See the Bay Psalm Book at Sotheby's, THIS Wednesday, Nov. 20

We are organizing an excursion to Sotheby's Wednesday afternoon to view the Bay Psalm Book and have a little tour. We plan to meet at Sotheby's at 5:00 pm on Wednesday. Sotheby's is at 1334 York Avenue between 71st and 72nd Streets.

Here's some information about the Bay Psalm Book from Sotheby's and an article about the auction from the New York Times.

If you would like to join us, please RSVP to Mary Robison, reference librarian, at 646.717.9747 or email We need to know whether to expect you, so do respond if you can join us!

Library resources for the coming liturgical year


Christmas lites, Thanksgiving and Lectionary Year A are just around the corner (and in that chronological order!). The Keller Library can’t help you cook a turkey or trim a tree (though we have a great collection ofThe visit of St. Nicholas, by Clement Clark Moore, and there is this ebook available: Preparing Sunday dinner: a collaborative approach to worship and preaching , if you find it helpful). But we have a lot more to help you prepare for RCL Lectionary Year A. Read all about liturgical resources available from the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library here!

Keller Library’s Special Collections Materials Used Worldwide

Dr. Lied with papyrus, librarians
Dr. Lied with papyrus, librarians

Our friend, Dr. Liv Engeborg Lied, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo, has us all excited about her new blog!

Dr. Lied is an expert on the ancient Jewish document called 2 Baruch and was excited to see Pap. Oxyrhynchus 403, a fourth-century CE papyrus housed in the Keller Library’s Rare Books and Manuscripts collection. Just today, she has posted a photograph and information about why this fragment of Baruch is important. Find out more from Dr. Lied's blog post here.

People from all over the world come to Chelsea Square to do research using our Special Collections materials. Just this past year, researchers from the United Kingdom, Haiti, Spain and Hong Kong made scholarly discoveries using our holdings. Our students are encouraged to use these rare materials in their work, too.

One of the most rewarding experiences a special collections librarian and archivist can have is to witness the astonishment and joyful exclamations when a researcher makes that great find…we are fortunate at the Keller Library that we have this experience often! Would you like to do research using Keller Library materials? Find out more about our Special Collections and how to gain access to our Library here.

Reference Therapy from the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library

Professor Owens' OT1 class visits Special Collections on Library Day to learn about the Torah.
Professor Owens' OT1 class visits Special Collections on Library Day to learn about the Torah.

This term, your reference librarian has been invited to be a guest lecturer in our CS1, Introduction to Theological Education course. We’re thinking that this material would be useful even to those who are already familiar with the topic, so here you go. Keep reading for more information on getting the most out of library resources! You can find this information and keep up with the latest news by subscribing to our blog or being our friend on Facebook.

For folks who'd like to find out more information on a particular topic, have a peek at these resources available online to library patrons.

Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, 8th ed. (2009) Encyclopedia of American Religions, 7th ed. (2003) Encyclopedia of PhilosophyEncyclopedia of ReligionAfrican American Almanac

(Note that you'll need your library user name and password to get to the information--if you are a registered library patron and don't have this information, please contact the head of Circulation.)

ATLA, American Theological Library Association religion database.  Available online through the GTS Keller Library homepage and onsite in the Library, this database offers access to the full-text and citations of hundreds of thousands of articles, book reviews and references to journals and books. (Click the first two options on the "choose your database" page to target your search to ATLA-indexed materials.)

Did you know that you can search for articles, book reviews and other materials by scripture passage? Find out more about this by clicking the links below, and make your sermons even more effective! Some amazingly helpful videos are listed below:

JSTOR. From the JSTOR website: "JSTOR is a digital library of more than 1,800 academic journals, 16,000 books, and 2 million primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations."

JSTOR is an extensive research database, with thousands of journal and book titles, some citation-only, many others full-text. JSTOR offers several specific collections, of which the Keller Library subscribes to two: the Arts and Sciences Collections III and VII.

