932-1933)

Garrett Biblical Institute

 

Robert F. Beach

(1946-1951)

Garrett Biblical Institute

 

Arthur W. Swann

(1951-1956)

Garrett Biblical Institute

 

Ruth Kraemer

(1954-1965)

Evangelical Theological Seminary

 

Edward Lee Sheppard

(1957-1958)

Garrett Biblical Institute

Ray R. Supput

(1958-1964)

Garrett Biblical Institute &

Garrett Theological Seminary

 

John D. Batsel

(1965-1977)

Garrett Theological Seminary &

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

 

Alva Caldwell

(1977-2007)

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

 

Newland F. Smith, III

(1981-2007)

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary

 

Beth M. Sheppard

(2007-2012)

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

 

Jaeyeon Lucy Chung

(2012-Present)

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

 

Library Supporters

William Deering was a trustee of Garrett Biblical Institute (GBI) and a major supporter of the library. He secured and donated much of the Wesleyana and Methodistica that are a part of our special collections today. At one point, this was all displayed as a part of a Wesley Museum at GBI.

Mrs. Lydia Beekman Hibbard provided the financial support for the development of the Hibbard Old Testament (later Egyptian) Library at Western Theological Seminary, which became Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. This collection was developed by Professors Olaf Toffteen and Samuel Mercer. Garrett purchased this collection from SWTS in 2009. This collection included the Hawara Portrait Mummy No. 4 in the Eiselen Reference Room.

In 1959, Professor Paul Keen of Evangelical Theological Seminary donated his large collection of rare Bibles, which dates from the late fifteen century and includes a first edition King James Bible. Check out the information in the Special Collection box for more information about this outstanding gift.

The library of Bishop John Seybert, the second bishop of the Evangelical Association, was given to Evangelical Theological Seminary and is now a part of our collection. The collection contains books on many topics. Most books dates from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and many are written in German.

In addition to being a professor who served as the librarian, Charles W. Bennett also helped to establish the Bennett Museum of Christian Archaeology at Garrett Biblical Institute. Some of the original items from this museum are now a part of the library's special collections. For more information about the museum, see this guide.

Library Building & Collection Photos

The Chicago Training School

The Chicago Training School Library was a part of Harris Hall. It was made possible through a generous gift of Gustavus F. and Annie M. Swift.

The Chicago Training School

This picture captures students studying in the Swift Library of the Chicago Training School.

The Chicago Training School

This picture captures students studying in the Swift Library of the Chicago Training School.

Garrett Biblical Institute

This information about the earliest days of the Garrett Biblical Institute library comes from the "Circular of the Trustees and Faculty of the Garrett Biblical Institute" (1855). 

Garrett Biblical Institute

In a previous Garrett building, known as Memorial Hall, the library's layout included a main room, reading room, pamphlet room, vault, and librarians' room.

Garrett Biblical Institute

This picture is from the library of Garrett Biblical Institute that was housed in Memorial Hall, the third building of the seminary. It dates from 1902. W. J. Davidson, an assistant librarian, is pictured at his desk.

Garrett Biblical Institute

The current library space used to have a walkway above the Circulation Desk area. The marble from this structure became the current countertop for the Circulation Desk.

Garrett Biblical Institute

In this photo of the Reference Room, you can clearly see the balcony that was a part of the eastern wall.

Garrett Biblical Institute

In this photo, you can clearly see the old Garrett Biblical Institute card catalog and Reference Desk.

Garrett Biblical Institute

In this photo, students study in the Reference Room in the 1940s.

Garrett Biblical Institute

In this photo, students study in the current Eiselen Reference Room.

Garrett Theological Seminary

This picture captures the Reading Room around 1959. It was made possible through the expansion of the chapel in the early 1950s.

Garrett Theological Seminary

Students study in the Reading Room during the late 1950s.

Evangelical Theological Seminary

This picture captures students studying in the John M. Baitinger Memorial Reading Room of Evangelical Theological Seminary, made possible through the generosity of the Evangelical Hospital and Deaconess Home of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Evangelical Theological Seminary

This picture captures students studying in the Evangelical Theological Seminary Library.

Evangelical Theological Seminary

In this picture, rare Bibles from the Keen Bible Collection are displayed at Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS). The Keen Bible Collection was made possible through the curation and generosity of Professor Paul Keen who donated this collection to ETS in 1959.

Evangelical Theological Seminary

In this photo, Ruth Kraemer, a librarian at Evangelical Theological Seminary, assists a student.

Garrett Biblical Institute

The Bennett Museum was originally housed in Memorial Hall. It contained original artifacts and reproductions, some of which are now a part of the library's collection.

Garrett Biblical Institute

This is a picture of the Bennett Museum of Christian Archaeology which was later a part of the first floor in the area that the Business Office now occupies.

Garrett Biblical Institute

The Wesley Museum was created with the original donations from William Deering as well as other acquisitions. It was originally housed on the third floor.

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary

This picture captures the beauty of the Robert Bowman Gregory Memorial Library Reading Room which was a part of the United Library. Notice the study carrels on the second level.

Seabury-Western Theological Seminary

The Hibbard Library was made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Lydia Beekman Hibbard. It focused on Egyptology, Assyriology, Ethiopic, and Semitic literature. It also included the Hawara Portrait Mummy No. 4.

Our Special Collections

Additional Resources

Additional Historical Photos

A student studies in the Religious Education Curriculum Library (RECL).

This photo captures the library staff in the 1950s.

This photo captures the library staff in 1991 at the ten-year celebration of The United Library.

This photo captures Dr. Al Caldwell giving a tour of the Keen Bible Collection.

This photo captures some of the faculty publications in the library.

This photo shows two students studying in the Evangelical Theological Seminary Library.

This photo captures the entrance to the Baitinger Memorial Reading Room at Evangelical Theological Seminary.

A student checks out books and chat with library staff.

What is Theological Libraries Month?

 

Every October, libraries that support seminaries, divinity schools, and schools of theology celebrate Theological Libraries Month (TLM) in conjunction with Atla (The American Theological Library Association). This year's theme is "Legacy: Celebrating the Past and Looking to the Future," which served as an impetus for the creation of this guide. To find out more information about TLM and this year's theme, visit the TLM 2020 Website.