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About the Library

Wright Library

updated collage of photos of Wright Library, Princeton Theological Seminary; the original version of this collage was created by K. Whalen

Mission

Wright Library, named for Theodore Sedgwick Wright, provides collections and services in support of teaching, learning, and research in theology, in support of Princeton Seminary’s mission. Shaped by two centuries of development, Wright Library embraces its role at the intersection of the theological record and the community of scholars, continues the Seminary’s commitment to build collections of depth, and promotes an environment of broad access to the theological heritage.

Taking theology as its primary collecting responsibility, Wright Library understands theology to be advancing with other arts and sciences through the processes of research, synthesis, and communication that are nourished by the cultural record. To the extent possible, Wright Library promotes collection and service development that will keep theology in motion, supported and guided by the record of the past and the present.

Wright Library envisions its future as one of leadership, collaboration, and innovation as it works to strengthen teaching, inspire learning, broaden access, foster research, embrace change, advance knowledge and otherwise shape and participate in the evolving global network.

With over 1.3 million print and electronic books and journals in its general collections, a digital library (Theological Commons) of more than 150,000 resources, a robust Special Collections and Archives department of rare books, manuscripts, archives, cuneiform tablets, art, artifacts, and digital archival collections, as well as an inspiringly beautiful building, Wright Library is a heavily utilized resource.

Learn more about the naming of the library in this news release.

Collection Overview

The Wright Library collection offers substantial resources for theological study and research at all levels.

In addition to circulating and periodical collections, the Theodore Sedgwick Wright Library contains the Charles G. Reigner Collection, which houses educational materials and religious curriculum materials to support church ministry; Special Collections, including the Karl Barth research collection and a growing number of Digital Collections, including the Theological Commons.

The Wright Library currently receives thousands of journals, annual reports of church bodies and learned societies, bulletins, transactions, and periodically issued indices, abstracts, and bibliographies.

Among the collections are valuable portions of the libraries of Dr. Ashbel Green, Professor John Breckenridge, Dr. William Buell Sprague, Mr. Samuel Agnew, Professor J. Addison Alexander, Dr. John M. Krebs, Dr. Alexander Balloch Grosart, Professor William Henry Green, Professor Samuel Miller, Professor Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, Mr. James Tanis, and Dr. Louis F. Benson.

Primary sources are represented both by original early editions or reprints and by modern critical editions.

A series of policies governing the use of our collections allows us to balance accessibility with accountability.

Theodore Sedgwick Wright

The Rev. Theodore Sedgwick Wright (Class of 1828) was the first African American to graduate from Princeton Theological Seminary. He served as the pastor of the Shiloh Presbyterian Church of New York City (formerly First Colored Presbyterian Church of New York City) from 1829 until his death in 1847. Wright was one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society and served as chair of the New York Vigilance Committee, which worked to prevent the kidnapping of free African Americans.

Princeton Seminary Names Library After Theodore Sedgwick Wright