We believe that these collections, available online through the GTS Keller Library homepage and onsite in the Library, offer the most relevant articles and citations for our patrons. (While it's not possible to offer full-text access to all the books JSTOR cites, remember that your Keller Library login information gets you access to thousands of ebooks in our collection!)

Some useful searching tips for JSTOR are below:

Because your Keller Library access gets you citations for everything indexed in JSTOR (but not always the full text of the item), it can be helpful to have a MYJSTOR account in addition to using your GTS access for JSTOR research. That way, you'll be able to read other available articles for free instead of paying for downloaded copies.

MYJSTOR – allows individuals to register for JSTOR access and get free access to the full text of three articles at a time. Through this Register and Read program, you get access to "approximately 1,200 journals from more than 700 publishers, a subset of the content in JSTOR."  Here's how this works: first you'd enroll in MYJSTOR, and then you'll get an online bookshelf. On this bookshelf, you can keep up to three articles for online reading (these stay on your bookshelf for a minimum of two weeks). This way, you'll be able to read articles at no cost that you'd otherwise have to purchase.

For more information about research databases and doing research in religion, take a look at these additional resources. The Journal of Religious and Theological Information has a great article on evaluating online sources here and the Wabash Center's got some great information on evaluating internet resources, too.

We are here to help! Please contact a librarian if you have questions or would like a little private reference therapy. Keep up with the latest news about the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library by subscribing to our blog!

GTS Welcomes Norwegian Scholar to View Rare Papyrus Fragment of 2 Baruch


During the first week in May, The General Theological Seminary was pleased to welcome a Norwegian scholar who came to view one of the treasures of the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library—the only surviving Greek manuscript of 2 Baruch, also known as the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch.

A guest of Dr. Robert Owens, Professor of Old Testament, Dr. Liv Engeborg Lied is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo, the largest theological school in Norway. She is an expert on the ancient Jewish document called 2 Baruch and was excited to see Pap. Oxyrhynchus 403, a fourth-century CE papyrus that is housed in the Keller Library's Rare Books and Manuscripts collection.

"We are delighted to make available such rare holdings to theological scholars from around the world," said Prof. Owens.

Scholars believe 2 Baruch was written in the late first or early second century of the Common Era, after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE. It tells the story, from Baruch's perspective, of the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE. The full text of 2 Baruch is known from a Syriac manuscript from the sixth or seventh century CE. The earlier Greek fragment housed at General Seminary was discovered at the Oxyrhynchus archaeological site in Egypt.

"...because they are women and not men" - The Christoph Keller, Jr. Library Celebrates Women's History


The Christoph Keller, Jr. Library celebrates women’s history this spring! Come over to the Keller Library and see our newest exhibition, “…because they are women and not men.” Check out Emily Hewitt and Carter Heyward’s postulant materials, behind-the-scenes memoranda from Bishop Moore and other related items from the events in 1973 and 1974 preceding the July 29, 1974 historic ordinations of the Philadelphia Eleven. Featuring archival copies of the E. Allen Mellen St. Mary’s, Manhattanville papers (the originals are at Union Theological Seminary), postulant materials and correspondence of the Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Jr. from the Archives of the Diocese of New York, along with items from the Keller Library’s Special Collections, this exhibit will run through mid-June. Click here to find out more about the exhibit and to subscribe to our blog for the very latest from the Keller Library.

We extend our gratitude to Ruth Tonkiss Cameron of the Burke Archives at Union Theological Seminary and to Wayne Kempton, Archivist of the Diocese of New York for their generosity, time and advice on this project.

Black History Month at the GTS Keller Library: Slavery and Anglicanism in the Long 18th Century

Courtesy of John Bethell, GTS '13.
Courtesy of John Bethell, GTS '13.

