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General Collections Overview

student browsing books in the library stacks

The Princeton Theological Seminary Library's General Collections consist of the Circulating Collection, a collection of Latin American periodicals, the Reigner Reading Room (Christian Education), the Periodical Collection (journals), the Reference Collection, and the Reserve Collection.

Circulating Collection

Books from the general collection normally circulate for a period of four weeks and may be renewed unless requested by another patron. Patrons are expected to locate the books they need and must bring them to the Circulation Desk to be charged. The arrangement of books in the library is available online and on building guide cards throughout the library, and the staff members at the Reference and Circulation Desks are available to provide assistance in locating materials.

Latin American Periodicals

Bibliographic records for individual titles in the Latin American Periodical Collection appear in the Princeton Theological Seminary Library catalog and, when the exact title is known, can be searched using the Journal title field. To retrieve a list of all the titles in the collection, type Latin American Periodicals in the Author search.

A number of these materials have also been digitized and included in the Theological Commons, a digital library of materials on theology and religion, developed in partnership with the Internet Archive. Browse the Latin America Collection within the Theological Commons.

HTI 2000–2001 mentor and the Henry Luce Professor of Ecumenics and Mission Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary Luis N. Rivera-Pagán extols the Library's "serious engagement to house and preserve a rich and diverse Latin American ecclesiastical and theological bibliographical collection."

Charles G. Reigner Collection (Christian Education)

The Charles G. Reigner Collection is an educational resource center that maintains a wide range of educational materials, including Christian education curricula, CDs, DVDs, filmstrips, slides, videos, games, records, cassettes, and audiovisual materials. The Reigner Collection is shelved on the second floor of the library near the Korean Room and microform collection.

The materials are available to Princeton Seminary students and faculty, and also available at a yearly fee to church educators throughout the broader Princeton community.

Contact the Library for more information.

Periodical Collection (Journals)

The Princeton Theological Seminary Library is able to purchase some journal titles in digital form (e-journals), others in print, and some in both digital and print form.


Current issues of selected print journals are shelved by title in the Periodical Reading Room on the First Floor.

Current issues of other journals, as well as past (bound) issues of all journals, are shelved by call number on the Lower Level. (Call numbers begin with PER for "periodical," another name for a journal. Larger size journals can be found in PER FOLIO and PER L. FOLIO, also shelved by call number.)


The library catalog is one place to look up specific journals. Select Journal Title* as the index to search from the menu on the Simple Search tab. *This index is not yet comprehensive; it is in the process of being completed.

Note: Journals do not circulate (e.g. cannot be checked out) and must not be left overnight in carrels or study rooms.

Online Journals

Online Journals are accessible to anyone while on campus and to the Seminary community from anywhere.

Reference Collection

Reference guides — including Biblical Studies, Church History, Church in the World, Practical Theology, and Theology — are available for the reference collection.

Comprised of nearly 10,000 volumes, the reference collection contains general tools frequently consulted in theological study: dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories, almanacs, atlases, and handbooks. It features a broad array of bibliographical resources, including indexing tools, union lists, catalogs of specialized libraries, and national, trade, and subject bibliographies. Increasing the richness and value of the collection is the inclusion of primary texts essential to the Christian tradition and a core collection of Biblical commentaries. Included as well are certain texts which are so comprehensive in their treatment of a subject and so well indexed that they function as reference tools.

Reference books do not circulate and, if used outside of the reference area, must be returned to the reference reshelving cart when the patron leaves the library.

Reserve Collection

Course Reserves, library books set aside for specific courses, can be found in the library catalog. More about course reserves

Note: E-reserves, typically articles set aside by instructors for specific courses, can be found on the LMS (Brightspace) site for your course.