The Christoph Keller, Jr. Library at The General Theological Seminary is known throughout the Anglican world for having extensive special collections that focus on historic materials relating to The Episcopal Church. We’ve had an amazing time these past few weeks getting ready to show the world a sampling of materials relating to slavery.

slave ship closeup
slave ship closeup

Featuring a 1765 contractual agreement between Samuel Seabury and his father-in-law Edward Hicks, and a 1797 receipt for the purchase of a slave by Jacob Sherred, this exhibit  explores colonial New York history as it relates to slavery and The Episcopal Church, with original materials relating to early New York and General Seminary history.  In conjunction with this exhibit, Reference Librarian, Mary Robison, gave a talk during the first week of classes to the students in Professor Shaner's Slavery in the New Testament course. This discussion touched on how to do research using primary source materials and electronic research databases available in the library, plus a bit of printing history for good measure. Find out more by visiting the library!

Other materials in the exhibit include Morgan Godwyn's 1680 publication in favor of educating slaves, plus many publications from the Society of the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts.

We are working with students to schedule a viewing of portions of the film Traces of the Trade, and we'll let you know more about that event soon. Please see the Keller Library blog for more information, and come by and see the exhibit. It will be on display through mid-March.

Keller Library Book Sale Nov. 12-16

public domain clipart courtesy of
public domain clipart courtesy of

The Book Sale is still on! We are heartbroken about the postponement of Alumni Week and the Paddock Lectures next week….but we are keeping our chins up, and the Book Sale will be held November 12-16 at the Keller Library! Don’t forget, to keep up with late-breaking news about the Keller Library, subscribe to our blog. We can update this information from off-campus even when systems on the Close are not operational. It’s always the first place to look for information about the Library! And now, here’s some information about the book sale.

This sale will feature duplicate books removed from our collections, along with donations given throughout the year. Topics include Church History, Liturgics and other related areas…come by and check them out!

We’re using a descending price structure, so come early for the best selection – or wait until Friday and fill up your bookcases for cheap. This is how it’ll work:

  • On Monday, all books are $10
  • On Tuesday, all books are $8
  • On Wednesday, all books are $6
  • On Thursday, all books are $4
  • On Friday, all books are $2

An even better deal for serious shoppers: 6 books for the price of 5, 13 books for the price of 10, 20 books for the price of 15. Follow this link for more information about the Book Sale...and email if you have questions. See you next week!

Pauli Murray Exhibit in the Keller Library

Dark Testament
Dark Testament

To celebrate International Women’s History Month, the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library is hosting an exhibit related to civil rights activist and visionary feminist, the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray. Murray was a 1976 GTS graduate and the first African American woman ordained priest in The Episcopal Church.

Drawn from the library’s Special Collections and institutional archives, the exhibit includes material  Murray donated to the library and seminary publications from the time she was a student. Of particular interest is a copy of Murray's book of poetry Dark Testament which she gave to the Rt. Rev. Paul Moore, Bishop of New York, for Christmas in 1973, four years before her ordination. The book is open to Murray's inscription: “With the prayer that someday you may be able to ordain me a Priest in our Church."

Also featured is a bound volume of Ebony magazines with Murray's annotations. This volume is open to an article about Christ’s message to the disinherited, and it shows where Murray underlined parts that were especially meaningful to her.

The exhibit is curated by Reference librarian Mary Robison, who has written a personal account of her work  for the Christoph Keller, Jr. Library Blog.

Research Workshop at the Keller Library

Please join us on Monday, February 27 at 2:00pm at the Keller Library and learn how to find the best sources for your papers. The Rev. Dr. Warren C. Platt and reference librarian Mary Robison will share information about online research databases, resources available at the New York Public Library, and of course, primary sources here at the Keller Library. Father Platt has done some great church history research in the Diocese of New York and is a real expert in this field. At this workshop, he will give us an in-depth look at resources that undoubtedly will be useful to your work here at General. If you have a specific research focus, please let us know ahead of time and we'll include it in the discussion.

Please email if you can join us, and we'll let you know about the location closer to the date. Refreshments will be provided, and you could win a prize! Do come and join us on the 27th.